Equivalency Matrix Lawsuit

Dear Seaside 1 Homeowner,

The nine Seaside HOA Boards have been asked by Seaside Town Council (STC) to vote on whether to file a lawsuit against Walton County regarding their 2018 decision to grant Seaside Commercial Development Corp an “Equivalency Matrix”. 

We’d like to hear the opinion of Seaside 1 homeowners on this matter before we respond to STC.  At the end of this email is a link to a one question survey.   

For perspective, there are presently three lawsuits being conducted (or proposed) by STC.  Accumulated costs to homeowners of these lawsuits are ~$1 million.  The three lawsuits are:


  1. STC vs SCDC Case # 11 CA 792 (existing lawsuit). 
  2. Customary Use Lawsuit (existing lawsuit).
  3. Equivalency Matrix Lawsuit (new proposed lawsuit).


Here’s what we hope will be useful background on the Equivalency Matrix lawsuit:

 Seaside was created as a planned community with a set number of dwelling and commercial development caps allowed by Walton County under a Seaside Development of Regional Impact (DRI) document.  Seaside was originally approved in 1986 as a 92-acre multi-use development consisting of residential, hotel, commercial, office and civic uses.  That was expanded in 2001 to allow 340 single-family units, 289 apartment units, 83 condominium units, and 134 hotel units, along with 158,530 square feet of office, workshop, commercial, restaurant, and other uses.

In July 2018, SCDC was granted a further amendment by Walton County granting SCDC an “Equivalency Matrix” for 21.86 acres owned by SCDC (essentially the commercial and recreational areas in Seaside). This Equivalency Matrix (EM) allows different types of commercial uses to be swapped within an overall cap, taking into consideration trip generation factors, parking factors, water-sewer factors and solid waste factors. 

With or without the EM, SCDC is required to get County approval to build out additional commercial units. 

Seaside Town Council originally opposed the granting of the EM to SCDC over concerns that additional congestion on Seaside streets brought on by new commercial development had not been addressed, and now wants to file a lawsuit with the County over the County’s right to grant the EM

We are interested in hearing whether you support using homeowner assessment fees in a new, third lawsuit over the Equivalency Matrix.  We want to know how to best represent the majority of Seaside 1 homeowners.