A proposed development in Mexico Beach has some residents concerned

Mexico Beach has a plan for hundreds of new housing units but some locals and other city leaders are pushing back. (WJHG/WECP)
Mexico Beach has a plan for hundreds of new housing units but some locals and other city leaders are pushing back. (WJHG/WECP)(WJHG)
Published: Feb. 12, 2020 at 2:59 AM CST
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Many will tell you the sound of more housing coming to our area is a good thing.

However, some locals and council members in Mexico Beach believe a plan proposed by the St. Joe Company to use around 550 acres to develop around 400 apartments will do more harm than good.

Several locals and council members raised concerns for months about how apartments could back up access to the beach and boat ramp.

"In the summertime when tourist come in here that boat ramp is packed,” Mexico Beach resident, Rock Kreis said. “You cannot find a parking spot. It's just that bad it's all the way out to 98. So I don't see how that and the apartments using one access road can get together."

Some say the St. Joe Company should move the developments closer to Tyndall Air Force Base.

But some like Mayor Al Cathey said they haven't heard these concerns until now and they believe the St. Joe Company's plan is fine the way it is. Cathey said plan meets the needs of the community.

"They are trying to meet some needs that are relevant to Mexico Beach and Tyndall. When you can leave Mexico Beach and be at the front gates of Tyndall in 10 minutes. That's a big deal,” Cathey said.

Representatives with the St. Joe Company showed locals their 20-year master plan to build single families homes, apartments and other housing options in the city.

"What they have presented is something that I personally am comfortable with," Cathey said. "I think it presents the best opportunity for Mexico Beach."

Cathey said if the plan is approved, the St. Joe Company wants to get started quickly with Phase 1 to build more than 200 apartments.

St. Joe representatives say they plan to review all the concerns of the community and are look at adding extra access roads.

Council members approved the first reading of the proposed plan. The council will meet to make their final vote on the project on February 25th.

Copyright 2020 WJHG. All rights reserved.

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