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Old 04-28-2010, 08:58 AM   #1
Drysdale
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Default Who owns the land?

Fuckers. Eminent domain is one of the worst-abused concepts in our entire legal system. It's gotten completely out of hand, and quite frankly, I'd like to see criminal charges leveled against politicritters who have judgements against them on these land grabs... Not that they're getting many judgements against them, sadly...

http://www.cowboyron.com/blog2/?tag=...ling-the-beach
he gentle, rolling waves embrace the white sand Gulf Coast beaches of Destin, Florida. But the quiet resort community, which likes to call itself “The World’s Luckiest Fishing Village,” is now a heated central battlefield over property rights. “The government is taking our waterfront property and making a public beachfront property,” exclaims Linda Cherry, a spitfire with a cause who would seem an unlikely activist. She and her husband Jim, both political communications consultants, own a beachfront home on an exclusive stretch of beach, and have become symbols of what they consider to be the government stealing their beach.
The issue? The Cherrys say their private property extends to the surf, which means the pristine beach behind their house is their private backyard. When the state deems a stretch of waterfront land critically eroded though, it replenishes the beach in an effort to protect against storm damage. The government puts new sand along the shoreline, effectively extending the beach seaward. Under Florida law though, all new land created seaward of the erosion control line is public property. It’s a policy that Linda Cherry says amounts to the government illegally taking property.
“The government is trying to take our private property to make more public beach to bring more tourism into the area,” she charges. “If they can do that, they can take anybody’s property.”
Several beachfront property owners in the area have taken the issue to United States Supreme Court, where a decision is expected soon. The high court is weighing the issue of property rights versus state law, and the drama centers on the white sand beaches that run for seven miles along the Florida Panhandle.
“We want to be able to keep our beach; it’s what we paid for, it’s what is described in our deeds,” says Cherry, who organized the group Save Our Beaches to oppose the state’s moves. “When we buy property on the beach we assume that Mother Nature might take our backyard. We don’t expect the government to take our backyard,” she says.
The city of Destin denies it is land grabbing, only obeying state law. “We don’t believe we are taking private property,” explains the City Manager, Greg Kisela. “We believe that we are simply restoring these beaches and creating new beach,” he says. “It’s not a taking of their property rights. If we’ve done anything we’ve given them free sand to protect their upland structures,” he says of the homeowners. The program is designed to prevent beach erosion and provide “storm protection,” not only for the homeowners but says Kisela, for “the roads, sanitary sewer lines and gas lines.”
As we talked, couples strolled along the surf past the Cherrys’ house, and they do not disagree with that. It’s the principle of owning property that is unfairly infringed upon, they say, and having their property no longer extend all the way to the water. The Cherrys also point out that when strangers pitch tents on their property, they are not allowed to remove them.
“Everybody in America who owns property needs to understand if we can lose our property here, our waterfront property in Destin, they can lose their property,” warns Ms. Cherry.
But the state sees it differently.
The case is about “protecting the right of the state to preserve critically eroding shorelines for public interest and to protect the existing right for the public to use state-owned portions of the beach,” notes the Deputy Communications Director for the Florida Attorney General’s office, Ryan Wiggins. She says rather than “a taking of any recognizable property interest,” the law “is a governmental ‘giving’ of enormous benefits to beachfront owners that restores, rather than takes or diminishes their properties’ values along severely eroded shores.”
One private property owner who supports the State is John Comer, whose family owns a beachfront restaurant, The Back Porch, as well as several other restaurants.
“To us it’s the lesser of two evils,” he says about having suddenly public beach front at the restaurant. As we talked, surfers were riding the waves and a girl was surf casting as diners ate lunch in the balmy breeze. He says if the state does not add to the beach, “then we feel like we’re going to lose our building … because we need the protection from the storms.”
The restaurant also rents out umbrellas for people to use their beach. But the homeowners are left with waterfront property that really isn’t. And Ms. Cherry is worried about the consequences.
“Can the government come in and take our waterfront property?” she asks. “If they can do that, then they can take anybody’s property.”
This is the second in the Fox News series, “It’s Your Land.” Have a land or private property issue? E-Mail Senior Correspondent Eric Shawn at: Yourland@Foxnews.com. Reports can also be seen Sundays from 10 to 12 noon, E.S.T. on the Fox News Channel. Save Our Beaches can be reached at: beachfront owners of destin1@yahoo.com.
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Old 04-28-2010, 09:17 AM   #2
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Ok, so let the property owners pay for protection of their beach and they can keep it. Seems like a reasonable solution to me.

These guys arent losing losing land, they are just losing beach front. Boo fucking hoo.
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Old 04-28-2010, 09:52 AM   #3
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I'm with DD on this one- these people paid top dollar for properties on the water. The state is stealing from them.

And unless the waterline has receded, they are indeed losing land. If I'm reading this correctly the state has drawn an erosion line (presumably some distance inland of the high-tide mark) and claimed all land from that line to the water as public. I'm not sure how waterfront properties are bound, to be honest, but I assume the waterfront portion is simply designated right up to the water, rather than some finite distance. Regardless though, the state has seized land that these people paid for. Hopefully the court rules for the homeowners, but in a state so dependent on tourism dollars, it wouldn't surprise me if the government is cleared on this land grab.
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Old 04-28-2010, 10:25 AM   #4
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Usually property of this type is owned up to what they define as a seawall. The state is protecting the seawall by adding more sand ( or land ) outside the seawall. The state is claiming ownership of the new land. Any thing in that article to dispute how I interpret this?

