PCPD and CRA to hold community meeting with St. Andrew businesses and residents

By: Erica Rakow Email
By: Erica Rakow Email

It's a village by the bay with a big marina, eclectic shops, and family-owned restaurants.

"Just a lovely family community with a lot of history, some older buildings, nostalgia, and the beautiful waters of St. Andrew bay. You can't beat that," said longtime resident and Owner of St. Andrew’s Coffeehouse, Ellen Maplesdon.

It's downtown St. Andrew's, one of the oldest areas in Bay County.

"You've got people opening up businesses that grew up here as little kids. I'm one. We remember it, we want to create new memories for kids," said Maplesdon.

Maplesdon and other area business owners hope a working relationship with Panama City Police will help preserve the pristine image of St. Andrews. But right now, they have some concerns.

"Another problem we've had is people panhandling. As our customers come in the store we have to run them off. I believe there are people that are homeless that are living under boardwalk in the park and that's one of our gems in St. Andrews is the beautiful park we have," said Owner of Two Sisters gift shop, Angela Tucker.

Another big issue for all parties is loud noise late at night.

"Because of the residential area combined with the business district that they have down here, we're going to address that issue. We're also going to be addressing some nuisance issues that they've been having. Some disorderedly conduct, disorderly intoxication and the open container issue as well," said Sgt. Chris Edmundson with the Panama City Police Department.

"Communities grow that feel safe. And we believe that we have a good thing going here in St. Andrew's and we want to keep it that way," said Director of the CRA, William Whitson.

Business owners believe this is a step in the right direction.

"Our visitors like to come here because it's different. It's off the beaten path and we would like to keep it unique and friendly and safe," said Tucker.

The meeting will be going on until about 7p.m. at Truesdell park in the clubhouse on 10th street.

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