Location & Plans
The historic hotel and landing site of Old Town of Santa Rosa is located off of Highway 393 and 13th Street in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida. The approximately six-acre park would preserve the land for future generations and allow the county to highlight and share early Walton County history with both residents and visitors. Walton County is in need of additional parks, especially boat ramps. Providing greater access to Choctawhatchee Bay would relieve overcrowding at other boat ramps and beach accesses.
Let’s see a park, not this!
The present day density of this parcel is 43 units. These are the platted lots of record. The drawing to the right gives an idea of the outcome if the property was developed per the existing plat. The area is far more suited to a park and attendant uses than the currently-allowed use of 35 single family homes.
To make this vision a reality, we need the support of the Walton County Board of County Commissioners. The land owner, Waterside Investors, will then dedicate the land for the park to the Board of County Commissioners. Waterside Investors will also assist in and seek grant funds to cover the majority of the cost of constructing the park.
Park amenities include:
- A nature trail with education markers about the history of the area
- Boat and ramp dock
- Fishing pier and boardwalk
- Playgrounds and stern wheel boat play structure
- Picnic table and restrooms
- Tree house
- Scout lodge / community use building
- Community garden
- A separate area for boat storage
- Boat parking and public parking
- 24- hour security
- The Sheriff's office and Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance would have their own dock and storage facilities on site at the park.
Connecting the past to the future
The museum building will include displays showing the area’s history, while the exterior of the building will mimic the original Santa Rosa Hotel in style and structure. Other buildings on the property will do the same. The children’s play structures will resemble old shrimp and mullet boats used during the era of Old Town Santa Rosa.
A private, ancillary boat storage facility operated by Waterside Investors will be located before the entrance of the park to provide covered boat storage, a service not currently available in South Walton. The proposed storage would also include areas for surf boards, kayaks, paddle boards, and similar water-related items where storage and transportation is often a problem for citizens.
Day-to-day park maintenance and security will be subsidized by the boat storage operation so citizens are not required to pay higher taxes to pay for the regular upkeep of the park.
Please contact your Walton County Commissioners and tell them you want the public boat park at Historic Santa Rosa Landing to become a reality! Ask your friends and neighbors to do the same.
The land use category for the property will need to be changed from Conservation Residential 1:2.5 to Parks and Recreation or Institutional. Then the county would work with the land owner to acquire the park.
Email your commissioner now…