Shawn Ward

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. […]

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 […]

South end critiques Land Development Code

South end critiques Land Development Code

A comprehensive rewrite of the Santa Rosa County Land Development Code gained weigh in from residents of south Santa Rosa Aug. 15 during a public open house at Tiger Point Community Center. County staff lined up at information tables as roughly 24 citizens made their rounds to ask questions and formally propose changes to one […]

Public comment invited on Land Development Code

Public comment invited on Land Development Code

Santa Rosa County will be seeking public input on a revamp of the Land Development Code (LDC) during two public workshops next month. The LDC contains regulations that govern how land is developed in the unincorporated areas of the county and addresses everything from zoning, site development, the natural environment and stormwater management to parking, […]

At a crossroads: Growth puts strain on infrastructure

At a crossroads: Growth puts strain on infrastructure

Navarre is growing. Repeated like a broken record in county meeting halls, community groups and passing conversation, this fact has little dispute. Also facing little debate is the effect of growth on infrastructure, increasing demand for ways to get around, for access to clean water and for space to get some fresh air.   Read […]

Chambers of commerce weigh in on signage rules

Chambers of commerce weigh in on signage rules

Representatives of chambers of commerce across Santa Rosa County weighed in on the signage debate May 29 during a joint meeting with county staff with the goal of finding fixes for the Land Development Code. Read the full article in the June 6 issue of Navarre Press. Visit navarrepress.com/subscribe to view subscription options – or […]

School district seeks power to limit development

School district seeks power to limit development

Amid the arguments for and against impact fees earlier this month, school district Superintendent Tim Wyrosdick leveled a choice for county commissioners. He said the county should either impose impact fees to help pay for new schools or give him the authority to deny increasing the density of developments. Read the full article in the […]

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 […]

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 […]

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. […]

Beach church signs issue continues

Beach church signs issue continues

Navarre’s Beachside Church may have to keep its signs down as search for proof of an agreement between the county and church leadership has not turned up. For 25 years, Beachside Church has been holding informal church services in the Navarre Beach parking lot. Read the full article in the Feb. 21 issue of Navarre Press. Visit www.navarrepress.com/subscribe to […]

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 […]

County revising Land Development Code

County revising Land Development Code

After years of complaints and questions from citizens throughout the county about how future growth will be managed, Santa Rosa Planning and Zoning Office officials will be working to update the county’s Land Development Code (LDC). The LDC is the decades-old guiding document for all building in Santa Rosa County, covering issues ranging from the […]

Wetlands 101

Wetlands 101

In 2018, Navarre Press featured a three-part series on the impacts of developing on wetlands. We present the three-parts here together.   Wetlands 101:Environmental impacts of development Wetlands Part 2: East Bay water quality at risk Continued loss of wetlands jeopardizes East Bay   Visit www.navarrepress.com/subscribe to view subscription options – or sign up to […]

Condos proposed along Military Trail

Condos proposed along Military Trail

While Navarre Beach is no stranger to condominiums, a new condo complex could be built far from the Gulf dunes along Military Trail near the Navarre Youth Sports Association. The property in question is up for potential rezoning to R2, allowing for the construction of two condominium buildings with a total of 11 units. Read […]

County endorses pet pigs—with limits

County endorses pet pigs—with limits

In a unanimous decision by the commissioners present, miniature pigs were approved to live in the subdivisions of Santa Rosa County. Board of County Commission (BOCC) Chairman Bob Cole said he supported the change. Read the full article in the Oct. 4 issue of Navarre Press. Visit www.navarrepress.com/subscribe to view subscription options. Sign up to […]

Wetlands 101: Environmental impacts of development

Wetlands 101: Environmental impacts of development

Conversations about development in Santa Rosa County often turn to concerns from neighbors about flooding and the natural waters that flow throughout the county. Where will the water that is on the property go? How will this development impact existing flooding issues in established neighborhoods? What about the impact on the environment? Read the full […]

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 […]

Entrepreneurs must navigate obstacle course to succeed

Entrepreneurs must navigate obstacle course to succeed

In a lot of ways, Santa Rosa County is approaching small business the right way. That’s the opinion of Debbie Rogers-Guinn, the owner of Deb’s Coffee in Navarre. “They were really supportive of us from the very beginning and throughout,” she said. After seven years, Rogers-Guinn and her husband are currently seeking to move their […]

