PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — For the last eighteen months, residents have expressed frustration over Oxford houses in Panama City.

During a workshop on Thursday afternoon, Panama City commissioners discussed their plans and gathered public input about a new ordinance that would regulate how many rehab homes are in the area.

The ordinance would control the distance between Oxford houses and dictate how many people live in the homes.

“We want to make sure that our neighborhoods maintain their value, that they’re safe and that there’s not a cluster of these in any particular neighborhood, so we’re going to be putting an ordinance in place to make sure that doesn’t happen,” Panama City Mayor Greg Brudnicki said.

Right now, there are five Oxford houses in Panama City.

Three of them are in the Forest Park neighborhood and two of those are within 500 feet of each other.

“The intention is to make sure that that we don’t have too many clustered together,” Brudnicki said. “So we’ll have a distance probably somewhere, we’re not sure yet, 800 to a thousand feet or seven lots away so that they’re not clustered together, which is safer for the people that are there and safer for the for the neighborhood.”

Forest Park residents showed up to Thursday’s meeting to express their concerns.

“We are upset, that is too close folks and of course, people need help in recovering from their problems, but does it have to become our problem? Please help us,” a resident said.

“It’s important that the houses are a certain distance away,” Panama City Commissioner Jenna Haligas said. “That’s the whole point of it, that they become part of a thriving community and neighborhood and they have great role models around them, so I believe that this ordinance will put in some level of protection on both sides, not just for the residents had already live in areas, but also for the people in the Oxford house.”

They will have a first reading of the proposed ordinance at their next commission meeting on February 14.