Grayton has lots of underground utilities including TV/internet cables, gas lines, phone lines, and electrical lines. Before you DIG please call 811 annd the companies will come out and mark where the lines are. There is no cost for this service.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Merry Christmas

Are you missing the beaches Of Grayton?

Click here.

What about the sounds of the ocean and those beautiful sunsets?

Click here.

The GBNA wishes all of you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Monday, December 10, 2007

December 5th GBNA Minutes

The meeting was held at Larry Jackson's house to be followed by a small get together of both present and past board members.

Board members Present:
Linda Eyer
Shirley Sahlie
Ann Morrell
Larry Jackson

Leslie Provow
Grant Blackwell
Jean Silva

Larry made the motion to approve the November minutes with changes to be made in the summary of our meeting with Cindy Meadows if necessary, after she had a chance to look over them and get back to the board. If no changes were suggested ,they would remain as presented in the November Minutes. Linda Eyer seconded that motion. The motion was approved by the membership.

The meeting was then adjourned so that those present could socialize and eat the wonderful food that Eileen Jackson had prepared.

The meeting was then reopened. Larry made the motion that board members submit any agenda items for the January 8th Meeting that they wished to discuss. The motion was seconded by Ann. All those attending approved. The meeting was then adjourned.

Submitted by,
Ann Morrell

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

November 1st Minutes

Grayton Beach Neighborhood Association Meeting

November 1st, 2007

The Grayton Beach Neighborhood Board meeting was held at Ann Morrell’s house on November 1st at 6 PM. Those members present were:

Larry Jackson
Ann Morrell
Shirley Sahlie
Jean Silva
Linda Eyer
Leslie Provow
Grant Blackwell

Guests: Van Ness Butler
Scott Covell
Joe Silva

Larry Jackson called the meeting to order. The minutes of September 26th were approved. The Treasurer reported that there was a balance of $16202.16. Due to our guests the agenda was altered to take up the following issue.

Easement Lydia –Banfill

Mr. Butler provided a site map and history on the Lydia-Banfill access to Western Lake. The area had been surveyed previously, but now there was some question of encroachment. Mr. Butler explained about the property encroachment fence onto a county street that runs down to the lake. Mr. Butler also stated that TDC representatives had agreed that the old dock damaged in the storm might be able to be replaced by the TDC. Mr. Butler believes that the TDC might still be willing to do the replacement. He suggested that we should get the TDC to survey the area. He was willing, along with Grant Blackwell, to approach the TDC to get the survey started by the TDC. He suggested that the Association should do a follow up contact with the TDC, after their meeting. Jean Silva agreed to do the follow up. It was also suggested that a clean up committee be formed that would go into the area and clean out the overgrown bamboo and possibly place a couple of benches in the area.

Beach Permitting

Mr. Butler also expressed his concerns on the commercial activity on Grayton Beach. He stated in the original lease that boat launch permits were not for commercial boats. The leased land was to be used by local boaters and not by commercial vendors. He explained that there was only 1472 feet of parking on the beach. He also explained to the group about his May letter that was sent to the Commissioners about trying to limit driving on the beach, by increasing the cost and number of permits issued. Mr. Butler felt that the residents of Grayton Beach needed to express their concerns about the increased traffic on the beach here in Grayton. He felt that the County needed to control both vehicle permits and vendors.

The board had sent a letter to Cindy Meadows with our concerns for the beach traffic on DeFuniak Street. After some discussion the board agreed to support the concept of a County committee to develop recommendations on the development of the Grayton Beach public beach. Grant Blackwell agreed to head up efforts to get the county to establish a committee to study the Grayton Beach public beach development plan. The committee recommendations would be voted on by the general membership before the association would endorse them.

