Walton County seeks declaration of customary use

DeFUNIAK SPRINGS, FL — Attorneys for Walton County filed a complaint in Circuit Court this week seeking affirmation of its claim that the dry sand areas behind 1,194 private beachfront properties should be available to the public.

The county now will await challenges from the property owners, many of whom are adamant that they should be the ones who decide who gets access to the beach areas on their land.

A list of the individual privately-owned properties the county wants a judge to open to the public through a declaration of recreational customary use is included in the complaint. County Attorney Sidney Noyes told county commissioners that a notice of the filing will be sent out to each property owner by the first of the year.

“Then we’ll see who files a grievance,” she said.

House Bill 631, which took effect July 1, nullified an existing Walton County customary use ordinance.

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