Welcome to Rosemary Beach! In this issue, we celebrate springtime and new beginnings. We also are glad to acknowledge the foundations upon which our future is being built…
Our Vision, Our Future
As Rosemary Beach and the surrounding communities continue to be discovered by new generations and families, ongoing development both in and around our town will place significant pressures on us as we strive to maintain our small town character. The Board of Directors and staff of the Rosemary Beach Property Owners Association (POA) are taking a proactive role to ensure we are ready for these changes. Our Vision statement: “The town of Rosemary Beach aspires to be the best family beach community in the United States, driven by quality and excellence in everything it does. By preserving its architectural heritage, natural beauty and vibrant community spirit, Rosemary Beach will be a place that blends a tranquil residential area and active Town Center where residents, guests, and merchants live, work and play in harmony.”
That vision is rooted in town planners Duany Plater-Zyberk’s (DPZ) design for the community. DPZ’s design includes many traditional features that combine to create a sense of place that is unique to Rosemary Beach. Thinking about all that has changed since the first buildings sprang up here more than twenty years ago, among the low scrub and well before the surrounding properties were developed as intensely as they are today, it is refreshing to know that we embraced so many traditional concepts that are now being more widely adopted again. From generous porches and balconies facing the streets, neighborhood parks and pedestrian footpaths, and a return to locally-owned and operated restaurants and shops, our community’s pioneers sought solutions to community-building that would imbue Rosemary Beach with a timeless and family-friendly character that is today the hallmark of our town. Many of the more subtle design features such as the pervious street paving (in lieu of oversized, fenced retention ponds) and dark-sky lighting were also forward-thinking, and yet somehow manage to feel traditional at the same time.
It is clear that much of the success of Rosemary Beach is attributable to the thoughtful Master Plan authored by DPZ, one of the world’s pre-eminent New Urbanist town planning firms. Through the 20+ years of our history, this plan has continued to serve us well, guiding the many people in our community who have taken on the mantle of responsibility for ensuring that the vision continues amid the growth and maturity of our town.
30A and Town Center Project
The degree of our success and of the communities around us requires that we continually refurbish and enhance our town. The committee commissioned by the POA board to advise it on ongoing and special projects to ensure that public town elements such as lighting, signage, parks, landscape, amenities, and activities remain true to our vision is the Townscape Enhancement Committee (TEC). At the recommendation of the TEC, landscape architecture firm Dix+Hite has been retained to provide design services. The team’s most recent endeavor includes the 30A and Town Center Project.
One of the focus areas is Barrett Square, including the portion of the 30A roadway that divides the square into north and south. Daily life and community events have shaped this area to function much like an Italian piazza, serving as both the entryway into and the very soul of our town. Anchored by the post office, town hall (which also houses our churches on Sundays), shops, restaurants, and other businesses, it is the place locals and visitors alike go on ordinary days and special occasions. With the Farmer’s Market and other seasonal markets, concerts and community events, it serves as both a market place and gathering space.
As with many Italian piazzas, Barrett Square is pedestrian-oriented but of necessity it must also accommodate automobile traffic and parking. That’s why a traffic study is also a part of the 30A and Town Center Project. Making design and functional improvements that advance the piazza sensibility, while accommodating pedestrian and automobile traffic clearly and safely, is the goal of this area of focus. Property owners can find detailed information and offer input about the TEC and this Project on the POA’s website – we welcome your thoughts and ideas.
All that work to create and maintain wonderful public spaces brings us to mentioning the upcoming events that will happen in those spaces… we are excited about the great programs that both the town Merchants Association and the POA have in store for you this season. Please check out the calendar in this issue for a detailed list and description of upcoming events, such as the Easter Egg Hunt on Easter Sunday, and the 30A Farmers’ Market held every Sunday from 9am to 1pm, which features many locally-grown and sourced items.
As a quarterly publication, we try to focus the Rosemary Thymes’ content on topics of longer-term interest to our owners, merchants and visitors. As a compliment to that perspective, we also send monthly newsletters to the property owners that include updates on shorter-term issues and topics. The community’s websites rosemarybeachfl.org, which is maintained by the Rosemary Beach Property Owners Association (POA), and rosemarybeach.com, which is maintained by the Cottage Rental Company (CRC), are updated regularly with notices of interest to owners and visitors. The calendars on both websites are updated continuously and are available to all users. Take a moment to check out these online resources when you have a chance.
This issue also marks a new publishing team for the Rosemary Thymes, Ballinger Publishing out of Pensacola. We hope you enjoy their hard work and the new look of this issue.
Please drop us a line at POA@rosemarybeachfl.org and share your thoughts with the staff and the Board. We appreciate your feedback!