Walton County Questions Proposed Ferris Wheel Project

By: Drew Steele Email
By: Drew Steele Email

SANDESTIN- Officials at the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort have been planning to add a ferris wheel at Baytowne Village for about a year and a half. They applied to the Walton County Planning Department for a minor development order. Now the county wants the resort to undergo a more extensive process.

"I started getting complaints from residents who own homes there. There are a lot of condominiums that look out over that plaza" said Walton County Commissioner Cindy Meadows.

Meadows says she has residential and safety concerns.

"So I started to look at it and i decided that it really needed to be reviewed at a public hearing before the board of county commissioners because i believe it's an egregious intrusion to residential enjoyment of property" said Meadows.

Despite Meadows’ concerns, Sandestin officials believe they've been in compliance with all of the county's regulations.

"Early on we feel like we made application to Walton County within the regulations provided. Some of the hold ups along the way have been maybe the interpretations of those regulations” said Sandestin Real Estate Executive Director Kitty Whitney.

Whitney says they've tried to all of the county's objections and concerns without much luck.

"We've made every attempt to meet with S.O.A and the county to be certain that we understand what the challenges are and what they're obstacles are. We're open to continue to work with them to be certain that everybody is following regulation and law and safety" said Whitney.

Commissioners have voted to discuss the ferris wheel project at an upcoming commission meeting.

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