City and Developer Win a Round of challenges From Environmentalists

There's been a new development in the battle over developing some islands in Goose Bayou near the Panama City Airport.

Environmentalists and neighbors challenged the Panama City Commission’s decision last year to annex the islands and then zone them to allow a small housing development.

Local developer Fred Webb wants to build more than a dozen single-family homes on the Pine Islands.

The opponents claim the action was an illegal change in the city’s comprehensive plan.

Thursday, the Florida Department of Administrative hearings ruled in favor of the Panama City Commission. The judge’s ruling is a recommendation that now goes to the Florida Department of Community Affairs for a final decision.

Environmentalists and neighbors could appeal to the First District Court of Appeals in Tallahassee. The groups also have a lawsuit pending in Bay County Circuit Court.