Bay Condo Proposal Meets With Opposition From Nearby Residents

Yet another proposed condominium development in Hancock County is getting the cold shoulder from nearby neighbors.

Gulf Coast Equities wants to build a 132 unit condo-townhouse development on the Jourdan River at the end of Bluemeadow Road in Hancock County.

It didn't take long for planning and zoning commissioners to figure out how the majority of the people who showed up for a public hearing feel about the proposed condo-town house project.

One after another, residents told commissioners they were opposed to the plans.

"Defiantly in opposition," one said.

Gulf Coast Equities wants to turn land that's now home to the Jourdan River Marina, a boat repair yard, into an upscale condo-townhome development. It would have 132 units, boat slips and other high end amenities.

"This area can not handle that size of a project and I'd just like to say I'm adamantly opposed," resident Michelle Albe said.

Residents who live around the proposed site expressed concerns about the traffic they say would be added to an already busy Bluemeadow Road. The road already leads to Casino Magic and two schools.

"My child is moving up to Bay High next year. There is a tremendous amount of traffic along Bluemeadow and this will only add to it," resident Dixie Boyd said.

"If I had wanted all this traffic, I would have stayed in California," resident Jean Molaison said.

Traffic on the water is another concern.

"I just don't see how this canal could handle another 132 boats. On Sunday, you can hardly get out on a jet ski or a boat," Sandy Bass said.

In order to build, the developers need a zoning change in the area from Residential to a Waterfront Special Use District.

"I think we will be a much better neighbor than boats in need of repair. We will be a much better neighbor than a public marina. We will be a much better neighbor than a high rise. We are wanting to build town homes and flats as second homes," Real Estate Consultant Lisa Crispo said.

Planning and Zoning Commissioners made no decision on the proposed project, opting instead to study the issue further before voting on the matter.

by Al Showers