Owners Association appeals Sandestin decision

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DEBORAH WHEELER @WaltonSunDeb

SANDESTIN — Sandestin Owners Association has given notice that it will appeal ordinances adopted by the Walton County Commission on April 11, when the board approved Tom Becnel’s Notice of Proposed Change to Sandestin’s Development of Regional Impact.

In the appeal the SOA asks for a stay of moving forward with any development at the resort, and ultimately a denial.

On filing the appeal with the state, a stay on all building permitting for Sandestin Development was imposed. That prohibits the county from issuing any permits to SDI for any repairs, renovations, maintenance and development.

Separately, the SOA also filed a civil suit May 12 in District Court for declaratory and injunctive relief. That basically is a lawsuit against Walton County regarding the commission’s decision on the NOPC.

“It is my understanding that the lawsuit filed by the SOA is defining the same points (arguments) made in the actual NOPC hearing, which is nothing new,” Becnel, Sandestin’s owner, said in written statement to The Sun. “Prior to the Board of County Commissioners’ approval of the NOPC, two state agencies and regional planning approved the NOPC, despite these arguments. This means that the SOA and their legal representation are questioning the decision made by two state agencies, regional planning, and the BCC.

“As a homeowner in Sandestin, in addition to being the declarant/owner of the operations and resort component, I believe it is critical that SOA and SDI work together,” Becnel added. “We must ensure the vitality and longevity of Sandestin as it is a strong economic part to the Walton County puzzle, the largest employer in the area and home to more than 2,000 residents and more than 2,000 rental unit owners. Responsible development and ongoing rejuvenation are critical.”

Representatives from the Sandestin Owners Association did not respond to requests for comment.

SDI has established a website at www.sdiupdates.com solely for the exclusive use of Sandestin homeowners.

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