FREEPORT — The question of whether adding a fence around New York is the solution to overcrowding was what the chairman of Florida Beaches for All asked Saturday night at a meeting on House Bill 6063.
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Overcrowded beaches is one concern private property owners have with HB 6063, which if approved, would repeal existing legislation that states there is no customary use of the beach in Walton County.
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And that would mean private beach owners could not post signs and erect fences to prevent public beach access behind their homes.
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"It takes away our right to use the beaches as we always have," Florida Beaches for All Chairman Dave Rauschkolb said of House Bill 631, which restricts public access. "This issue has far-reaching implications."
Some 30 people gathered at the Lake Club at Hammock Bay to discuss their rally at the Florida Capitol on Monday. About 75 people are expected to ride a charter bus to Tallahassee, where they have scheduled meetings with members of House and Senate committees that will address HB 6063.
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Three to four more busloads of people also are expected to travel from South Florida.
"It all starts with one thing: Repeal the bad beach bill," said Samantha Herring, another customary use supporter.
Walton County officials support beaches for all, County Commissioner Trey Nick said at the meeting.
"We‘re going to do everything we can to fight for our beaches," Nick said. "You have all the county‘s support."
County Commission candidates Boots McCormick and Sarah Moss also were on hand Saturday. Moss, who grew up in Santa Rosa Beach, said she is glad to see that the community cares about this issue.
"The beaches are very important to me," she said.
Herring said public beach access is a non-partisan issue.
"We‘re the direction of the beaches," she said.
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