Broad Beach Sand Project Might Eventually Condemn Beach Strips From Reluctant Homeowners

Written by on February 13, 2020

The nine-year effort to truck in millions of tons of sand to rebuild Broad Beach faces yet another challenge and delay.

The project has been hung up in court battles … arguments over who will benefit from the sand and how much each individual beachfront lot owner will pay.

It was nine years ago that homeowners voted to set up a special tax district … to pay to bring in new sand to what once was indeed a very Broad Beach.

The latest concept is to truck in thousands of loads of sand … on a 50 mile trip from a sand mine near Fillmore.

But last month … a judge ruled that the taxing process was not fair.

Don Schmitz is a property consultant who represents some of the residnts who are not happy with the current sand replacement and cost apportionment plans.

We asked him what the judge ruled.


“The ruling goes a lot towards how it’s financed and who’s paying for it.

“They still have a valid Coastal Development Permit approval but they’re having problems getting the permit … because they cannot meet the conditions … because they need 100% buy-in from all the property owners and they are not getting it. “

Ken Ehrlich is the attorney who represents the Broad Beach sand replacement district.

He says they will appeal the judge’s ruling … but in the meantime … draw up a new plan that he says will satisfy the judge’s objections.

This is called an Engineer’s Report … it is the legally binding cost assessment and sand moving plan.

Ehrlich tells KBUU News that the property owners’ board will consider the new Engineer’s Report in the near future … then send it out for a vote of all the assessment district property owners.

This will be the fifth legally binding engineers report to be voted on as the project grinds on.

On the other  side … Don Schmitz says the new report does not satisfy his clients.


“I can only tell you what I wish would be next witches for them to sit down with the property owners who have significant problems with the coastal development permit and the assessment and hammer out a compromise that everyone can live with.’

One major point of contention is that a small number of homeowners object to potentially giving up a strip of oceanfront property to the state … if the new sand washes away.

Fourteen homeowners are refusing to allow the state to take strips of beachfront away form them … for public access … if the new sand washes away.

Says the newest version of the Engineers Report:

“If consent is not granted by the 11 owners of the 14 revetment parcels who have yet to grant it for the CDP- required License Agreement or viable alternative, an alternative budget has been prepared that assumes additional costs should eminent domain actions be necessary.”

The latest Engineers Report says that the sand district may move in with eminent domain … to take legally seize that beachfront land … in a worst case scenario.

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