South Walton Residents Battle Over Beach Access

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SOUTH WALTON When Walton County Tourist Development Council Director Jim Bagby announced plans for a new beach access Tuesday night, tempers flared.

Right now Cypress Dunes or Beachview Heights residents can reach the beach from Topsail Hill State Park, or by a crowded access to the east.

Cypress Dunes residents actually proposed the idea of the new access to the TDC.

"I am in favor of this neighborhood beach access for all those 500 homes they talk about,” said one South Walton resident. “Take the pressure off Fort Panic. It is a neighborhood beach access, no parking, no hassle, it's for people who want to walk, can you imagine people walking to the beach."

The TDC’s proposal is to put the beach access at the back to the Beachview Heights subdivision, and build a boardwalk down towards the beach.

But when Bagby announced those plans, many were not happy.

A number of Beachview Heights residents are not in favor of this project.

In fact a number of them actually built on this property so they wouldn't be near a beach access.

They say this project goes against their property rights.

“I like the public too, I am part of the public but I don't want this put in our subdivision, all these people that are for it will not be affected in any way. Cypress Dunes is a gated community,” said Norman Froeschner, a Beachview Heights resident. “He doesn’t even live in Beachview Heights, we will bear the entire brunt of any negative aspect of this thing.

Commissioners decided to schedule public hearings on the new access before making any decisions.