Traffic on DeFuniak Street

Mr. Butler also mentioned his concerns with the traffic on DeFuniak Street as it endangered pedestrians and bikers in this area. Larry Jackson sent him a copy of the Board’s letter to Cindy Meadows concerning these issues. Our letter expressed the following:

“Our first concern is for the safety of pedestrians and bicyclists along DeFuniak Street from County Highway 30A to the DeFuniak-Hotz Public Beach Access. The current single paved shoulder limits the separation of automobile traffic from walkers and bicyclists. We would appreciate your support as we seek a solution. As the Grayton Beach public beach use plan is developed, the pedestrian-bicyclist right-of-way along DeFuniak Street should be considered”

Regular Agenda

Next topic of discussion was re-establishing our non-profit corporation with the state. It was advised by our two lawyer guests that we needed to re-file for corporation status and pay necessary fees. We were also told that we might have to file income tax. Grant Blackwell gave the board a web site where we could go to find out our status and information on refilling. It was moved by Larry Jackson, seconded by Leslie, with all directors voting yea that the Secretary and Treasurer complete the reinstatement application to Department of State. Ann and Shirley agreed to be responsible for filling out the application and submitting it to the state and also will file the 2008 Annual Report in January.

Larry summarized the group’s meeting with Cindy. (There is a copy of this summarization attached at the end of the minutes.)

The next item up was a discussion of the October Party. Due to rain, and many football games, and local activities going on, there was a very low turn out. Larry asked for a complete list of expenses for the October party. Shirley said she would have a list of expenses at our next meeting. It was suggested that perhaps a new date should be chosen in the future to try and avoid any conflicts. It was suggested that this might be a topic for our annual meeting to get feed back from the members in regards to the October party and input of dates.

The next items of discussion were the various projects that everyone had been working on.

Roads and Signs - Grant still working with the Roads Department.

Neighborhood Watch Program- Grant reported that he had appointed street captains and was working on sending out a letter about the program to all property owners. This letter would also contain an information sheet that each owner would fill out as well as information about the program itself. A copy of this letter would be provided to Ann and Scott Provow so that the information could also be put on the blog and web site. The only cost to those signing up would be for the sign that would be placed in the yard. Larry offered to help Grant with mailing labels.

Triangle Planting- Larry reported that he had received two bids on the new plants for the triangle. The board agreed to go with the bid from Toni’s. He also agreed to contact Lye Seigler Director, Public Works to seek approval to hook up to county power for lighting on the island. The Board members expressed concerns that the lift station area on the west side of DeFuniak Street, was all rutted out and overgrown and really made a bad impression upon entering Grayton. It was agreed that Grant would contact the county and see if this area could cleaned up and then seeded.

Logo Contest- Ann reported that she had found in her research that there was a lot more involved in getting a logo. She felt that our idea of a contest might have been too hasty. We need to have limited colors, the original needs to be a precise size, it needs to be a clean copy ready for printing, and we need to make sure that there are no copyright infringements. The group agreed to look into getting a professional done logo for the association to use.

New Business

Winter Newsletter-In planning for next year and keeping in mind one of our board goals was increased communication to members, the board agreed to develop a letter, an update sheet with project reports, along with Dues Renewal and a survey to be sent out in January. Our January Board Meeting will be used to pull this information together so that it will be ready to go out the 2nd week of January.

Establish and Organize Key GBNA Records and Documents- Ann offered to go through stored paperwork and organize it so that future board members would have both minutes and treasurer reports and any other key information in an organized file. She also said that she would burn key documents onto a CD for the association.

Membership Drive – Larry reported that the 2007 membership dues had been cut off as of October 31st. Any other dues received after this date would be applied to the 2008-2009 membership. He reported that in 2006 there were 315 listed Grayton lots and there were 167 lot owners that belonged to the association for a 53.2 % participation. In 2007 there were 249 listed lot owners in Grayton with 166 lot owners belonging to the Association for a 66.7% participation. At present there are 325 listed Grayton lot owners with 210 lot owners belonging to the association for a 64.7% participation. Our 2008 Membership Drive Goal is to increase membership by 5%. He plans to track owner lot percentage.

