High Rise Hopes

By: Alana Adams
By: Alana Adams

The Bay County commissioners voted 4 to 1 to approve a zoning request from plaza commercial to seasonal resort two, which allows a height limit up to 230 feet.

Phillip Griffitts, the owner of the Sugar Sands Motel on the west end of the beach, was granted the SR-2 zoning last year for only half of his property.

The last county commission voted to allow SR-2 zoning on the south side of Front Beach Road, but not across the street.

Tuesday, Jerry Girvin was the only commissioner to vote against the re-zoning, while all three new commissioners supported the request.

Commissioner Mike Thomas says he does not want condos on the beach either, but it's not his say to keep those from using their property as it was originally intended.

"Those are things I may not like, but they're still a fact. I could never vote to take away property rights that they had when they bought that property."

Griffitts says he doesn't plan to build a high-rise condo, but that the consistent zoning would allow a potential developer the ability to build whatever they want.

There were several west end residents in the audience who spoke against the zoning, saying they want to keep high-rises away from the beach. This decision could affect several other property owners who were upset when the SR-2 zoning did not extend across the north side of Front Beach Road.


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