Development of County and Local Ordinances Designed to Protect the Public Interest in Florida's Coastal Beaches



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Florida Sea Grant


This report is divided into two parts. Part One addresses the public beach access issue. Generally, this part discusses public rights in the seashore, current beach access legislation, and the role of local governments. Part Two treats the problem of coastal construction. It begins with a discussion of the coastal environment and expands upon the role of local legislation and the legal problems involved in implementing local regulations. Each part includes a model ordinance designed to aid local, coastal communities in providing for public beach access and establishing restrictions on coastal construction to protect coastal dunes, wetland, and estuarine beaches. The model ordinances are not designed to completely inhibit all coastal development. Such an endeavor would be extremely unreasonable. Obviously, the rights of private landowners and developers must be respected. What is sought is simply that the natural beauty of our beaches be respected and preserved as well. In sum, the ordinances aim at sound land use planning whereby local governments can evaluate environmental consequences in advance of development so that a reasonable balance can be reached between public and private interests.


100 pages


public beaches, coastal zone management