PCB High Rise Still a Possibility

By: Bryan Anderson Email
By: Bryan Anderson Email

Neighbors call it a "PVC Pipe Farm." They said the Sand Cove development off Front Beach Road has been neglected for years.

The developer claims he eventually plans to break ground, possibly on a high rise, but needs more time. He's asked the city for an extension on his development order that will allow him up to 4 more years to build. Without the extension, he'd have to follow newer, stricter rules meaning no high rise. Panama City Beach Council members appear divided.

"Those decisions were made in 2004. Those people bought the land, started their development order with that already planned," said Mayor Gayle Oberst.

"No. If they don't build within the time of their contract, which they have another year, I think that they should be just like the rest of the people who bought land during the boom, couldn't sell it, went bankrupt, had to start over again," Council Member Josie Strange said.

City officials told council members they have 3 options- take no action and allow the most current developments codes to apply, offer 2 year extensions or 4 year extensions. Neighbors argued they'll not only lose their view of the beach, but they also worry about safety.

"It will make the street we live on a thoroughfare, and there are a lot of children in the neighborhood and we don't want to put them in danger," resident Sue Schmitz told NewsChannel 7.

The council's decision won't just affect Sand Cove. 9 other properties in Panama City Beach have current permits, development orders or agreements. Council members decided to revisit the issue at their next meeting in two weeks.


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