PERDIDO KEY, Fla. (WKRG) — White, sugary sand and space to spread out is what’s attracting a lot of visitors to this little slice of paradise, tucked away in Northwest Florida.

“It always has been the rustic, kind of laid back beach, whereas Pensacola Beach is restaurants, clubs, big crowds. This is more like for families, getting back to nature, ecotourism,” said Escambia Co. Commissioner Jeff Bergosh.

Perdido Key might not look like much on a map, but once your feet hit the sand and you feel the calm, Gulf breeze you quickly realize how special this place truly is.

“The charm of Perdido Key is the fact that it isn’t overdeveloped. It’s not Destin, it’s not Gulf Shores, Orange Beach. It has its own vibe,” Bergosh explained.

That’s why Bergosh is doing what he can to preserve the place he calls home. Earlier this year, a resident reached out concerned about the way parts of the beach were roped off in front of condo buildings. Signs even warned beachgoers to stay off the property.

That’s when Bergosh started digging into the original 1957 purchase agreement, finding that a large stretch of land previously claimed by private owners was actually intended for public use.

“Put the county’s attorney to work. We started doing research on titles and low and behold we had 63 of these parcels that had 75ft. easement for public beach, so instead of cramming into these small areas we now can let the citizens park here and walk the beaches for a mile. It’s really been a game changer out here,” he said.

Those signs and roped off sections have come down now that the county has reclaimed 75 ft. of public access between some condos and the surf line. That move angers some condo owners.

“Many properties were no doubt purchases with the intention of having a private beach and probably paid a premium for that feature. I don’t know where the beach was in 1957 but with storm tides and some conditions on Perdido Key a 75ft easement might be on to the physical property of some of the condominiums,” said Charles Krupnick with the Perdido Key Association.

Condo owners are expected to fight to get their private beach back. Despite that, county leaders say they’re moving forward with projects so more folks can access, now public, beach areas.

“The board just approved $3.6 million in additional money and reutilized that money to buy more property out here to develop more parking and more public beach access,” said Bergosh.

With more visitors expected, Bergosh is working to deploy more safety measures before next summer.

“We’re going to have some roving lifeguards going up and down the beach. That’ll be an improvement because as you know we’ve lost some people to drowning. We’re going to do a better job of signage about the rip currents, the flag systems, we’re going to do all of that,” he continued.