Mill Bayou residents concerned over possible housing development to be built north of SR 390

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LYNN HAVEN, Fla. (WMBB)–Some Mill Bayou residents say they are concerned after learning a 462-unit housing complex may soon move into their neighborhood. The Lynn Haven City Commission will review a development order for the complex, ‘Arbor Landing at Mill Bayou’, at Tuesday’s commission meeting.

The proposed development would be located north of SR 390 next to The Villages of Mill Bayou down the road from North Bay Haven Charter Academy. Residents living in The Villages of Mill Bayou believe adding a slew of new apartments and townhomes will create traffic problems and place children at risk.

“Most of the concern tends to be with traffic because there is a big potential for it to block us in the neighborhoods to where we can’t even get out and go to work,” said Ashley Sowell, a Mill Bayou resident.

Sowell moved to the area from Southport last year. She has two children with Autism and sensory issues. She says adding more cars and loud noises to the area concerns her. She also fears the development will create congestion in an area that already has limited access.

“With 462 units, according to the FDOT’s trip calculator, that’s about 3,072 daily trips added on our road,” Sowell said.

Currently, cars can only enter the school and The Villages of Mill Bayou via one road. Each day, many children use that same road to walk to and from North Bay Haven Charter Academy.

“Safety of my child is very important. Somebody has to speak up for the kids, and I’m glad that I can do that and I hope that the city thinks of that,” said Christa Heptig, another Mill Bayou resident.

Heptig says most of her neighbors have similar views. They’re not entirely against the housing development but wish it was not as large.

The Lynn Haven Planning Commission is recommending the city approve the project as it meets all requirements and standards. But they’re encouraging the city to write letters to the school as well the school board to see if they have any plans to remedy the traffic congestion caused by the school.

“They’re trying to find a way to appease us and to push the problems onto somebody else and push it onto the school, I think that’s ridiculous, that’s just a scapegoat,” Heptig said.

The housing development will be addressed at the city commission meeting on Tuesday at 9:00 a.m. It will be held at the temporary city hall.

We could not find residents in support of the complex that would go on camera.

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