Scott Kemp

Zoning members out; Parker accused of intimidation

Zoning members out; Parker accused of intimidation

The Santa Rosa Board of County Commissioners voted  4-1 Monday morning to fire the entire Zoning Board, a citizen committee appointed by commissioners to hear cases for exceptions to the Land Development Code. Three of those appointees found themselves in hot water after, what Commission Chairman Sam Parker called, “disingenuous and disrespectful” comments during their […]

Zoning board members resign after voter criticism

Zoning board members resign after voter criticism

In the fallout of a failed sales tax referendum, two of the appointees to the Santa Rosa County Zoning Board have issued their resignation following negative comments toward voters. Jim Waite and Jeremy Reeder both made comments regarding traffic concerns on Woodbine Road Oct. 10, implying that voters objecting at the polls to a sales […]

Retribution from the zoning board

Retribution from the zoning board

Well, the voters have spoken, and it’s not really a surprise what they said. Support the tax or oppose it, street chatter revealed what the outcome was likely to be. The proposed increase of a half cent to the county’s local option sales tax failed by a large margin. Unfortunately, the appointees of the zoning […]

Sales tax fallout: Zoning board and commissioners respond

Sales tax fallout: Zoning board and commissioners respond

In all but one precinct of voting, a proposed one cent local option sales tax for Santa Rosa County failed to pass Oct. 8. For the County Commissioners who had championed the tax to tackle deteriorated infrastructure and mounting sheriff’s office requests, the result was a wake-up call. After dozens of public hearings in which citizens […]

Gas station nixed near Navarre High School

Gas station nixed near Navarre High School

Plans to build a Cefco gas station at the northwest corner of Highway 87 and High School Boulevard were denied Oct. 10. The Zoning Board rejected several variances to the Land Development Code, including a request to cut the required buffer space between residential houses and underground gas tanks by nearly half.   Read the […]

Three things to know: Santa Rosa County Zoning Board

Three things to know: Santa Rosa County Zoning Board

A standing-room-only crowd led to a long evening meeting July 11 for the Santa Rosa County Zoning Board. Board denies A HOPE’s new home A HOPE for Santa Rosa County faced opposition from neighbors during the meeting as the pet rescue organization sought to create a permanent home for its low-cost spay and neuter operation. […]

Divvying up the LOST: Improved animal services a top priority

Divvying up the LOST: Improved animal services a top priority

While Santa Rosa County commissioners pursue a one-cent sales tax for an Oct. 8 ballot referendum, determinations still must be made for spending of the county’s existing half-cent sales tax for fiscal year 2020. The local option sales tax (LOST) that took effect in 2017 has paid for millions of dollars in completed projects across […]

Zoning Board split on 726 home development in Pace

Zoning Board split on 726 home development in Pace

After more than 3 hours of emotional debate and a meeting that ran past midnight, Zoning Board members could not come to a consensus regarding development of 726 homes along Woodbine Road in Pace called Lakes of Woodbine. The Santa Rosa County board room in Milton was packed with members of the impact fee and […]

Four things to know: Zoning Board

Four things to know: Zoning Board

Santa Rosa County volunteers of the Zoning Board met Aug. 9 in Tiger Point, voting on a variety of land development code exceptions and changes. Here are some highlights of the meeting: More storage units on horizon Zoning Board members recommended approval for rezoning a property along U.S. Highway 98 to highway commercial (HCD) to […]

Subdivision gets go-ahead for higher density

Subdivision gets go-ahead for higher density

A new subdivision taking shape at the western edge of Holley by the Sea has gotten preliminary clearance to expand to 360 homes. Heather’s Place is being built by Henry Company Homes on about 417 acres. The three parcels that make up the development are located south of East Bay Boulevard and west of Edgewood […]

Wildlife refuge officially breaks ground

Wildlife refuge officially breaks ground

In a celebration honoring community support, the Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge ceremonially broke ground Saturday at its new facility in Holley. After brief speeches and thank-yous under an old-growth oak tree, the refuge’s board and a group of dignitaries “turned dirt” on the property, launching the building phase of a project that has been in […]

Hockey training facility approved for Gulf Breeze

Hockey training facility approved for Gulf Breeze

Despite its warm climate, Florida is earning a reputation for ice hockey. The Pensacola Ice Flyers have secured three Presidents Cups in their five years of competing, and teams like the Tampa Bay Lightning have found a spot in the National Hockey League playoff finals. Read the full article in the May 17 issue of […]

Courthouse plans may include south-side satellite

Courthouse plans may include south-side satellite

The possibility of building a Santa Rosa Courthouse annex in the Navarre-Midway area with at least one courtroom is gaining traction. While occasionally suggested in the past by various commissioners, making the south-side judicial facility a reality has always taken a back seat to the county’s tortured effort to fund and construct a new main […]

