Article Courtesy of WEAR TV
By Renee Beninate
Published January 6, 2018
ESCAMBIA COUNTY — In mid-December a lawsuit was filed by the Seafarer Owners
Association against Escambia County.
The group is a homeowner’s association
for a condo in Perdido Key.
They don’t want a piece of county-owned beach property next
door to be open to the public.
It was bought by the county in 2013, but since then has been
"This is just someone trying to close us down because they
don't want it,” said County Commissioner Jeff Bergosh.
“That's the bottom line. Always rememberthey got theirs and
they don't want the public to have access. They want to keep
that area of beach as their private little beach."
The lawsuit claims the county’s board of adjustment didn’t
take the proper steps in November to issue a conditional-use
Homeowner's association files suit against Escambia
County over Perdido Key Beach access.
That permit is necessary for the county to begin
designing the public access.
It also claims the board made this decision without enough evidence about
Commissioner Bergosh said that’s not the case.
"We feel like we did everything right. We checked every box, dotted the I's,
crossed the T'sI think the judge will toss it aside, I don't think it will
go anywhere,” said Bergosh.
Doug Underhill is the only county commissioner who does not want public
access at this location.
"Each of the arguments that are made in the lawsuit are precisely the things
I told the board you need to be careful about before you move down this very
political road of 'Open Beach Access Four',” said Underhill.
Supporters and protesters have voiced their concerns to the commission
Opponents believe public access will have a negative impact on the
environment and the protected Beach Mice population that lives there.
"Building another 22- parking spot public access, another cheap access with
no other amenities is not what the people of Escambia County deserve. We
need a proper access on the island,” said Underhill.
We reached out to the attorney handling the case for the condo association,
He declined to comment and said the lawsuit speaks for itself.
Burgosh said if everything goes as planned the land could be opened to the
public as early as this Summer.