Attorney for condo complex to fight county’s stop order

Article Courtesy of The Northwest Florida Daily News

By Tom McLaughlin  

Published January 5, 2015


MIRAMAR BEACH — Walton County Code Enforcement has dropped its white sand hammer on Planning Commissioner Suzanne Harris and the Edgewater Beach Owners Association.

The county has ordered all work halted in the area around Edgewater Condominiums until a hearing in January to determine whether the complex brought “discolored material” into the county’s “white sands protection zone.”


The order comes on top of the association paying nearly $3,000 in fines to the state Department of Environmental Protections for violations incurred by constructing a sea wall without state permits.

Bruce Pekarski, a former Edgewater employee, accused Harris of acting as though the law didn’t apply to her.

“Ms. Harris is a district planning commissioner who should know and uphold the county regulations and ordinances,” Pekarski told the Daily News in an email. “Is it possible that she thinks she is politically connected and believes she is above the law?”

Harris said the seawall was built in an emergency after the late April floods caused roughly $4 million in damage to the Edgewater complex, which she manages.

She said county officials gave her the impression when sand was being brought in to fill in behind the new seawall that the soil color would not have to meet county white sand standards.

“We’re willing to do whatever it takes to comply with the law,” Harris said.

Harris said the complaints against Edgewater were filed by former Walton County Commissioner Scott Brannon, who she crossed swords with on several occasions.

“This is nothing but retaliation,” she said.

Harris and her attorney, Michelle Anchors, said they intend to contest the Code Enforcement Board’s allegations at a January hearing.