Land Swap Causing Opposition

Many Gulf County citizens are trying to save one of the only remaining public waterfront accesses in the area.

They say not only does it have historical significance, but it also provides waterfront access to people who can't afford waterfront property, and they are trying to fight a move to turn the land over to developers.

Edward Wood is a lifelong resident of Gulf County. He was born and raised just a half a mile from old Butler Road. That's why he wants to keep it under county control.

"It means a lot to me. I've always lived on this bay. Our family has made a living in seafood, and I don't want to give it up."

Gulf County Commissioner Billy Williams is recommending the county start the process of abandoning the road. He wants to trade the road to a developer in exchange for two-tenths of an acre nearby that would provide public access and restroom facilities.

Commissioner Benny Roberts thinks it’s a bad deal.

"This piece of property we're standing on is a very valuable piece of property. I don't think the county is really getting our money's worth."

County Commissioner Nathan Peters, Jr. says you can't put a price tag on the land's value.

"There's a lot of people that come and use the bay, and they cast nets, they crab, they fish, and I want to keep it that way."

In a region that loses beach access almost daily, these folks say this land is worth fighting for.

The next Gulf County Commission meeting is next Tuesday at 6:00 p.m. EST.