Commissioner Dave Piech

Leaseholders reject county’s beautification plans

Leaseholders reject county’s beautification plans

Some of the planned improvements for Gulf Boulevard along Navarre Beach have been put “on the back burner” according to county Tourist Development Director Julie White. White said plans to replace benches and garbage cans while adding shade sails along the high-traffic portion of Gulf Boulevard are not moving forward amid complaints from beach residents. […]

Bed taxes show robust growth trend

Bed taxes show robust growth trend

In a fiscal year of high numbers for bed-tax collections, January saw a 41 percent increase in these fees paid by overnight visitors to Santa Rosa County. Bed-tax revenues for January, the most recent month available, were $133,265. Read the full article in the March 14 issue of Navarre Press. Visit www.navarrepress.com/subscribe to view subscription […]

Pier reports record revenue

Pier reports record revenue

Despite a rocky partnership dispute, the Navarre Beach Fishing Pier and associated facilities saw financial success in their first year under new management. Pier operations were contracted last year to Growing Santa Rosa Enterprises LLC (GSRE). Read the full article in the March 7 issue of Navarre Press. Visit www.navarrepress.com/subscribe to view subscription options – […]

Duplex rezoning request denied

Duplex rezoning request denied

County commissioners grappled with housing needs and zoning realities Feb. 28, ultimately siding with neighbors who opposed a rezoning request. Brett Ramsey of Ramsey & Walker LLC had asked the commissioners to rezone a lot near Panhandle Trail to allow construction of duplexes. Read the full article in the March 7 issue of Navarre Press. […]

Home Builders Association defends growth to Commissioners

Home Builders Association defends growth to Commissioners

More than 100 members of the Home Builders Association of West Florida, mostly clad in red shirts, packed into the County Commissioners board room Monday. The parking lot of the building was full of vehicles from building contractors. The gathered builders, electricians, engineers, construction workers and small business owners called for commissioners to refuse attempts […]

NYSA dealing with vandalism

NYSA dealing with vandalism

Vandalism has been an issue at NYSA recently. The baseball concession stand was broken into and playground equipment, including the zip line, has been damaged. Read the full article in the Feb. 14 issue of Navarre Press. Visit www.navarrepress.com/subscribe to view subscription options – or sign up to receive a digital subscription to Navarre Press […]

Arts unite from half a world away

Arts unite from half a world away

More than a decade later, a group of familiar faces from across the southeast and across the world gathered at Gulf Coast Kiln Walk for the 14th Annual Woodstoke Festival to celebrate the arts of two continents. Gulf Coast Kiln Walk Society founder and president Brenda Stokes addressed the crowd of artists and visitors at […]

Five things to know: Tourist Development Council

Five things to know: Tourist Development Council

Focus for Santa Rosa County’s Tourist Development Council and tourism staff continues to be turned to improvements along the county’s biggest bed tax generator: Navarre Beach. Projects for the beach dominated the council’s agenda Feb. 7. Lifeguards need new towers The transformation keeps on coming for the Navarre Beach lifeguard program under recently hired Beach […]

Japanese culture comes to Pensacola State College, Kiln Walk

Japanese culture comes to Pensacola State College, Kiln Walk

The silence in the crowded gallery was broken by a single, booming drumbeat. Musician Mayumi Shara Waidaiko started a slow rhythm on traditional Japanese drums Jan. 31 at Pensacola State College before launching into a full song on three different pitched drums. Read the full article in the Feb. 7 issue of Navarre Press. Visit […]

Forest Bay Estates under wetlands scrutiny

Forest Bay Estates under wetlands scrutiny

Roughly 100 acres of discrepancy was more than neighbors and county commissioners could swallow, at least not without a closer look. So, development of the 284-lot subdivision Forest Bay Estates has been put on hold, at least temporarily. Read the full article in the Feb. 7 issue of Navarre Press. Visit www.navarrepress.com/subscribe to view subscription […]

County takes stand against 98 flyover

County takes stand against 98 flyover

County commissioners voted unanimously Jan. 24 to inform state officials they oppose construction of a flyover on U.S. Highway 98 in Navarre. The opposition was led by the commissioner representing the area, Dave Piech. The commission’s stance will be conveyed by letter to the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT). Read the full article in the […]

District 4 plan draws mixed reviews

District 4  plan draws mixed reviews

Outright adoption or even acceptance of the District 4 Master Plan was more than the Santa Rosa County commissioners could swallow Jan. 24. Of the five commissioners, three failed to throw support behind the document that took 19 months, hundreds of public comments, multiple public hearings and $150,000 of taxpayer funds to create. Read the […]

Animal Shelter policies get revamp

Animal Shelter policies get revamp

Last year in Santa Rosa County, 3,685 of the cats and dogs that found themselves in the county Animal Shelter were euthanized due to space constraints. Of those killed, 76 percent were cats and kittens. Read the full article in the Jan. 24 issue of Navarre Press. Visit www.navarrepress.com/subscribe to view subscription options – or […]

Three things to know: Board of County Commissioners

Three things to know: Board of County Commissioners

284 lot subdivision riling neighbors County Commissioners got an earful from concerned residents Tuesday morning as yet another subdivision development drew ire from neighbors. Forest Bay Estates is a new subdivision proposed for 210-acres of vacant land located west of Edgewood Drive and east of River Birch Road. Read the full article in the Jan. […]

