Commissioner Dave Piech

Dog beach on hold; voluntary license program passes

Dog beach on hold; voluntary license program passes

Santa Rosa County commissioners approved a revamp of the county’s animal control ordinances Sept. 12 during a public hearing in Milton, but those changes did not include the creation of an area for leashed dogs on Navarre Beach. The dog beach area was originally proposed in August to be located along the Santa Rosa Sound […]

Improvements recommended for building process

Improvements recommended for building process

Amid continued complaints from small-business owners, County Commissioner Bob Cole called for some accounting in the planning and building departments Monday during the board’s regularly scheduled meeting. Cole pointed to reports of lengthy delays, continued confusion and changing expectations from projects seeking to get off the ground.   Read the full article in the Sept. […]

Time is money, and Santa Rosa’s wasting it

Time is money, and Santa Rosa’s wasting it

Time is money. The phrase popularized in 1748 by Benjamin Franklin rings all too true more than 270 years later. For the entrepreneur of Santa Rosa County, opening a business here continues to cost time and money. And lots of it. We hear horror stories of site plans that went missing, of costly changes to […]

Small businesses struggle to launch in Santa Rosa

Small businesses struggle to launch in Santa Rosa

Booming construction throughout the region has translated to even more strain on Santa Rosa County’s building department. And for small businesses trying to capture a piece of the economic gold rush that means even more hurdles.   Read the full article in the Sept. 5 issue of Navarre Press. Visit navarrepress.com/subscribe to view subscription options […]

Three options offered for Navarre Community Access Road

Three options offered for Navarre Community Access Road

Do not call it an alternative U.S. Highway 98. The Navarre Community Access Road was never meant to be a relief valve for Navarre’s crowded main corridor, according to county officials. Instead, Santa Rosa County spent the past 20 months studying how to improve roadways already impacted by diverted traffic.   Read the full article […]

Little Caesars is now open

Little Caesars is now open

After more than a year of work, businessman Brian Wood’s cheesy dream for Navarre has become a reality. Rapid-ready, pizza-to-go franchise Little Caesars opened its doors on a new Navarre location Aug. 21 with a celebratory ribbon cutting hosted by the Navarre Beach Area Chamber of Commerce.   Read the full article in the Aug. […]

Camden Drive stormwater project complete

Camden Drive stormwater project complete

Construction is complete on $1.1 million in stormwater improvements for the Camden Drive Outfall Project Phase I in the Holley by the Sea subdivision in Navarre. The project was designed to improve stormwater conveyance and water quality of adjacent wetlands.   Read the full article in the Aug. 22 issue of Navarre Press. Visit navarrepress.com/subscribe […]

County advances Navarre dog beach plan

County advances Navarre dog beach plan

County commissioners moved forward Monday with a proposal to allow dogs on a portion of Navarre Beach’s Santa Rosa Sound coastline. Under the proposed ordinance, owners would pay an annual fee of $30 to allow their dogs on a stretch of the beach near the water tower on White Sands Boulevard between 4 p.m. and […]

South Santa Rosa receives award for disability inclusion, independence

South Santa Rosa receives award for disability inclusion, independence

It started around a cafeteria lunch table. Years ago, a handful of parents of children with physical, developmental and intellectual disabilities in south Santa Rosa County conferred together at Navarre High School, united by concern for the future.   Read the full article in the Aug. 1 issue of Navarre Press. Visit navarrepress.com/subscribe to view […]

Residents fed up with Waste Pro

Residents fed up with Waste Pro

When county commissioners called Waste Pro to account last month for mounting complaints about yard waste not being picked up, improper bagging and bundling was named as one of the causes. The sole franchised waste hauler for south Santa Rosa County said yard waste was going uncollected because customers had been leaving limbs too large […]

If it passes… Transportation tops the list for sales tax

If it passes… Transportation tops the list for sales tax

Santa Rosa County has proposed replacing the current half-cent local sales tax, set to expire in 2021, with a one-cent sales tax for 10 years. Voters will have a chance to approve or deny the tax on a special ballot Oct. 8.   Read the full article in the July 25 issue of Navarre Press. […]

Pier deck replacement approved

Pier deck replacement approved

After months of bright orange plywood patches greeting Navarre Beach Fishing Pier visitors, the Board of County Commissioners approved a $1.16 million project to replace the pier’s entire deck. The approval July 11 comes after a previous failed attempt to secure a contractor for the work.   Read the full article in the July 18 […]

Lease finally on the table for effluent disposal at Eglin

Lease finally on the table for effluent disposal at Eglin

Santa Rosa County’s elusive deal for moving treated effluent out of Santa Rosa Sound and onto Eglin Air Force Base property took a huge step forward Monday. County Engineer Roger Blaylock presented the Board of County Commissioners with Eglin’s proposed lease agreement for roughly 200 acres to build a Rapid Infiltration Basin System for treatment […]

Navarre incorporation needs 2,600 petition signatures

Navarre incorporation needs 2,600 petition signatures

The rules of engagement are taking shape for revival of the Navarre incorporation effort, even if information on what that will look like is hard to come by. Navarre Area United Political Action Committee (PAC) leader Jonathan Cole went before the Board of County Commissioners Monday to set the parameters for a petition effort. If […]

If it passes… County sets goals for potential $165 million sales tax revenue

If it passes…  County sets goals for potential $165 million sales tax revenue

Santa Rosa County commissioners have already divvied up most of the $165 million of sales tax revenue expected to come in between 2020 and 2030. But that hinges on voters allowing the tax.   Read the full article in the July 4 issue of Navarre Press. Visit navarrepress.com/subscribe to view subscription options – or click […]

