U.S. Congressman Matt Gaetz discussed the future of beach fee simple title legislation and reopening of Navarre Pass with community members, county leaders and press Monday at the Navarre Beach Area Chamber of Commerce.
Gaetz fielded questions about the timeline for presenting legislation, protecting that legislation from amendment and the future of the Navarre Pass.
Gaetz said he intends to keep the fee simple discussion and the reopening of Navarre Pass separate issues. He said he supports both, and intends to pursue them moving forward, though the pass will be a longer term goal.
Gaetz faces some hurdles for the Navarre Pass including opposition by Eglin Air Force Base and Hurlburt Field. The base’s indicate that opening the pass would inhibit their mission. Gaetz addressed this concern and indicated he would be working to “deconflict” that area.
The proposed fee simple bill would give beach residents in Santa Rosa and Escambia counties fee simple ownership of their land, which is currently leased from the county. Previous attempts to pass legislation have died in committee when faced with amendment to prohibit reopening the Navarre Pass, but this version has language specifically stating it is unattached to the pass issue.
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