Courts Okay Destin Land Deal

It would appear the courts have cleared the way for Okaloosa Walton College to sell some property that used to belong to one of Destin's founding families.

When Mattie Kelly died she left 12 acres of her family estate to the college. The family says it was Kelly's wish the school would keep the land.

But some months ago the college's foundation announced it would sell most of the property to a developer, then use the profit to establish a permanent endowment for the OWC Mattie Kelly Cultural and Environmental Institute.

Kelly's family sued to block the deal.

Last June a circuit court judge ruled the proposed sale of the land was not a violation of the Kelly's will, nor was there anything in the deed that would have terminated Mrs. Kelly's wishes.

The Kelly family appealed that ruling, but Monday the First District Court of Appeals upheld the circuit judge's ruling.

Okaloosa-Walton College plans to sell the property for just over $8 million, with another $5 million in matching grants.


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