Special swine guest tries to sway Zoning Board

Special swine guest tries to sway Zoning Board

Supporters of miniature pigs in Santa Rosa County gained a victory last night after the Zoning Board voted 5 to 1 to recommend approval of allowing the pigs in subdivisions. They got a little help from a special guest. Currently, all pigs are considered livestock under county ordinance. While residents may have a pet pig […]

Parking dispute highlights county right of way dilemma

Parking dispute highlights county right of way dilemma

Tensions regarding the use of parking facilities at the Soundview Plaza shopping center flared again Aug. 23 as patrons of TC’s Front Porch parked in spaces marked for plaza customers only. But due to a longstanding “grandfathering” arrangement, towing of these vehicles may not have been allowed. Read the full article in the Sept. 6 […]

Proposed small pig ordinance attempts to draw the line

Proposed small pig ordinance attempts to draw the line

Santa Rosa County is considering allowing some types of pigs, referred to as miniature or mini pigs, to live in residential neighborhoods, but defining what constitutes a mini pig is a bit difficult. While there is no clear definition, the county will consider an ordinance next month that will at least create a set of […]

County considers legalizing mini pigs

County considers legalizing mini pigs

Pigs could be coming to subdivisions of Santa Rosa County under a proposed Land Development Code amendment set to be heard next month. Under the proposed change certain breeds of miniature pig would be allowed in residential recorded subdivisions said Planning and Zoning Director Shawn Ward. “In July 2018, the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) […]

Williamson to Cole: Stay out of my district

Williamson to Cole: Stay out of my district

A procedural approval for Creet’s Landing subdivision turned to tension among county commissioners and residents of Whispering Pines Boulevard. During the board’s regular meeting on July 26, District 4 Commissioner Rob Williamson accused Commission Chairman Bob Cole of inserting himself into issues in Williamson’s district during discussion of the Creet’s Landing project. The highly contentious […]

Development and zoning tops debate questions

Development and zoning tops debate questions

Questions repeatedly returned to issues of development and allowing exceptions to the land development code during the Santa Rosa Republican Women’s county commissioners candidate forum Tuesday. The questions were submitted by the members in attendance, and candidates for both District 4 County Commission, representing Navarre, and District 2 representing Milton were invited to answer. District […]

District 4 Master Plan entering home stretch

District 4 Master Plan entering home stretch

By as early as December, the Navarre area could have a master plan on the books to guide future development. Last September, the Santa Rosa Board of County Commissioners approved roughly $80,000-$150,000 to pay consulting firm Matrix Design Group to create a District 4 Master Plan for the Navarre, Holley and Navarre Beach area. Read […]

Proposed relief valve for Highway 98 rattles some residents

Proposed relief valve for Highway 98 rattles some residents

Almost everyone wants traffic reduced on Highway 98 through Navarre. But no one wants more vehicles routed through their neighborhood. Stress levels are already rising, even though the $500,000 feasibility study of possible routes for a new Community Access Road ordered by state and Santa Rosa County officials has barely begun and won’t be finished […]

Vets to VA Clinic transit ends this month

Vets to VA Clinic transit ends this month

For the roughly 26,000 veterans in Santa Rosa County, medical care for everything from a sore throat to lifesaving dialysis may come from the Veterans Affairs Clinic in Pensacola. But getting there can be difficult, especially for people with disabilities, the elderly and those without a reliable vehicle. Read the full article in the Mar. […]

County asks county for variance

County asks county for variance

In a strange turn of events, Santa Rosa County had to ask Santa Rosa County for a bigger sign. The latest example of bureaucratic enigma was presented Thursday night during the Zoning Board’s monthly meeting at the Tiger Point Community Center. Read the full article in the Feb. 15 issue of Navarre Press. Visit www.navarrepress.com/subscribe […]

Navarre Family Watersports appeal denied

Navarre Family Watersports appeal denied

Navarre Family Watersports found no relief Jan. 25 from the Board of County Commissioners on a code compliance case dating back to April 2016. The commissioners unanimously denied two appeals by owner Greg Britton to the county’s requirement to bring the property into compliance. The issues largely relate to traffic flow along U.S. Highway 98 […]