Neighborhood balks at county plans for beach access parking

Montigo path

Montigo residents consider it a shame to mow down the sandy path in order to put in parking that may not be necessary. “There are 83 parking spaces within 300 feet,” Tom Helderle said, pointing to Santa Clara and Bramble, beach accesses just a few streets west of Montigo.

Molly Mosher | The Sun
Published: Thursday, October 25, 2012 at 03:18 PM.


Using a right-of-way is the wrong way to solve the beach access parking situation, some homeowners say.

The county recently approved a request by the Tourist Development Council to seek requests for proposals to convert county right of ways on Montigo, Santa Clara, and Walton Dunes to beach accesses.

“We’re simply starting the process,” said TDC Executive Director Dawn Moliterno, adding, “it is a lengthy process.”

But though Moliterno says the project is way in the future, potential plans to pave Montigo Avenue’s quaint, wooded beach path are causing a stir among the residents of the street north of 30A.

Owners claim that, as a result of early 1990s legislation, the land is owned by Gulf Shore Manor, which extends from Barcelona Avenue eastward to Pelayo Avenue, and north of Elm Street in Seagrove.

“In 1992, the homeowners who lived on the beach around (Gulf Shore Manor) decided they were going to put a fence up and stop the neighborhood from using the beach access,” said Montigo resident Tom Helderle. “Basically the outcome [of the litigation] was that that was property owned by Gulf Shore Manor to be used forever as access to the beach.”

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