- Associated Press - Sunday, April 10, 2016

SEAGROVE BEACH, Fla. (AP) - Officials in Florida’s Panhandle are trying to define what constitutes a public beach.

In Walton County, roughly 900 coastal property owners are fighting demands for more access along 26 miles of beach. The county commission will vote Tuesday whether to retain a law firm specializing in land use issues to determine how much beach should be public under “customary use” doctrine.

Attorney David Theriaque, whose firm is up for the vote, tells the Northwest Florida Daily News (https://bit.ly/1qeXiIa ) that there is long-standing precedence for public beach access, and staking off property lines, putting up signs or building fences interferes with it.

Walton Tourist Development Council member Art Miller says he expects private property owners to challenge any implementation of customary use doctrine on beachfront property they bought for millions of dollars.

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Information from: Northwest Florida Daily News (Fort Walton Beach, Fla.), https://www.nwfdailynews.com

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