After visiting the Emerald Coast for more than 40 years, my wife and I were almost in disbelief when due to a soft economy and a major oil spill we could afford a gulf-front condo in Miramar Beach. We took possession almost three years ago and poured our hearts into our new family vacation paradise.

Now due to the invasion of America’s brightest during spring break, our vacation home has been reduced in value and our ability to use it diminished. Not because of unruly spring breakers, but because our HOA has decided to enact new rules that limit the age of my family or guests.

My son will no longer be able to enjoy our vacation home because he is 20. No one can stay under age 25 unless someone older is present. In addition I cannot have guests under the age of 25.

This is not about renters, but members of my family. The Sheriff’s Office has convinced the board that if we can restrict owner’s kids from coming down, then the crowd problem will be resolved. It is sad that this new rule was passed by a large majority of the owners that voted.

I see all the exciting news articles about how we will have zero tolerance and the thousands of unruly heathens arrested this past break. Nothing said about the economic benefits these kids bring to the area. The numerous violations brought big bucks to the county and law enforcement got tons of overtime. So I guess job well done.

But I believe my area has been engulfed in hysteria over cracking down on these citizens.

My family is not restricted during spring break but all year. My son is joining the military in May, and I hope he does not experience a war zone. He may be defending freedom for this great country in a foreign land. Maybe some of our local freedoms need to be evaluated. Oh, and he will only be 21 when he joins.


Lou Holden

Round Rock, Texas