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Senators Nelson & Rubio Urge Passage of S.1073 (2017)

05/26/2017 9:39 AM | Anonymous

Senators Nelson & Rubio requested Senate committees take up and report to the full Senate S.1073 (2017).  The bill would permit leaseholders on Pensacola Beach and Navarre Beach to obtain fee simple title to their land.  https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/1073  It mirrors a companion bill in the U.S. House, proposed by Rep. Gaetz.  https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/2370


  • 08/06/2017 2:48 PM | Sandra Barker
    Escambia County would have to give up the land fees but the county's taxpayers would still be required to pay for the requirements in the bill? This land was given to Escambia County by the Federal Government for a reason. How is this good for Escambia County?
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  • 08/06/2017 2:50 PM | Sandra Barker
    Escambia County impact
    • 1947, Congress conveyed Santa Rosa Island to the citizens of Escambia County
    o “…to be used by it for such purposes as it shall deem to be in the public interest or to be leased by it from time to time in whole or in part or parts to such persons and for such purposes as it shall deem to be in the public interest and upon such terms and conditions as it shall fix and always to be subject to regulation by said county whether leased or not leased but never to be otherwise disposed of or conveyed by it” (Public Law 564, July 30, 1946)
    • Escambia County leased property under 99-year terms to encourage creation of a tourism industry. .
    • Escambia County homes that are currently sitting on LEASED land owned by the citizens of Escambia County will be conveyed to leaseholders, if they so choose.
    • The property can be disposed of in any manner after conveyance.
    • Developers will be able to move in, offering owners huge sums of money to buy up land in large blocks, commercializing large swaths.
    • Precedent of enormous concern is being set that all conveyances of Public land would become reversible
    • Any action to undo the 1947 deed is an effort to take property from the citizens of Escambia County, the rightful owners
    • Protected areas in Escambia County are protected under the new bill.
    • The entire island is within the Gulf Islands National Seashore boundary, per the National Park Service.
    Santa Rosa County impact
    • This bill conveys the land in Santa Rosa to that county.
    • There are no protections for currently protected land in Santa Rosa County.
    • Per the House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources, Santa Rosa County is considering plans to enhance a marina at Navarre Beach
    • The proposed enhancements include dredging a channel through Santa Rosa Island
    • Dredging could cut off public access to local beaches and have sizable impacts on the estuaries and wetlands that support wildlife habitat at Gulf Island National Seashore.
    o Not only would this destroy estuaries, wetlands and negatively impact fisheries and water quality, but it would, at the American taxpayer's expense, further destabilize an already unstable strip of sand, putting lives, private property, and public infrastructure at risk.
    • “Barrier islands form to protect coastal areas. They are critical to healthy environments. Intact islands are important protection from rising waters, tides, and storm damage, so artificially breaching a barrier island is rarely good ecological practice.”
    • The National Park Service, in a statement for the record on a similar bill in the 113th Congress, recommended several amendments to the bill that would authorize the conveyance in a manner consistent with Congressional intent. Those changes have not been made.
    We would appreciate it if you could not sign this bill as we feel that it is one sided, and that it is not in the best interest of Escambia County taxpayers. Representative Gaetz has shown he is part of the swamp, and we will do everything in our power to see that he is not reelected (R-FL).
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