By DOTTY NIST
The Walton County Planning Commission has recommended approval of seven new boat slips in the Daugette subdivision area, a gun club near DeFuniak Springs, and eight small-scale amendment requests involving land use classification changes to parcels in various areas of the county.
The decisions took place at the planning commission’s Aug. 11 regular meeting at the South Walton Courthouse Annex.
New planning commission member David Kramer was welcomed by Chairman Tom Terrell. Kramer will serve in the seat vacated by William Maxson, who had resigned.
Of the items on the agenda, the boat slip proposal brought on the most discussion.
Applicant Tom Stein had previously submitted plans for 10 new boat slips on the canal at his Ricker Street property in the Daugette subdivision. The lot contains a 2,000 square-foot office building with a three-bedroom apartment. There are currently four boat slips on the property. The docking facility is not open to the public and that status is to continue.
Mac Carpenter of Walton County Planning and Development Services explained that, through a compromise, Stein had agreed to reduce the number of new boat slips to seven. Carpenter said the applicant was proposing to utilize existing parking on the property for the boat slips through a shared parking agreement, with the 19 parking spaces to be available for uses associated with the slips only after business hours on weekdays and during the weekend.
Carpenter said no space would be provided for boat trailers on the property; they must be removed from the property after launching. Prohibitions have also been placed on parking and placing boat trailers on the county right-of-way in the vicinity.
For seven additional boat slips that the applicant has indicated he would like to add in a second phase of the project, along with any additional development on the property, a separate application and approval would be required, Carpenter told the planning commissioners.
Carpenter said the applicant has also agreed that covenants and leases for the boat slips will prohibit people using the slips from entering the residential driveway located across from the property
An engineer representing the applicant commented that parking had been the main issue with the proposal and that it had been addressed.
Lisa McCully, a Ricker Street resident and owner of the homes across the street from the property, disagreed. She objected to the increase in noise and traffic and the “oil, gas, and partying” that she was sure would accompany the expansion of the docking facility. “We have no clue who’s coming and going,” McCully said. She said vehicles from Stein’s property had already used her driveway for backing up, turning around, etc., and she did not see how they could be kept from doing so in the future….
Read the full story in the Aug. 18, 2011 edition of the Herald Breeze.