Residents speak out over proposed land rezoning

Published: Jun. 24, 2020 at 9:04 PM CDT
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Residents in the Woodlawn neighborhood in Panama City Beach are concerned after a proposal was brought up to rezone a plot of land on Bayshore Drive from residential to commercial.

“There’s a million-dollar house right next door to this and he’s going to be blocked from the bay if they build a monstrosity or whatever they want to do there,” said Vice-President of the Woodlawn Community Club Ken Karr.

At the Bay County Planning Commission meeting Tuesday, the planning board voted to approve the proposal and send it to the county commission, despite recommendations from some officials saying otherwise.

“Our recommendation for this proposal was to deny it,” said Director of Community Planning for Bay County Ian Crelling. “Basically we were concerned with the traffic it might cause into the Bayshore Drive area and also the fact that it’s encroaching into a residential area.”

The plans were approved with certain conditions to make things easier for residents which included restricting access to the lot so it wouldn’t use the residential roads.

Residents are also concerned over what could go on the lot.

Officials say some plans show it could be boat storage but the new zoning could allow for something much bigger.

“We’re not sure why and what they want to use it for, it’s not in the development order, they’re not telling us anything and they’re not giving us any information,” said Karr. “When it’s wide open like that there’s no control over it.”

The proposal will now go to the Bay County Board of County Commissioners for a final vote.

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