Sunny Hills

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Like everywhere else in this part of the Panhandle, Washington County is seeing its share of development.

Sunny Hills started about 35 years ago and many say it was hard to give away a lot in this development until recently.

"It actually came alive last year, within the last 12 months.”

With Bay County growing in this direction and a new airport being discussed, Sunny Hills may finally become what the original developers wanted.

Glen Zenetic, MSBU Coordinator, says, "We have 24,312 parcels in here for both businesses, school sites, churches, recreational facilities. It's a pre-planned city.”

A few years ago at the request of the people in this community, Washington County started a municipal service benefit unit.

Peter Herbert, Washington County Administrator, says, "It's an assessment against developed parcels in Sunny Hills. It's $25 a year, and that money is used to improve the area. We have resurfaced roads, improved the Fire Department and lighting on their main boulevards."

"The county has come around real good. This is a very novel concept to them. The MSBU, obviously you’re leveling the tax which politicians don't really appreciate, but once they [saw] the improvements, they really realized the benefit of it."

Sunny Hills originally targeted buyers from the northern states, but with all the growth that this state has seen, many are coming from south Florida and of course locally.

When Sunny Hills is completely developed it will be home to more than 70,000 people, and there are already plans for two gated communities within the development.