Unrestricted Condo Development Moves Hancock Leaders To Action

The condominium explosion in Hancock County has some local leaders calling for strict building codes.

County Supervisors recently created a resort district on the beach near Bayou Caddy that will allow condos to go up with no height limitations. So far there are 15 condo projects being proposed in the area.

Robert Dardar enjoys fishing off the seawall every chance he gets. His favorite fishing hole is in the area recently zoned a commercial resort district. He says the developments concern him.

"It's going to cut out a lot of the fishing, I'll tell you that. Cause I know out by the Copa, you can't fish no where around there. Off land, you can't fish no where around there."

Millie Usher, President of the Clermont Harbor Civic Association, agrees.

"Just the sheer numbers are a little scary. We're concerned about the consequences of this high intensity building where there are no limits on height and density."

County leaders say condo growth can be a positive thing for the county, if developed correctly.

"They are working with planners on not just building codes, but a lot of zoning issues and regulatory issues that if the condominiums are going to be developed, they just want to assure they're done properly for Hancock County," Board of Supervisors Attorney Ronnie Artiques said.

Right now Hancock County doesn't have building codes in place. Referendums on the issue have failed in past years.

County supervisors have asked their board attorney to research the legality of requiring codes in the new resort district and possibly requiring all commercial buildings be built to code.

The county's attorney is expected to have an answer for Supervisors at their June 6th meeting.

by Al Showers