Residents against rental units being built in backyard

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One rental unit proposal is causing quite the controversy at a local Panama City neighborhood as residents believe it will invade the privacy of their home.

Royal American Developers plan to build a four-story high rental unit for mixed-income families. Now, this rental unit only has to be 30 feet from the backyard fence of Morrison neighborhood.

Residents of that neighborhood are angry about the proposed rental units moving so close to their private and enclosed homes.

What started out as land for commercial use, the city has rezoned and proposed as land for urban residential use.

These homeowners feel very misled by the original information they were given and say these units will bring crime and an invasion of their privacy.

Homeowner Chris Levens worries he will have to move now.

“We’re gonna have people probably look down on our backyards, we’re not even going to be able to enjoy our backyards anymore because there are constantly people watching us. and throughout all times of the day, the noise. That’s the biggest problem is the noise at certain times of the day. said Levens.

Homeowners in the neighborhood say they made significant investments to repair their destroyed property after Hurricane Michael. Now they are concerned their homes will be worth significantly less money when they go to sell.

“My main concern is the secret and the privacy of all my neighbors and the residents of the surrounding areas,” said Levens.

Another neighbor in the Morrison subdivision, Terry Carson said they have put over $10,000 dollars into fixing their backyard after the storm, not including their pool and patio.

I think we’re going to see a devaluing in our property in maybe could be as much as $100,000 dollars, could be even more.

However, City Manager Mark McQueen says these units are a necessity as the housing problem is still an issue in Panama City.

“The developer wants to go ahead and build an apartment complex, which is certainly needed in our community, said McQueen.

The next city council meeting to go forward with this process will take place on July 9th at the Government Center at 8 am.

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