The purpose of Pensacola Beach Advocates, Inc. (PBA) is to educate and inform leaseholders, public officials and other interested parties about matters affecting the controlled development of our community and to protect the public lands of Pensacola Beach for the benefit of its leaseholders and for all the citizens of Escambia County and beyond.
PBA acts as a voice for the stakeholders on the Island. Members are kept updated on current issues facing the Beach through the PBA web site, viewpoints presented in the local media, occasional meetings and an e-mail network. While representing the majority view of its members (as determined by periodic polls and meetings), the PBA recognizes that some issues are complex and there are
many valid points of view that need to be respected.
Why Be a Member of PBA?
- Stay updated on important issue facing Pensacola Beach
- Get involved and have your voice heard
- Membership is open to all residents, leaseholders and those with business interests on the beach and costs only $30 per year.
Important Issues on Pensacola Beach
- Taxation of leasehold improvements and land
- Hurricane evacuation and re-entry
- SRIA vs. County Administration
- Controlled development of a Barrier Island
- Protection of the Island environment
- Preserving our sense of community
Stay Connected with PBA
You can get involved by:
Turtle Lighting Ordinance Update
Each year there are nesting sea turtles that do not come to our beaches because of bright lights, or hatchlings that are distracted by lights and crawl inland to death rather than toward the Gulf waters. In July, the County adopted a Sea Turtle Lighting Ordinance for Pensacola Beach. The Ordinance defines what kinds of lights are permitted if they are within eyesight of the Beach. Generally, lights must have cutoffs so there is no light shining onto the beach, or need to be of a low-spectrum color, like high-pressure sodium lights or bug lights, which do not attract the sea turtles. Also, white metal halide lights are prohibited throughout the island.
The rules are effective immediately for new construction, and existing residences and businesses have 5 years to come into compliance. At PBA’s urging, the SRIA and Grover Robinson will be seeking BP RESTORE funding to help residences and businesses with the cost of compliance.
PBA worked closely with the County environmental staff and the local Beach businesses to craft the Sea Turtle Lighting Ordinance. Over the next 5 years are Beach will gradually become more turtle-friendly!
Membership Renewal Online
2014 Membership dues are payable now. Your 2013 membership dues expire on 12/31/2013. Anyone who has paid dues since Sept 1st is current for 2014.
New members can join online on this website - you can pay online or a mail a check after creating your profile. Join Now.
How To Renew
If you receive periodic emails from PBA, then you are in our database. Your user id is your email address. To renew or update your membership at this website you have to login and view your profile.
- Enter your email address in the teal box at the top right of the screen. If you do not know your password, click the Forgot Password link. Enter your email address and the code displayed in the form. You will get a Password reset email. Follow the instructions to reset.
- Once you have logged in successfully click View Profile link in upper right corner of the screen to update your member/contact information.
- There is a button in the lower right part of the screen to renew your membership. We accept payments via Paypal. You can use your credit to pay your membership even if you do not have a Paypal account.
To pay by check, send a check payable to Pensacola Beach Advocates for $30 to PO Box 1262 Gulf Breeze, FL 32562. New members should include a phone number and email with their checks.
PBA Annual Meeting – October 21st
The 2013 PBA Annual Membership Meeting was held on Monday, October 21st at the Beach Community Church Hall. Members voted on a change to their By-laws, heard from Attorney Danny Kepner on the tax lawsuit, about Flood Insurance, Fee Simple Title, Restore Funds and an idea for improvements to Park West. Read Meeting Minutes
Fee-Simple Legislation Introduced to Congress
As you know, all our Pensacola Beach properties are leased from the County. Everyone else in the County owns their property, called fee-simple ownership. If the Florida Supreme Court rules that our land and leasehold improvements are subject to ad-valorem taxation, then the Escambia County has committed to provide fee-simple title to Beach leaseholder, so we will have a title just like all other Escambia citizens and businesses. However, since the original deed from the U. S. government contains restrictions on Escambia County’s ability to transfer title to any land on Pensacola Beach, it will literally require an act of Congress to change the original deed.
In August, U. S. Representative Jeff Miller introduced “HR 2954”, a bill to allow Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties to make fee-simple title available to leaseholders. A sponsor for the Senate is still needed to get the legislation into that chamber’s agenda. The process in Congress will probably take two or three years.
So IF the Florida Supreme Court rules against the leaseholders and says both the land and improvements are subject to ad-valorem taxation, and IF both houses of Congress pass legislation, leaseholders should be able to obtain fee-simple title to their property. The draft Federal legislation includes a provision saying that any profit the County makes on the transfer of fee-simple title would revert to the Federal government. The County’s current intention is that they would transfer title with just an administrative fee.
There have been several editorials in the Pensacola News Journal raising the question of whether fee-simple title will allow privatization of our beautiful beaches. The draft legislation specifically says “Escambia County and Santa Rosa County shall in perpetuity preserve those area on Santa Rosa Island currently dedicated to conservation, preservation, public, recreation, access and public parking..”
So our beautiful 8 miles of public beaches and all the other great public parking and access will be preserved.
PBA worked with the staff of Escambia County and Santa Rosa County on the language of the draft legislation, and we are please to see it finally move forward.