Waste Pro under scrutiny, recycling in limbo

Waste Pro under scrutiny, recycling in limbo

Continued complaints against south Santa Rosa waste hauling contractor Waste Pro prompted the Board of County Commissioners to call for answers. Division Manager Rick Chancey addressed the commissioners’ concerns June 27 during the board’s regular meeting. He acknowledged that the company had difficulties for several months in serving its 23,001 customers.   Read the full […]

Navarre Beach dog park gains county support

Navarre Beach dog park gains county support

The long-sought after Navarre dog beach concept may be on the horizon after Monday’s Board of County Commissioners meeting. County staff have put forward a draft ordinance change to allow, among other things, a section of Navarre Beach sound side to go to the dogs, at least between the hours of 4 p.m. and 8 […]

New courthouse taking shape

New courthouse taking shape

Santa Rosa County Commissioners are not yet picking out paint colors or curtains for a new Santa Rosa County Courthouse, but they have selected the shape of the new building. With a large landscaped plaza area to one side, the entrance to the new three-story judicial building would have soaring windows with large pillar-like supports. […]

County gets to down to business with StRIVE

County gets to down to business with StRIVE

Businesses across Santa Rosa County are set to get a facelift thanks to the first round of StRIVE grants set for approval this week. The StRIVE (Santa Rosa Improvement Vitalization Enterprise) program was proposed by Chairman Sam Parker in January.     Read the full article in the June 27 issue of Navarre Press. Visit […]

County cuts ribbon on new Gulf side pavilion complex

County cuts ribbon on new Gulf side pavilion complex

County and state officials cut the ribbon Tuesday on new ADA-friendly pavilions, restroom facilities with showers, parking spaces and other much-anticipated enhancements in Navarre Beach Marine Park. The ribbon cutting marked the end of a multimillion-dollar project with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to bring updated amenities to the marine park. Read the full […]

Paradise gets tourism council thumbs-up

Paradise gets tourism council thumbs-up

Paradise Advertising has likely secured yet another three years of representing Santa Rosa County’s tourism image and the more than $750,000 annually that comes with it. The St. Petersburg-based destination advertising and marketing firm was put forward unanimously as the top pick by a selection committee of local tourism professionals after a competitive request for […]

New Santa Rosa Medical Center open

New Santa Rosa Medical Center open

Santa Rosa Medical Center’s Dr. Robert Dimick, Dr. Tayisha Vilceus, Dr. Michael Barber, Dr. Sarah Skelly, Monica Vitale, MA, Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Danielle Ostrowski, Office Coordinator Beth Cover, Practice Director Nichole Butts, LPN Sharon Yeomans and Physician Assistant Charles Windfelder, Jr. celebrated an open house Saturday for their new facility at the corner of […]

Santa Rosa not so small business friendly

Santa Rosa not so small business friendly

When Ken Walters prepared to open the Grey Tap Room in Navarre, he went through the proper county processes. He said he wanted to be sure to do things the right way. Walters got approved site plans after months of back and forth with county staff, and planted the trees as required from his plan […]

County needs change from within

County needs change from within

When it comes to the process of opening a business in Santa Rosa County, the county staff should look at themselves, as a whole, in the mirror. That is where the change must start. At the small-business roundtable hosted by the Navarre Beach Area Chamber and Small Business Development Council of UWF, we listened to […]

Overruling Zoning Board, county OKs RV exception

Overruling Zoning Board, county OKs RV exception

The Board of County Commissioners went against the recommendation of the Zoning Board and the complaints of neighbors May 23 to grant a resident’s request to allow RV parking in his front yard because of a medical hardship. Doug Walborn applied for a special exception to the county code to allow his ailing mother to […]

Navarre Beach Fire set for special election

Navarre Beach Fire set for special election

Navarre Beach Fire Rescue will be on the special election ballot in August seeking to become a special fire district. The issue was brought before the Board of County Commissioners Monday. Fire board member Ben Boyd said they wanted to get the nonbinding referendum of the special election ballot, otherwise it would have to wait […]

Pier patches to get a touch up

Pier patches to get a touch up

While the actual redecking of the Navarre Beach Fishing Pier is potentially months away, replacing 121 bright orange plywood patches could be underway soon. County Commissioners said they were opposed to the current patches May 9 during their regular meeting at Tiger Point Community Center.   Read the full article in the May 16 issue […]

Navarre Park: Living shoreline vs. seawall

Navarre Park: Living shoreline vs. seawall

Once upon a time, seawalls were the law of the land when it came to erosion protection, but scientists studying the impact on shorelines across the country have come to a different conclusion. Seawalls are a high expense for typically lower return on investment than more natural approaches known as living shorelines. Read the full […]

Feather flags are safe for now

Feather flags are safe for now

Feather flags in Santa Rosa County may be legal, at least for the time being. After a County Code enforcement crackdown resulted in more than 100 warnings and 20 citations in three weeks, the Board of County Commissioners was seeking leniency in enforcement of sign ordinances Monday during its regular meeting.   Read the full […]

Santa Rosa to get county flag

Santa Rosa to get county flag

Members of Leadership Santa Rosa class 33 have proposed creating an official county flag as their community project. Magen Norwood of Santa Rosa Medical Center spoke on behalf of the class. “An idea that has been circulating through our class has been to create a county flag. We would like your input on it,” she […]