New Senior Affordable Housing In Panama City?

Staff Photo: Jason Braverman
Montine Wilson, a resident at Ashton Senior Living in Lawrenceville, was born in 1910 and turns 100 years old today. Wilson, who’s never driven an automobile, bides her time these days with “Wheel of Fortune,” “Jeopardy” and a boatload of daytime soaps.
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Bay County- The Arbour Valley Development company wants to build affordable senior housing in Panama City.

The land is on the corner of 13th Street and Wood Avenue.

It's nearly ten acres of woods and fields that were previously used for baseball and soccer games, but soon the land could be the new home for seniors.

"I understand there is a need for senior affordable housing. What I've seen from this organization, they do a very attractive model lay out," said Mayor Scott Clemons.

The topic was brought up at the last Panama City Commission meeting and not everyone was thrilled with the idea.

Commissioner Billy Rader says he's not against the affordable housing, but he's just not sure that this property is the place for it.

Since the land is near two schools, Raider says he would like a traffic study done on Balboa Avenue, but traffic isn't his only concern.

"Right across from this property is affordable housing. Behind me is the Royal Place apartments which is affordable housing and we'd just be putting more affordable housing in the middle of all of it," said Rader.

When I asked him what he wants to use the land for, Rader says to use it for what it's equipped for.

"I wish there was a way that the county could purchase this land or maybe the city or maybe jointly and have a beautiful soccer complex or sports complex."

Still, some think that senior affordable housing would work well with the community.

"It appears to be that it would be a good fit. If there are concerns, we'd like people to let us know about that, but it appears that there's a need," said Mayor Clemons.

This is on the agenda for Tuesday's Panama City Commission meeting.

Panama City's Planning Board voted to recommend that the commission adopt the request as presented.

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