Panama City Beach leaders vote to remove height incentives, buildings must now be built to code

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PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Developers in Panama City Beach will have now have to build to code now that height incentives have been given the thumbs down by council members.

The Panama City Beach City Council voted to remove the incentives during this week's meeting. Buildings can now be no higher than 150 feet tall, which is 15 stories.

"Those incentives were something that you just can't enforce, you can't give somebody extra height for something and then take it away," said Panama City Beach Mayor Mike Thomas. "Our community is not set up to fight those things and make people do them."

The city will also welcome a new Busy Bee gas station. The fuel station is a joint venture between the St. Joe Company and Johnson and Johnson, Inc. City leaders said it's one of the first new businesses to come to the city since Hurricane Michael hit.

"We lost so much property value with Bay County because of this storm," said Mayor Thomas. "This will help property value at least on the beach, that tax money goes to Bay County."

The new gas station station will be located on Panama City Beach Parkway and Nautilus Street. The gas station is expected to have an approximately 13,000 square foot convenience store and 14 fueling pumps.

City leaders said it's expected be the largest convenience store in the region and the first of many stores in the northwest Florida.