LUPIN UPDATE: Planning commission narrowly advances Inlet Beach development

Published: Friday, October 12, 2012 at 10:45 AM.

Lupin is the tentative name for the neighborhood of 3,000- to 6,000-square foot single-family homes to be developed on a parcel the Comer family has owned and visited for nearly 50 years. Comer did not respond to calls for comment, but a statement on Alys Beach’s website addresses the development.

"Our family had the great fortune of owning this property as far back as 1968, when Inlet Beach barely had six or seven homes," Comer wrote in a 2008 prepared statement to Alys Beach homeowners, seeking their input on the proposed development. "We spent the summers here, often without another soul in sight. My father was CEO of Avondale Mills, which owned Camp Helen at the time, and it was used as a summer retreat for Avondale employees. My grandfather owned three homes on this property, one of which is still standing today. That home is called Lupin."

The new neighborhood would ultimately demolish and replace the home, which sits on a bluff overlooking the Gulf. 

The plans for this major project have been in the works prior to 2008, when EBSCO Industries, Inc., applied for permits for dune restoration, completed between 2010 and 2011 with 600 truckloads of sand.

Conceptual plans for the development were unanimously approved by commissioners Larry Jones, Cecilia Jones, Scott Brannon, and Kenneth Pridgen Feb. 23, 2010. EBSCO and Comer then proceeded to seek permitting from the state, made necessary because the plans include development seaward of the Coastal Construction Control Line.

According to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, the DEP created the CCCL “to protect the coastal system from improperly sited and designed structures which can destabilize or destroy the beach and dune system.”  This measure does not bar Gulf-front development, but “provides protection for Florida's beaches and dunes while assuring reasonable use of private property.”

Structures can be built past the CCCL line only if they are approved and permitted by Florida DEP prior to construction. Lupin has yet to be granted that approval.

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