New Airport Land Use Plan Gets Another Nod of Approval

The Panama City-Bay County International Airport Authority has given its approval of a compromise agreement between county leaders, environmentalists and the Airport Authority on a land use plan for developing the proposed new local airport.

The plan, or D-SAP, includes a 4,000 acre site at West Bay for the new airport and 16,000 adjacent acres the St. Joe Company plans to develop.

Last December, Bay County Commissioners approved a land use plan for the airport relocation project, but then environmental and citizens groups challenged the plan in March.

At a special Airport Authority meeting Friday, the board voted to approve the compromise which has already been approved by the environmental groups and county commissioners.

As part of the agreement, the St. Joe Company will provide an independent counsel to Bay County to assist in the purchase of land in the West Bay Preservation Area and Bay County will update its hurricane evacuation routes.