An abandonment is where a property owner requests the County to relinquish, or give up, their interest and rights for the public in a particular easement, alley, roadway, rights-of-way, or dedicated area. Most dedications are provided on plats and deeds recorded in the public records of the Clerk of Court for Walton County, Florida. When a property owner is encumbered by an easement or road that is not in use or maintained by the County Public Works Department, the owner “petitions” the County for relief by abandoning their right to use the area in the future.
The Florida Statutes speak directly about the different kinds of abandonment, but in each case, the owner must petition the County Commission for the relief. There must be public hearings to allow adjacent property owners to comment, the owner is required to notice their neighbors by mail and public sign, and the decision of the Commission is memorialized in a resolution recorded with the Clerk of Court. This process can take as little as 3 months. A meeting with County personnel is recommended before petition is made to the department.