New doubts cloud hotel plan

New doubts cloud hotel plan

Shortly after signals that the project was moving forward, a proposed new hotel for Navarre has been put back on hold indefinitely. Temporarily dubbed Navarre Hotel, the planned business on Highway 98 just east of the Navarre Beach Bridge has been in the works for years and has hit multiple holdups. The now-defunct plans filed […]

Whispering Pines development: apartments no, subdivision yes

Whispering Pines development: apartments no, subdivision yes

It was standing room only Nov. 9 at the Tiger Point Community Center as roughly 100 people showed up to speak out against two developments along Whispering Pines Boulevard being considered by the county Zoning Board. The crowd succeeded in securing unanimous rejection of one of the developments, Sanctuary Apartments. But that denial is not […]

County officials scramble for flood control answers

County officials scramble for flood control answers

From requiring developers to dig deeper stormwater retention ponds to imposing new fees on residents that would pay for better drainage, a task force of Santa Rosa residents, county officials and engineers is recommending measures to fight flooding. The strategies are detailed in a draft report from the group that is scheduled to be discussed […]

Tropical Sno safe, RV resort nixed

Tropical Sno safe, RV resort nixed

Along Navarre Beach’s Gulf Boulevard there are a handful of places for tourist and locals to stop for a bite or to shop as they walk or bike along the sidewalks. Tropical Sno, a long standing business along the beach’s main strip, is one such place where visitors escape the heat of summer with a […]

Some oversight volunteers feel ignored

Some oversight volunteers feel ignored

Although a citizens group is supposed to oversee how the county’s new half-cent local option sales tax is spent, some members of that panel say the real decisions are being made without their input. Read the full article in the May 18 issue of Navarre Press. Subscribe online at navarrepress.com for as little as $38 […]

Holley by the Sea wetlands regulation hits wall

Holley by the Sea wetlands regulation hits wall

All or nothing. That was the stance of the county Zoning Board May 11 as they voted unanimously against a procedure change that could improve stormwater drainage in the county’s largest flood-prone subdivision. The current version of a change in the building permit process would require builders in Holley by the Sea (HBTS) to provide […]

Holley by the Sea may lose LOST funds

Holley by the Sea may lose LOST funds

Millions in improvements to drainage in Holley by the Sea (HBTS) could lose a funding opportunity following the second meeting of the Board of County Commissioners to discuss the future of the new local option sales tax (LOST) funds. Read the full article in the April 20 issue of Navarre Press. Subscribe online at navarrepress.com […]

LOST committee lost in the weeds

LOST committee lost in the weeds

Debate over what projects will be funded and who decides on those projects left the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) without a clear path forward for the estimated $39.5 million to be collected on the half cent local option sales tax, or LOST, Tuesday following the board’s annual Planning Workshop. Read the full article in […]

Oversight or hindsight?

Oversight or hindsight?

The county has published their proposed spending plan for an estimated $39 million in local option sales tax funds, and not surprisingly folks aren’t happy with the distribution. The projects listed are clearly important. The first responders’ radio tower that is listed at a price of $750,000 should have been built years ago. It is […]

Future of sales tax funds unclear

Future of sales tax funds unclear

Debate over what projects will be funded and who decides on those projects left the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) without a clear path forward for the estimated $39 million to be collected on the half cent local option sales tax, or LOST, Tuesday following the board’s annual Planning Workshop. A proposal by County Administrator […]

Nominees for sales tax oversight committee named

Nominees for sales tax oversight committee named

Collection of a half penny sales tax is underway and county commissioners made their final recommendations Monday for the Infrastructure Surtax Committee, a citizen oversight group. The tax, passed by Santa Rosa voters, is expected to net roughly $35 million over its five year lifetime. These dollars are limited to infrastructure uses including transportation and […]

Shoreline setback could shorten for Santa Rosa

Shoreline setback could shorten for Santa Rosa

Discussion of shoreline setback regulations for Santa Rosa County by the Zoning Board Thursday, Nov. 10 may result in changes to the law regarding the 50-foot regulation to limit just how far construction can encroach toward the water. Data provided by the planning and development office showed that the board generally approves most requests. Between […]

Milton nudist gets higher fence approved by county

Milton nudist gets higher fence approved by county

Privacy fences are designed for exactly that, privacy, and Santa Rosa County says 6 feet is privacy enough. In fact, county ordinance limits all residential fences to 6 feet or lower with possible penalty of citation and required removal of the fence for even an inch higher. But when property is built on a hill, […]

Get to know the Zoning Board

Get to know the Zoning Board

Created in 2011, the Santa Rosa County Zoning Board governs how land is used in Santa Rosa County. Whether building a grocery store in a neighborhood or digging a pit in the backyard, you will likely have to fill out a request with the Zoning Board. The board consists of two members for each district […]

County approves pier contract amendments

County approves pier contract amendments

At the Santa Rosa Board of County Commissioners’ meeting on Jan. 14, the discussion with pier operator Coastal Concessions continued regarding making amendments to the pier management contract currently in place with the county. Coastal Concessions has been under the microscope recently because of overdue payment of pier admission fees to the county. Coastal Concessions […]