Develop Board Candidates for 2008-2009 - There are three vacancies to be filled, board members to be elected for 2-year terms. We will start looking for volunteers with information being posted in our Winter Newsletter and also on the web and blog.

Removal of Abandon Car- The car that has been abandoned on Pine Street for over a month needs to be removed. The owner of the lot had requested the removal several times to local authorities with no results. Grant volunteered to contact officials to begin the process of getting the car removed. (FYI, the car has been removed)

Next Meeting will be on Tuesday, Jan 8th at Jean Covell's home. If for any reason a board meeting needs to be called before that date, board members will be notified by Larry.

Submitted by,
Ann Morrell

Summarization of the Board’s Meeting with Cindy Meadows

As noted in the Board’s August 14 minutes, the board sent a 14 September letter to 5th District Commissioner Cindy Meadows requesting an office call to discuss ways the Association can help our members communicate with the Board of County Commissioners (BCC) as the Commissioners develop policies and plans affecting the Grayton Beach area. The letter expressed concern for the safety of pedestrian and bicyclists along DeFuniak Street from 30A to the DeFuniak-Hotz beach access. Additional topics included our work on county roads and signs to improve internal roads and our request for access to county power at the Triangle for seasonal lighting.

Commissioner Meadows met at her office October 17 with Larry Jackson, Ann Morrell, Leslie Provow, Linda Eyer and Shirley Sahlie. We updated her on our projects as noted above as well as the potential for a Neighborhood Watch program and efforts to preserve common area accesses to Western Lake.

We asked her where the county was in relation to developing policies for access and permits for South Walton beaches. She noted a comprehensive beach development policy was very complex. The county, through TDC, maintains 58 accesses and only 8 have parking. Compared to the other accesses, Grayton Beach has significant parking along Hotz and Garfield Streets as well as the permitted vehicles parking on the beach. She note d that the permitted driving on the beach made Grayton Beach unique among the County maintained beaches.

The county is hoping to get a Florida Scenic Highway designation this coming February for County 30A, including County Road 283 down to the beach (DeFuniak Street). With that designation, the county can apply for grant funds to analyze studies related to beach accesses. One of the first studies could be a parking survey covering the South Walton beaches.
Another related beach issue is the beach nourishment efforts. Currently, there are guestions before the Florida Supreme Court as to who owns the nourished beach; the public or the upland owner. The county is waiting to see the outcome of a State Supreme Court decision on a lawsuit on this issue expected in January. (Note:For the related issue of public use, see our BLOG post dated 18 November - Public verses Private Beach Policy)

She has been working with Walton County Public Works to position a permanently speed limit flashing sensor on DeFuniak Street south of the Magnolia Street Stop Sign. Reduced speeds would help protect pedestrians and bicyclists. We discussed some of the road conditions including the potholes at the corner of Pine and DeFuniak. She mentioned she's proposing the addition of a second paving crew to accelerate the paving process.There is one paving crew for the entire county. ( Since the meeting, the county patched the section of Pine Street in question. )

She also suggested we work with Lyle Siegler, Director, Public Works to provide the power to the Triangle.

She suggested we review any adopted Neighborhood Plans. After the meeting, we reviewed the plans on file with Vivian Shamel, Citizen Community Planner, Planning Department. According to Ms Shamel, there are no formally approved neighborhood plans. She noted that most Grayton Beach neighborhood planning issues were included in the various ordinances rather than an approved neighborhood plan. Example ordinances included height limitations and limitations on hours of sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages. (Note: Go to to review Grayton Beach related ordinances, a search function is available under “Ordinances and Resolutions”. Type in Grayton and the relevant ordinances will come up.)

Commissioner Meadows encouraged the association and our members contact her or her assistants in navigating the various county offices points of contact. Her aides, Victoria Katahara and Susan McDonald, 850-622-3059, are available to help.