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Public Beach Expansion in Crystal Beach, Florida

We have good news for both residents and tourists in our area. The initiative to provide more public beach areas in Destin is one of the city’s top priorities, Destin Mayor Gary Jarvis said. Additionally, “Our tourist tax dollars are being reinvested back into the public beach so that we can deliver on the promise of the Destin brand and meet the expectations of our residents and visitors,” Jarvis said. In contribution to this, the shore at Crystal Beach Park is making waves! As of April 12th, the groundbreaking ceremony took place to begin the demolition of the townhomes along Crystal Beach Park. This June, expect to see a lot more room on Crystal Beach Park for visitors to enjoy. 

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The project is a partnership between Destin, Okaloosa County, and the nonprofit Trust for Public Land.  It has been mentioned, “In Crystal Beach, there is not much public beach access compared to Okaloosa Island,” county Tourist Development Department Director Jennifer Adams provided. “To have more access for families is a win for us all.”

The area will cover west and east of the shore at Crystal Beach Park. The parcel west of the park contains the five-unit, short-term rental Crystal Port Townhomes development. Both of the parcels to the east of the park contain short-term rental houses. While the city has bought the property west of the park and the one farthest east, its purchase of the parcel immediately east of the park is still pending.

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The project is estimated to cost 10 million dollars. Local officials earmarked about $6.28 million in county bed tax dollars (tourist tax dollars) and about $4.37 million from Destin's share of the local option half-cent sales tax to pay for the three Crystal Beach parcels that will be used to expand the beach park. 

Our city officials are listening and want to provide more beaches for our public. As each year goes by, more of our beaches are being taken away by those who have beach property in front of them. The city’s plan is to take back this land for our community as a whole! If you plan on visiting us after June, make sure you give the new area along Crystal Beach Park a visit. 

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