Walton County pushes pause on land purchases for 90-days


Walton County Commissioners have been in a buyers market, working to scoop up as much land for parking and beach access as possible but, that might come to a halt, effective immediately.

Walton Commissioners are considering pumping the breaks on buying properties. After talking about the number of properties they have recently acquired, the Commissioners are saying it’s time to reassess what they already have and make a plan for development.

“The main, I think is that we all need to step back and look at, we bought a lot of property. A lot of property in the last year and a half to two years,” shared Bill Chapman, Walton County Commissioner.

At first, Commissioner Trey Nick proposed a 365-day moratorium on buying land but, not everyone agreed.

“I’ll be honest, I can’t vote for the moratorium,” addressed Tony Anderson, Walton County Commissioner. “There are properties that come up, that are good deals that we need. There’s a process in place right now. No property gets bought by the TDC without our board approval.”

Making an amendment, Commissioner Danny Glidewell suggested changing the motion, from 365 days to 90 days.

Agreeing with that idea, TDC Director Jay Tusa said, “I think it’s a good idea. We need to take a little bit of a pause to see where everything is and then how we are going to move forward.”

Tusa’s marching orders are now to create a list of properties purchased in the last three years.

If a property is presented during the standstill period, Commissioners can still take a vote but, in order for it to be approved, it requires a 3/2 majority vote.

“We need to say okay now we’ve got it, let’s take some of those funds we would probably use for purchasing and develop them into something,” said Chapman.

With a few exclusions, the Gulf Garden will be left out of this moratorium due to preexisting negotiations.
Along with the two Eastern Lake properties that were discussed at the meeting before this issue was addressed.

With a 3/2 vote, the 90-day moratorium goes into effect immediately.

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