Santa Rosa Island

Escambia referendum may roadblock beach fee simple title

Escambia referendum may roadblock beach fee simple title

Voters in Escambia County may have barred Navarre Beach residents from receiving fee simple title following a referendum in the November election. More than 80 percent of the roughly 119,000 voters that cast a ballot on the issue called for a federal deed controlling the island’s ownership to remain in place. Read the full article […]

Audubon walkers explore beach ecosystem

Audubon walkers explore beach ecosystem

With cameras and binoculars in hand, residents and visitors trekked into the still-wild parts of Navarre Beach Oct. 30 during the first ever Nature Walk with Florida Audubon. Audubon Western Florida Panhandle Shorebird Program Manager Caroline Stahala guided the group through the conservation and recreational lands near Santa Rosa Sound and along the Navarre Beach […]

As sand slips away, county prepares for future beach restoration

As sand slips away, county prepares for future beach restoration

From the moment that the last grain of sand was piped from the last dredge onto Navarre Beach during the 2016 renourishment project, the shore has been shrinking. But County Engineer Roger Blaylock said there is no reason to worry. This is all just part of the process. Read the full article in the Aug. […]

Leaseholders call for added safety measures

Leaseholders call for added safety measures

Santa Rosa County Public Works has spruced up the crosswalk on Gulf Boulevard connecting the Navarre Beach Boat Ramp to the parking area of the fishing pier, and Navarre Beach Leaseholders and Residents Association (NBLRA) President Peter Birckhead is not happy about it. It is not that Birckhead dislikes the added flashers atop pedestrian warning […]

Navarre Beach remains public

Navarre Beach remains public

Gov. Rick Scott signed a bill last month that would privatize many beaches along Florida’s coastline starting July 1. County ordinances throughout the state have allowed for public beach access even on privately owned properties for decades. These laws are known as customary use ordinances, and they state that if an area has historically been […]

Two issues snag fee simple bill

Two issues snag fee simple bill

Fee simple title for leaseholders on Navarre Beach is just out of reach pending an agreement on certain issues holding up the bill locally and in Congress. In the most recent effort to put property ownership into the hands of the leaseholders, the bill introduced by Sen. Bill Nelson and U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz made […]

The Santa Rosa exemption

The Santa Rosa exemption

When the U.S. Senate returns to Capitol Hill in September from its monthlong vacation, the members will be considering national issues such as reforming health care and rewriting the tax code. But along with the big issues, there is a measure on the agenda that will directly affect only two counties in the Florida Panhandle. […]

Gulf Islands program shines light on history

Gulf Islands program shines light on history

Soldier re-enactors walked around dressed in attire they would have worn in the 1860s. Students who have spent the summer working with the Youth Conservation Corps spoke to the crowds that gathered around them about the history of the fort as the sun set behind them. Rain eventually did roll in, but it didn’t put […]

Fee simple bill passes House

Fee simple bill passes House

On Wednesday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the fee simple title bill advanced by Republican congressman Matt Gaetz, according to a press release from his office. The bill, called the “Escambia County Land Conveyance Act,” would give leaseholders on Santa Rosa Island the option to acquire fee simple titles to their property. Currently, residents […]

Williamson slams Holley by the Sea over stormwater drainage

Williamson slams Holley by the Sea over stormwater drainage

At the first stop on his third annual listening tour, Board of County Commissioners Chairman Rob Williamson took the opportunity to chastise the Holley By the Sea homeowners association in Navarre for its lack of drainage infrastructure. During the informal July 6 roundtable at Tiger Point Community Center in Gulf Breeze, Williamson, District 4 commissioner, […]

Fee simple survives committee without amendment

Fee simple survives committee without amendment

Never before has legislation to give Santa Rosa Island residents ownership of their property been so favorably positioned according to supporters. The fee simple title bill, entitled “Escambia County Land Conveyance Act,” has made it out of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. Spearheading the bill is freshman U.S. congressman […]

