MEXICO BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) — After a heated discussion from residents, a 554 acre proposed land development has finally been voted on by Mexico Beach City Council members.
“I think it’s just a wonderful opportunity for managed growth,” said Mayor Al Cathey.
The second reading of the ordinance for the proposed land development took place before councilmen voted on the issue
“What we passed today is a conceptual rendering of what the PUD will look like, but it’s not the construction of it. Now we did pass the development order for phase 1 which allows them to start with that 216 apartments,” said Mayor Cathey.
After a meeting earlier in February, St. Joe listened to the complaints of residents and came back with several changes to their design plan, including shifting over 200 apartments north, as well as adding additional entrances and parking spots.
After the adjustments, fewer residents were opposed to the land development, but not everyone was convinced.
“They have just one entrance, that just goes in and out. And both entrances will congest all the people at the boat ramp. And if you were at the gumbo festival, you will see if you put a trailer behind every car, that’s how congested it gets.” said City Councilman, Jerry Smith.
Mayor Cathey says the concerns of congestion are valid, but the Department of Transportation will dictate traffic control in that area.
“Obviously from the storm, we’ve lost a lot of our tax base, so we need new buildings, Tyndall needs housing, we need housing. It’s just a win-win for our community,” said Mayor Cathey.
The ordinance was passed adopting the proposed development but there is still discussion of adding additional changes to the plan, especially near the boat ramp and canal area.