FREEPORT, Fla. (WMBB) — An affordable housing proposal once again dominated this evening’s Walton County commission meeting.
They approved one two weeks ago for the South Walton area.
Developers hoping to build an affordable housing complex in Freeport weren’t as lucky on Tuesday night.
Patterson SSA put in the rezoning request for an affordable housing complex that would change the zoning district from rural village to general commercial on more than 28 acres.
The property is located on the south side of State Road 20, approximately 3.1 miles from the intersection of US 331 and State Road 20.
Nearby Hammock Bay residents were concerned it would just add to more traffic congestion.
“My concern is traffic, people are very short-lived in Florida, I have found,” a Hammock Bay resident said.
“With the houses and everything being built it’s going to be a heck of a traffic jam and this project here they are going to come over on Bay Loop and that’s going to dump more traffic,” another resident said.
Some residents even argued that it is being falsely advertised as affordable housing.
They said a development this large will have a negative impact on the area.
“I moved to Hammock Bay from Destin, I was trying to get away from this high density, development area and I think I can speak for all of my neighbors none of us are going to be thrilled about this expansion of activity,” a resident said.
But commissioner William “Boots” McCormick said the complex would help address the housing shortage.
“Everyone who sits here tonight and says they are against this project I can give you three citizens that have had conversations with me that say ‘we need homes,’ McCormick said. “We are not talking about South Walton short-term rentals we are talking about building homes for people that are here right now, not building homes that attract people, we have a housing shortage.”
In the end, commissioners sided with the majority of residents, which were against the project.
They denied the rezoning request by a 3 to 2 vote.