Fee simple title gains support in Washington

Fee simple title gains support in Washington

Legislation to give residents of Navarre Beach equal rights to their land has garnered a new supporter in Washington. Democratic U.S. senator for Florida Bill Nelson signed on as co-sponsor earlier this month for a bill that would allow fee simple title for Navarre Beach residents. Senate bill 1073 entitled “Escambia County Land Conveyance Act” […]

LOST direction found, committee still directionless

LOST direction found, committee still directionless

County Commissioners seem a little less lost on the LOST (local option sales tax) following Monday’s regular meeting after newly hired assistant county administrator Dan Schebler provided a less structured solution. While the past months have seen project list after project list outlining how the money should be spent each year down to the dime, […]

Eglin: Navarre Pass endangers military mission

Eglin: Navarre Pass endangers military mission

For years, the debate between supporters and opponents of reopening Navarre Pass has focused largely on the potential effects to the environment. Supporters of the pass such as the Navarre Pohlmann Pass Political Action Committee contest that the pass would clean the impaired waters of Santa Rosa Sound by allowing better water flow. Editor’s Note:  […]

Arguments over fee simple, Navarre Pass boil down to history

Arguments over fee simple, Navarre Pass boil down to history

While U.S. congressman Matt Gaetz weighs pursuing fee simple title for residents of Navarre Beach, a fourth attempt at such legislation, the discussion continues to be mired in arguments over reopening Navarre Pass. That’s because every previous rendition of the bill has been amended to include a restriction to never open Navarre Pass again. Editor’s […]

Pass interest renewed

Pass interest renewed

In July 1965, a man-made waterway was opened that connected the Santa Rosa Sound to the Gulf of Mexico across a span of Navarre Beach 450 yards east of Navarre Bridge, near the boundary line with Eglin Air Force Base. Read the full article in the March 16 issue of Navarre Press. Subscribe online at navarrepress.com […]

Gulf Breeze City Hall shifts gears

Gulf Breeze City Hall shifts gears

Gulf Breeze leadership will soon take on a new look when longtime City Manager Edwin “Buz” Eddy steps aside into a part-time advisory role and a successor is named to lead the 6,000-resident municipality. Saying it’s time to “turn the page,” Eddy last week followed through with the retirement he has recently hinted at. Read […]

Holley-Navarre Water wants beach utility for free

Holley-Navarre Water wants beach utility for free

  In corporate mergers, the deals sometimes include exchanges of stock, assumption of debt or cash paid by the acquiring company. But in Holley-Navarre Water System’s proposed acquisition of Navarre Beach Water System, the small county-owned utility would essentially be gifted to the mainland  nonprofit. “We won’t pay anything,” said Paul Gardner, Holley-Navarre’s general manager. […]

The legend of Billy Bowlegs

The legend of Billy Bowlegs

Stories about buried treasure have and always will capture the imagination of those possessing an adventurous spirit. For some, just the thought of buried riches is enough to quicken the pulse. More common perhaps than any other legend however are stories involving pirates and buried treasure. No matter the pirate, Blackbeard, Bellamy, Lafitte or otherwise, […]

Fee Simple Title legislation passes House committee

Fee Simple Title legislation passes House committee

The House Natural Resources Committee has moved forward legislation introduced by U.S. Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Fla. to allow Santa Rosa Island leaseholders to attain fee simple title to their property. H.R. 1452 would authorize Escambia County to convey certain property on Santa Rosa Island. It would also streamline the management of the island by conveying […]

House approves Miller’s Santa Rosa Island legislation

House approves Miller’s Santa Rosa Island legislation

The House of Representatives Thursday approved a bill, sponsored by Congressman Jeff Miller, that would require Escambia County to convey Navarre Beach to Santa Rosa County and provides an option for leaseholders on Santa Rosa Island in both counties to gain fee simple title to their property. “Santa Rosa and Escambia counties have requested legislation that […]