Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Beach Marine Makes Deal on Easement

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Beach Marine Makes Deal on Easement

Article excerpt


JACKSONVILLE BEACH - Beach Marine has acquired greater access to the Intracoastal Waterway to accommodate larger vessels, which city officials had opposed for fear that would harm public access to the nearby boat ramp at Second Avenue North.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has signed off on a "navigational easement" providing the Beach Boulevard marina greater access to the waterway, said corps spokesman Barry Vorse.

"We have granted that release," Vorse said Thursday.

The news troubled Jacksonville City Councilman Art Graham, who represents the Beaches and opposes the easement's release.

He thought Beach Marine had to do an environmental study before the corps could release the easement, which could have given him time to keep fighting the issue.

Last year, Beach Marine owner Ken Taylor asked the Florida Inland Navigation District to release some public easements around the basin so the marina could accommodate larger vessels and clear its land title.

In exchange, Beach Marine agreed to provide a 15-foot-wide easement, or strip, along the channel to provide access from the Intracoastal Waterway to the boat ramp at Second Avenue North.

That exchange is one of four conditions FIND imposed when it approved the easement arrangement with Beach Marine in March.

Beach Marine will also give the city the first right to purchase the property, which is good through June 2008 at an appraised value of $3.5 million.

Also, Beach Marine has promised to reserve 10 percent of its 90 slips for transient boat docking and to not extend its four docks within the easement.

Now that FIND has received easement documents from the corps, it will release them to Beach Marine, said FIND Executive Director David Roach.

"I think this is a win-win deal for everybody," Roach said. …

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