Zoning Board defers ruling in land-use dispute

Zoning Board defers ruling in land-use dispute

Milton-based small business Arcadia Culverts was given a six-month reprieve from being shut down Jan. 10 after the county Zoning Board voted to postpone any code compliance action. The decision was made in opposition to vocal neighbors. Read the full article in the Jan. 17 issue of Navarre Press. Visit www.navarrepress.com/subscribe to view subscription options […]

Aldi grocery chain among retailers eyeing Navarre

Aldi grocery chain among retailers eyeing Navarre

New retailers, including Aldi grocery stores, could be coming to Navarre and Pace as the Birmingham-based firm NextSite provides market analysis and retailer courting services for Santa Rosa County. Since April 2018 the firm has been collecting data on population, traffic and demographics in the county’s major areas and then using that data in contacts […]

Tourism council backs funding for wildlife refuge

Tourism council backs funding for wildlife refuge

After balking at a request for nearly half a million dollars, the county’s Tourist Development Council did agree Jan. 3 to fund $117,000 for animal habitats at the new Holley location of the Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge (ECWR). While ECWR has steadily been securing donations since December 2016, the timeline for completion of the new […]

Courthouse contractor picked, construction to begin

Courthouse contractor picked, construction to begin

After more than 20 years of debate, construction of a new Santa Rosa County courthouse will begin this year according to county officials. The Santa Rosa County Commission took a huge step in that direction Tuesday, selecting the firm that will design and build a new judicial center complex along Avalon Boulevard in Milton. Read […]

Navarre Beach Fire welcomes new ladder truck

Navarre Beach Fire welcomes new ladder truck

Navarre Beach Fire Rescue welcomed their new ladder truck with a traditional push-in ceremony Saturday. The ceremony included wetting down the truck with water from the old tanks, and it was then hand polished by Chief Danny Fureigh, his wife Shannon and the Navarre Beach firefighters. Read the full article in the Jan. 3 issue […]

Final Highway 98 options all include flyover

Final Highway 98 options all include flyover

The recommendations for U.S. Highway 98 are in, and the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) has found that a flyover through the center of Navarre’s business district is the best solution to the roadway’s traffic woes. The search for the best alternative began with the launch of a PD&E (Project Development and Environment) study in […]

Board rejects Military Trail density increase

Board rejects Military Trail density increase

Plans to build 11 condominiums along Military Trail in Navarre were squashed Dec. 13 when county commissioners refused a request to increase the property’s allowable density. Developer Jimmy Murphy of Homes by Vision LLC was seeking to have a 1.13-acre parcel rezoned to R2 to permit the construction of multi-family homes as opposed to the […]

County holds ex-commissioner at arm’s length

County holds ex-commissioner at arm’s length

Wary of violating a Florida statute about consorting with former colleagues, Santa Rosa officials are carefully avoiding work-related contact with Rob Williamson, the new CEO of Holley Navarre Water System. Keeping Williamson at arm’s length has already required dodging an overture last week to tour Holley Navarre Water’s facilities on Turkey Bluff Road along with […]

Phase I price tag $3 million

Phase I price tag $3 million

Based on Monday’s Board of County Commissioners meeting, the Panhandle Butterfly House (PBH) is no longer part of Navarre Park’s Phase I makeover, but it is not being relocated to the Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge either. That issue aside, County Administrator Dan Schebler told the commissioners that they need an answer to move forward on […]

Camden Drive improvements underway

Camden Drive improvements underway

Construction for the Camden Drive Outfall Project Phase I in the Holley by the Sea subdivision in Navarre commenced Saturday. The $1.2 million project is the first of two phases that will provide improved stormwater conveyance and water quality of adjacent wetlands. Read the full article in the Dec. 13 issue of Navarre Press. Visit www.navarrepress.com/subscribe […]

Escambia referendum may roadblock beach fee simple title

Escambia referendum may roadblock beach fee simple title

Voters in Escambia County may have barred Navarre Beach residents from receiving fee simple title following a referendum in the November election. More than 80 percent of the roughly 119,000 voters that cast a ballot on the issue called for a federal deed controlling the island’s ownership to remain in place. Read the full article […]

1 SOW commander looking at transportation issues

1 SOW commander looking at transportation issues

During a media roundtable Friday morning, Col. Michael Conley, the new commander of 1 SOW (Special Operations Wing), sat down to discuss local issues impacting his airmen and the community. Highway 98 traffic and keeping his airmen mentally and physically ready led the way. His social media skills – not so much. Read the full […]

No end in sight to effluent pumped into sound

No end in sight to effluent pumped into sound

Although county commissioners have said for years that cleaning up Santa Rosa Sound is a top priority, the water utility they control will apparently keep putting treated sewage effluent into the bay indefinitely. The county-owned Navarre Beach Water System has applied for and received tentative approval for a five-year renewal of its state permit to […]

Navarre leaders tackling worries about road plan

Navarre leaders tackling worries about road plan

A proposal to build a “community access road” to ease traffic on Highway 98 is being repackaged in an effort to calm the concerns of some Navarre residents. In fact, the whole idea of using the word “road” to describe the alternate route for local traffic in the Holley by the Sea area is now […]