Bay County Commissioners take next step in possible Bay Point development

There's a possible development coming to Bay Point.
There's a possible development coming to Bay Point.(WJHG)
Published: May. 2, 2023 at 5:57 PM CDT
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BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - A controversial topic was dished up hot at Tuesday’s Bay County Commission Meeting.

County commissioners held a public hearing on what’s next for the Bay Point area.

The former Bay Point Meadows Golf Course gained a lot of attention.

Hurricane Michael heavily damaged it, and developer John Warren wants to make use of the land.

“Today [Tuesday] was the first step in what will be a lengthy process before any actual development starts,” Warren said. The plan as presented will now be sent to the Department of Economic Opportunity for their review and comment and then the County Commission will have a hearing later this year to approve the request. Once we have the zoning process completed, our focus will be on getting the new canals and residential phase permitted and developed first, then we will turn to the commercial development. This is a marathon, not a sprint. We appreciate the County Commission and County Staff working with us to fine tune this submittal and we look forward to revitalizing Bay Point and making it great again.”

However, local residents weren’t afraid to voice their concerns about it at the meeting.

“I think it will really impact the property values based on the environmental problems with the traffic,” one resident said. “[They’ll be] light and noise and all this stuff.”

“We don’t want this in our backyard,” another resident said. “Contractors may be doing classified experiments.”

Bay County Commissioner Clair Pease said the community already has a number of commercial properties.

“A lot of the residents don’t realize there’s a lot of that type of commercial activity in that area already,” Pease said. “There’s the veteran’s clinic, RV parks. There’s construction.”

Tuesday’s commission meeting marked a middle ground. Warren initially included an air strip in his project plan. However, after a couple of weeks of deliberation, the air strip is no longer on the agenda.

“I think we decided there will be possibly some changes in the residential and commercial, as some of it is going to be a zoning change,” Pease said. “The Navy and Air Force were not interested in having an air strip there, and I think the applicant certainly wanted that in the beginning, but he’s agreed to pull that off the table.”

Pease agreed something should be done regardless.

“All of these things cannot just sit there empty growing grass,” she said. “It doesn’t make good sense. It’s not good for Bay Point or the neighborhoods.”

Commissioners said they don’t have a set timeline for this item.