Code Compliance March 16 Hearings covers junk removal, vegetation buffers


On March 16, Special Magistrate Hayward Dykes, Jr. heard several Code Compliance cases, ranging from junk on properties to building into vegetation buffers.

Bryan Vance of 394 Powerline Road was fined $8,600 for an ongoing violation. A fine of $100 per day will continue until the property is brought into compliance.

Christopher Calder of 379 Dolphin Drive, Santa Rosa Beach, appeared before the magistrate to address an issue dating back to 2018. Thirty days after purchasing the property, Calder was advised that the deck was outside of setbacks. There are 21 other decks in this subdivision with the same problem. Residents are working with the Homeowners Association to replat the neighborhood. The Magistrate allowed an additional 60 days to either replat or remove the structure. If an acceptable remedy is not reached by May 15, 2022, a fine of $150 per day will be imposed until the property is brought into compliance.

Megan and Kristopher Grant of 22 Red Maple Court, Santa Rosa Beach, have an ongoing violation of junk, litter, trucks on blocks and inoperable, unregistered vehicles in yard. An Administrative fee of $74 must be paid on or before March 28, 2022 and the problem corrected or fines of $100 per day will begin to accrue.

Mary Hong of 19 Gulf Mark Lane, Santa Rosa Beach, appeared before the Magistrate concerning a code violation involving cutting down trees within a protected vegetation border and placing a shed within the border. In an effort to bring the property into compliance, she hired someone to move the shed but the county’s position is that it is still in the vegetation buffer and encroaching on legal setbacks. Hailey Bowler of Walton County Planning and Development stated that 4 canopy trees and 11 shrubs need to be replanted. The magistrate gave Hong 80 days to bring the property into compliance or seek a variance. If the property remains out of compliance on June 6, 2022, a fine of $150 per day will be imposed.

Nikki and Christopher Edwards of 145 Amaryllis Lane in DeFuniak Springs had a non-compliance issue related to two non-permitted mobile homes on their property that did not have the required skirting or tie downs. They had accrued fines of $29,500. Edwards testified to delays he experienced and having to pay to have a septic tank installed. He said he has permitted both mobile homes now. The magistrate reduced the $29,500 to $363 to be paid within 30 days. In the event Code Enforcement inspects the property and finds it out of compliance, the $29,500 would be reimposed.

Gary Towne of 109 Bunker Place Drive in Santa Rosa Beach was charged with clearing a parcel without a permit. He bought the property in 2005. At that time, it contained a small house. He intended to demolish the house and build a house for himself and his son. He hired a contractor to demolish the house and had a permit to do so, but faced multiple problems with drainage and contractor delays.

The magistrate said “In November, I gave you 90 days. You have not applied for a construction permit or a restoration permit. You were fined $50 per day which is now $1,601 in fines and the $50 per day will continue until the property is brought into compliance.”

Kendrick and Anna Hogans of 112 Blue Ridge Boulevard in DeFuniak Springs requested a reduction of fines. They had junk and abandoned vehicles on the property and a fine of $50 per day for 149 days had reached $7,450. The property has now been brought into compliance. The delay was due to health problems so the fine reduction was granted. The Hogans will be required to pay $150 within thirty days.

R.A.T.A. LLC of 60 McDaniels Fishcamp Road in Freeport requested a fine reduction for building without a permit. They were originally trying to get the property rezoned to commercial but were unsuccessful. They decided to build a residential house on the land instead. Due to the fact that they had paid for permitting, the fine was reduced to $213, to be paid within 30 days.

The next Code Enforcement/Compliance Hearings session is set for April 20, 2022, at 2 p.m. in the South Walton Annex.