Beach Access Questioned
A Florida Property Rights dispute was the subject of a case before the
US Supreme Court today. The case could have ramifications to every beach
goer in Florida. The plaguing question is who owns the beach when it has been re-nourished.
In Florida, the law says the public owns the land on the water side of
the mean high water mark. Traditionally dry sand belongs to the property
Last year, Florida's Supreme court ruled against the homeowners, writing the constitution says the state has a duty to protect its natural resources and was justified in making the beach wider.
The argument over beach ownership made it all the way to the US Supreme Court. The Attorney who argued the case before the nation's highest court says Florida courts got it wrong, the homeowners are entitled to their beach, and the re-nourishment was unnecessary.
If the property owners win, they will ask to be paid for their land. Another option is the owner giving up the title to the enlarged beach. Such a decision could affect beach ownership and public access around the state.
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