New land use attorney on board with Walton County



Steve Hall has started work as land use attorney for the Office of the County Attorney in Walton County.

Walton County Public Information Manager Louis Svehla said that Hall had interviewed for the land use attorney position on Jan. 13 and had been offered the job that day. Hall had put in his application prior to the end of the year after Walton County advertised the vacant position.

The Nabors Giblin & Nickerson, P.A., law firm had previously served in the land use attorney position on a contract basis but had withdrawn from the contract, Svehla said.

Hall is to serve as a full-time county employee.

March 1 was his first day of work with the Office of the County Attorney.

Hall is a Choctawhatchee High School graduate who did his undergraduate studies at Florida State University (FSU) and graduated from the FSU College of Law in 1986 with a Juris Doctor Cum Laude degree. Among previous jobs on his resume are assistant to the general counsel for the Northwest Florida Water Management District, program and permitting attorney for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), senior attorney for the Florida Department of Community Affairs (DCA), and DEP director of intergovernmental programs, all in Tallahassee.

Hall returned to the local area in 1991, starting a private law practice in Fort Walton Beach and concentrating on governmental, environmental, and administrative law in the Panhandle. Beginning in 1993, he had been a partner in the Hall & Runnels, P.A., firm, which focused mainly on real estate development, environmental regulatory, and land use-related practice in the region.

Hall and his wife, Sherry, are founders and directors of GRACE Rides, Inc., which provides therapeutic horse riding services to exceptional children in Walton and Okaloosa counties.

As land use attorney, Hall will tackle a detailed job description. Among essential tasks for the job will be working with Walton County Planning and Development Services on land use matters, attending meetings and public hearings of county boards, commissions, and committees/providing legal counsel to planning staff during those meetings, prosecuting and/or defending land use litigation involving the county as assigned by the county attorney, drafting and reviewing land use legal documents, contracts, resolutions and ordinances, and additional duties, along with other work as directed.

Speaking with the Herald/Breeze on Feb. 26, Hall said he was “excited about the prospects of supporting this staff.”