On April 23rd, the Bay County Planning Commission considered an amendment to the Bay County Comprehensive Plan affecting the Bay Point community. The amendment seems to be rather innocuous at first glance; however, its impact is significant and worthy of serious discussion and vetting.
The amendment removes policy 3.4.5 from the Bay County Comprehensive Plan. Policy 3.4.5 requires the land use restrictions last incorporated in the Development of Regional Impact (DRI) to remain in full force and effect upon the termination or expiration of the DRI. These restrictions for instance, designate part of the area of Marina View Park as Non-Residential Land Use and the area of the Meadows Golf Course as Recreational/Open Space. In other words, this appears to be the first step leading to development of the above areas.
What is very interesting is that the amendment application was filed by Kemper Sports on behalf of the golf course and hotel owners, Torchlight Financial, a New York investment banking firm. Why Kemper Sports, the golf course management company, did not mention this to the owners of Bay Point, remains a mystery. What is not a mystery is the fact the New York investment bankers appear to have been trying to catch us Bay Pointers off guard while we continued to put our lives back together after Hurricane Michael.
Of more interest is the name of Raymond Greer, which appears on the application as the “Project Manager”. Mr. Greer, a former Florida Department of Community Affairs employee, is with the international community development firm of Stantec. On the Stantec website Mr. Greer’s specialty is listed as community development. Questions that should be relevant are:
1. Why would the golf course managers agree to participate in such a scheme?
2. Why would the golf course and hotel owners go to the major expense hiring a community development specialist to simply change some innocuous language in an obscure section of the Bay County Comprehensive Plan.
3. Mr. Greer identifies himself on the application as the “Project Manager”; what project has he been engaged to manage. Could it be that the golf course owners are wanting to develop the Meadows Golf Course, now that they have left it to unattended for the past 6 months?
4. Does this mean we could wind up with Section 8 type housing along what were the 9th, 10th, and 11th fairways (along Magnolia Beach Road) of the Meadows golf course? We won’t know until the golf course owners and managers share, truthfully, what their ultimate plan(s) is. If they won’t do that, this plan should not be worthy of further consideration by any government body.
5. If the Meadows owners and managers plan to re-purpose the Meadows golf course footprint, how do they plan to deal with the rights of the Preferred Grant holders?
These and many more questions deserve satisfactory and truthful answers before the county commission agrees to the amendment.
All Bay Point owners should stay alert for upcoming information and be prepared to attend the future Bay County Commission meeting when this amendment application will be considered.
If you want to see a copy of the complete application submitted to the planning commission click here.
________________________________________________BP DRI Map H