Bay Haven weighing options after suprise vote

By: Meagan O'Halloran Email
By: Meagan O'Halloran Email

School officials at Bay Haven Charter Academy are looking for a back-up plan after Lynn Haven city commissioners rejected a zoning change that would have allowed one of their schools to move into the old Sallie Mae building.

After Bay Haven bought the old Sallie Mae building, the school had been fighting the city for a zoning change until last week, when the city's planning commission approved the change.

But at Tuesday night's city commission meeting, a split vote of 2-to-2 killed the motion, and stopped the approved land change that would have allowed a school to operate in an industrial park.

Mayor Walter Kelley's vote would have been the deciding factor, but he missed the meeting due to a family emergency. Tuesday's vote was very different from the 5-0 vote city commissioners made back in February, allowing the zoning plans to move forward.

"That rests with them individually. Those were the votes they made in February and the vote they made last night, so that rests with them, not with me" says Dr. Tim Kitts of the Bay Haven Charter Academy.

Dr. Kitts says the school is exploring several other options to re-locate its North Bay Haven Charter Academy, some of which still include the old Sallie Mae building. Either way, the school is set to re-open in a new location by 2012 or 2013.

The Bay Haven Charter Academy purchased the Sallie Mae building for just over a million dollars and is currently paying about $125,000 a year in upkeep while they try to get approval to move in.


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  • by Debbie Location: panama city on May 17, 2011 at 07:43 AM
    Yet another example of living in "Pay" county. Give them money, get their word and they still turn around and want more. Shame on this corrupt "old boys club" government.
  • by Fred Location: Lynn Haven on May 12, 2011 at 04:15 PM
    I guess the ones who changed their votes are still working with some companies to relocate to the building and if they stall long enough Bay Haven will just go away and Mayor Kelley having a "family emergency" is kind of a coincidence. I hope they are all proud of what they are doing.
  • by Just wondering... on May 12, 2011 at 10:27 AM
    ...there was talk that "if" this wasn't passed, then North Bay Haven would have to had some classes in portable buildings. WELL, back when Bay Haven began, they were so 'concerned' with getting the kids the BEST education, that they opened their doors as BAY HAVEN CHARTER ACADEMY and at that time, they had MANY portable buildings. Why would holding class in portable buildings now be any lesser of an education than they were offering back at the beginning? just wondering...
  • by Colvin Location: Lynn Haven on May 11, 2011 at 08:22 PM
    The two commissioners that voted against the change have their own agendas....too bad you are still in office!
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