Edgewater Condo homeowners seek attorney’s fees

Article Courtesy of  NWF Daily News

By Tom McLaughlin

Published August 5, 2019

SANTA ROSA BEACH — Edgewater Beach Owners Association members have made good on their threat to seek attorney’s fees from the Walton County lawyers who are working to have the beach behind their South Walton condominium complex declared public by virtue of customary use.

Lawyers for the homeowner’s association had originally notified the county it would seek sanctions against its attorneys unless the county agreed to drop Edgewater from its customary use lawsuit by July 5. However, the attorneys granted an extension to allow county commissioners to discuss the threatened action in a closed meeting July 10.

Their rationale is simple.

In 2009, in an order drawn up to resolve a legal dispute between Edgewater and the county over the condominium’s right to maintain a volleyball net on the beach behind its building, Judge Howard LaPorte signed an agreement stating Walton County’s governing body recognized the condominium’s coastal property as private and agreed it had “historically at all times been for the exclusive use of Edgewater’s owners and guests.”

The homeowner’s association maintains in a court motion filed July 12 that it is owed legal fees because when the county’s attorneys filed legal action in December to declare Walton’s 26 miles of coastline to be public, they knew, or should have known, what LaPorte had spelled out in his 2009 order.

Edgewater Beach Owners Association members are seeking attorney fees from Walton County Lawyers.