Ok, so assume you buy what i just said. The state has poured millions of dollars in to creating new land supposedly in an effort to protect the existing land from being washed in to the sea. In my opinion, the state should offer that new land to the existing property owner first ( at the cost it took to create it ). If the new owners cant or wont pay it, then it belongs to the state. Seems pretty straight forward. The property owners really dont have an argument since it has to be assumed that they would have lost their property without the seawall being created in the first place.

Now the tricky part. Was the property really in danger in the first place? Do we trust our science enough to assume thats a given.
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Old 04-28-2010, 10:56 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by ShardmoonVer.1 View Post
Ok, so let the property owners pay for protection of their beach and they can keep it. Seems like a reasonable solution to me.
That's exactly what I was thinking. I'm sure they didn't complain with "the gubment" was doing their erosion protection thing or offer to cover the cost. Can't have it both ways.
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Old 04-28-2010, 11:34 AM   #6
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So what (besides cost) is to prevent the state from simply building out the beach 500 yards in the name of coastal protection, putting in a road and a public beach, and cutting these homeowners off completely? An awfully slippery sand dune we're creating if a state is allowed to simply do some minor beach preservation and in the process take away waterfront from homeowners.

Were the homeowners offered the option to repair the beach themselves? I'm doubting it, but obviously I don't know for sure.
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Old 04-28-2010, 11:40 AM   #7
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Well.. every one got their panties in a bunch when Ted Kennedy fought the wind farms in Cape Cod. His property wasnt being touched, but his view was. I see this is as pretty much the same issue. Your land is your land and you should be compensated if its taken. I dont really care about your view or if its next to the ocean.

Off with their heads.
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Old 04-28-2010, 01:18 PM   #8
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The Kennedy thing was a NIMBY issue- the same as we see anytime a cell tower, halfway house, or power plant is proposed anywhere near somebody's home. This seems a lot different to me. Perhaps the fact that I live near (though not directly on) the water makes me empathize more strongly with these homeowners, but I can't look at this situation and think it's anything but the brazen land grab the plaintiffs have painted it as.
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Old 04-28-2010, 01:44 PM   #9
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Well.. i would say its different if something in that article said they were losing property. From what i see, it says they are losing ocean next to their property.
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Old 04-28-2010, 02:08 PM   #10
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I'm for property rights.

However, if the beach does erode and eventually destroys their homes during hurricane season...guess who will pay?

Shard's solution is reasonable, and thus: completely impossible for an endeavor involving the US government.

I predict the Supreme court tells them to get bent.
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Old 04-28-2010, 02:19 PM   #11
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They should find out exactly where their property lines are. I doubt "to the ocean" is defined on the deed filed with the town clerk. Finding the pins, however, may be a difficult endeavour.
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Old 04-28-2010, 03:53 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Veo View Post
They should find out exactly where their property lines are. I doubt "to the ocean" is defined on the deed filed with the town clerk. Finding the pins, however, may be a difficult endeavour.
Horm makes the point:
So what (besides cost) is to prevent the state from simply building out the beach 500 yards in the name of coastal protection, putting in a road and a public beach, and cutting these homeowners off completely? An awfully slippery sand dune we're creating if a state is allowed to simply do some minor beach preservation and in the process take away waterfront from homeowners.
The answer is: nothing.

And unfortunately, that's how it is. Beach owners, as much as they like to believe they are, are not subject to protections that normal owners aren't. You buy a house in the country, there's fuck all you can do if planners come in and surround you with suburbia. But a house with a view of the woods and someone can come in and put a wal mart where those woods were. My own parents bought a nice little place out int he country, a small neighborhood of houses completely surrounded by trees, a good five miles from any commercial property (this was when I was in Junior High).

Today they live half a mile from a shopping mall, 500 yards from the hospital/healthcenter, pretty much right in the center of town now with everything from about 30 restaurants, a movie theater, a shopping mall, home depot, walmart, target, petsmart, and a baseball stadium, yes a baseball stadium: all within five miles.

They haven't moved.

Of course they actually like the changes, and one of them is that it's a predominantly black neighborhood which has turned out to be a good thing, contrary to conventional real estate wisdom (turns out that a rural/suburb type area full of rednecks has a lot of unkept lawns and houses where people don't much take pride, whereas when black families in the new century start making good money and 'movin' on up' they are really proud of the homes they buy and tend to take very nice care of them and allot of pride in their lawns and presentation).

The point is, they couldn't have stopped the changes if they'd wanted to. You should have rights to your property, but where that line ends, sometimes people do things you don't like...like put down sand and push the water back.


A funny solution: pour enough sand to increase the beach, but leave a small strip of water as a ditch at the end of their property, so they still technically had "waterfront".
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Old 04-28-2010, 05:06 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Aolynd View Post
Of course they actually like the changes, and one of them is that it's a predominantly black neighborhood which has turned out to be a good thing, contrary to conventional real estate wisdom (turns out that a rural/suburb type area full of rednecks has a lot of unkept lawns and houses where people don't much take pride, whereas when black families in the new century start making good money and 'movin' on up' they are really proud of the homes they buy and tend to take very nice care of them and allot of pride in their lawns and presentation).
My best neighbors are the black family across the street. The Mexicans to my right aren't very friendly, and the white hippies to my left have 8 fucking dogs they let run around at night, as well as the automotive projects they keep up until around midnight not all that far outside our window.
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