south Walton

community council

Project: Cypress Lake

SWCC Files District Court Appeal

Cypress Lake is a proposed development located on the west end of 30A, across from Emerald Walk (Flamingo Village). It borders Topsail Preserve on two sides. Walton County issued a Development Order in December 2017 for a project comprising 141 residential units and two four-story commercial buildings on 22 acres of land.

South Walton Community Council (SWCC) and Beach to Bay Connection Inc. along with two area residents filed a lawsuit against Walton County and Ashwood Development regarding the County’s approval of the proposed Cypress Lake project.

In a February 2018 judgment, Walton County Circuit Court Judge Green ruled that plaintiffs could only bring complaints that dealt with intensity, density and use. The ruling was based on a controversial case (Heine v. Lee County) that has statewide implications, as it limits the rights of citizens to challenge development that fails to comply with Comprehensive Plan requirements.

The Cypress Lake ruling failed to consider significant deficiencies related to buffers and setbacks, including the Topsail Hill Reserve Sate Park buffer and the 30A Scenic Corridor landscape buffer. We believe these are important Comprehensive Plan requirements that need to be incorporated into Cypress Lake as well as future developments.

SWCC and Beach to Bay are pursuing a challenge of the Circuit Court ruling to the First District Court of Appeal (Case No. 1D19-0980). We submitted the initial brief in June 2019. Because of the statewide importance of this appeal we expect that “friend of the court” briefs will be submitted by 1000 Friends of Florida and the American Planning Association (Florida).

Why are we objecting to this project?

Simply put, we want the developer and the county to follow the rules. Walton County allowed the developer to ignore important provisions of the Comprehensive Plan and Land Development Code. Citizens who are interested in growth management and quality of life should be alarmed by this process which acts to serve the interests of developers and not the citizens of South Walton.

Specific Problems:

  • Incompatibility with surrounding neighborhoods; lot sizes are half as big, and density is double
  • No 30A scenic corridor setback – the 30A landscape buffer is a parking lot, with landscaping in the county right-of-way
  • Inadequate landscape buffers adjacent to neighboring community and Topsail Hill Preserve State Park
  • No sidewalks


The biggest problem is density  

Small lots, large homes, 5-foot setbacks, narrow streets, no sidewalks and inadequate landscaped areas all contribute to congestion.



South Walton Community Council needs your financial help for the district court legal appeal against the Cypress Lake development. Litigation is expensive.

SWCC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations and, thus, donations may be tax deductible. For more information or other ways to donate, please send us an email at

Donate Today!

Cypress Lake Donations

Collected: $1,550.00
Goal: $30,000.00
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