Cocoa Beach Becoming A Private Beach?!

Can you walk across the beach sand behind a hotel? Or a private home? Or a condominium? City officials here on the Space Coast say the authority to make that decision has moved from local governments to the courts after the state legislature and the governor passed a new law regarding “customary use” on beaches in Florida. On July 1st, the new law will move challenges to the property rights of beachside owners into the courts and away from local governments. After signing the bill into law, Governor Rick Scott said it was necessary to keep local governments, which can be influenced by political forces, out of disputes over beachside property rights. But in Brevard County, it also opened the door for beachside property owners to stop the public from using what has previously been an entirely public beach. Watch to learn why cities along the Space Coast are contemplating settling the matter in court, and why they may have the edge over property owners here.

Author Credit: Derrol Nail FOX 35


On Thursday, April 5th our City Attorney recommended to the Commission that they consider adopting a recreational customary use statute for our beaches so that areas of dry sand can’t be declared private property. The Commission discussed it and unanimously voted to draft and hear the proposed ordinance. It will still need to be defended in circuit court.

Stay tuned!


18 Comments Leave a comment

  1. Wayne April 6, 2018

    Hell … lets sell tha’ whole damn state ta’ communist China !!!!

  2. James Russo April 6, 2018

    When I look at the plat and lot lines for ocean front property owners in Cocoa Beach it appears the owners only own to that line and NOT the mean high water mark as they might somewhere else. If that is so, then what’s the fuss about here since they would be unable to fence or keep people off a beach in front of their home, property which they do not own. Am I missing something here?

    • Lrj April 6, 2018

      No, sir, you aren’t missing anything. The high water mark means Cocoa Beach beaches will be minimally impacted. Not the case in other areas,though.

  3. Pete Sundstrom April 6, 2018

    So, is Governor Scott giving away land to wealthy homeowners of beach property?

  4. JT April 6, 2018

    So now when the next Hurricane or storm washes the sand away from their precious property, they can pay to have it restored. After all why should we have to pay to fix private property?

    • SW April 6, 2018

      And we do in our very high property taxes!

  5. J S April 6, 2018

    Right on JT. I was actually arrested years ago in Miami because I walked from the street through a walkway (public) to go surfing. The Qtips didn’t want me surfing behind their condo so they called the cops. I refused to get out of the water so they waited then arrested me for trespassing. I was informed that they had water rights.

  6. J S April 6, 2018

    Brevard County is getting worse. Some people have nothing better to do but call the police for B.S.

  7. Martha Chevlin April 6, 2018

    Go for a beach walk, then end up having to go around certain properties….might as well take a road walk instead of a beach walk. That is ridiculous. Don’t even consider it!

  8. Carlos April 6, 2018

    Please don’t destroy our Cocoa Beach

  9. Jim Grebey April 6, 2018

    Are these the same beaches being maintained with public money? This will be the cause of many incidents. Gov Scott just lst my support for anything he will ever want to do in the future.

  10. Walter Marshall April 6, 2018

    If this bill goes into effect, the citizens of Brevard should unite in a “Boycott” Brevard for vacation or tourism. It’s our tax dollars that have paid for beach replenishment for years, So in reality the beach belongs to all of us and not to those fancy stuck-up snobs that want to have a beach front property. In addition if this bill goes into effect, they property owners should be made to reimburse the County/State for the past replenishing. By the way, the property was stolen from the American Indians so title of stolen property cannot be conveyed!

  11. James Russo April 6, 2018

    The governor has three choices when passed legislation hits his desk. He can sign it, or not sign it and after 15 days it becomes law or veto it.
    This bill passed the Senate 29-7 and the House 97-17 making it veto proof. Think of Governor Scott what you want but this was going to become law one way or the other, with or without Scott.

  12. Sandie Lee April 6, 2018

    If they want to do that, then, NO STATE MONEY SHOULD BE USED TO REPLENISH THE BEACH. Use that money to improve the public beaches. They want a private beach, then they do the upkeep including replenishing them.

  13. Jerry Walz April 7, 2018

    There is no way, at this moment, I can express myself without using profanity in a loud shouting manner. so I will keep my mouth shut.

  14. c.b. April 7, 2018

    what i a point which people miss is that our legislatures have pushed this through and no one has paid any attention to it. my representatives are debbie mayfield and tom goodson. try to get an answer from these two is like hammering jello to a wall. remember folks, these are elected people. CS/HB 631 AND SB804. READ THEM.

  15. Katherine April 8, 2018

    The taxpayers money goes into Beach replenishment and nourishment so I guess us taxpayers can stop paying for Beach replenishment and development in front of these homeowners homes because if I can’t use the beach why should my tax money go to pay to replenish the beach in front of these homes I don’t think that this whole thing is constitutionally correct maybe the public can sue the state for the tax money that was spent in front of these homes

  16. R. D. April 11, 2018

    Last year the City of Cocoa Beach decided to claim areas on the public beach and make it their commercial property to charge venders to rent this areas and allowing sheds on the beach too. When these venders are fully set up the public is restricted from those areas unless you pay. Now if anyone should pay back the cost for the refurbishment should be the City and those venders. They’re the ones reaping the benefits free of charge. If not then let the beach front owners take possession increase their property taxes and let them open rentals or other commercial services. I believe the best solution is keep the beaches free for public use only and get rid of these sheds and all the leases that the City of Cocoa Beach has with these venders.

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