Neighborhood Fights City Hall -- And Wins

Opponents of a high-rise condominium project proposed for the Tarpon Dock area of downtown Panama City have won another legal battle.

Governor Jeb Bush and the Florida Cabinet have upheld and approved an Administration Hearing Judge’s recomm3endation to limit the height of the proposed project at the site of the old Tibbetts Boat Works.

The developer originally convinced Panama City Commissioners to rezone the property to allow for the construction of the 15 story tall building.

But, residential neighbors around the site objected. Hildreth Cooper and his neighbors challenged the rezoning, calling the project incompatible with the neighborhood.

Last month, the state Administrative Hearing Judge agreed, and recommended to the Governor and the Cabinet that they formally overturn the city’s zoning change.

And, that is exactly what happened at Tuesday’s cabinet meeting in Tallahassee.

If the developers want to go forward their next step would be to challenge the latest decision with the First District Court of Appeals.