Growing Developments

It's a fight against "runaway" development, and residents in Carrabelle may have the upper hand. All city voters can go to the polls next month to help decide the future growth of the tiny gulf town.

Welcome to Carrabelle, population 1,300; a Gulf Coast town where everybody knows your name and most everybody likes it that way.

"I don't want it to look like south Florida I want it to maintain small atmosphere and its friendliness," says resident Debra Tharp.

But some residents say that small town flare is being drowned out by future developments. City commissioner Edward Saunders says those concerns can now be heard, as a special election nears. One issue at hand, residents will also vote on planned urban developments, keeping future high rises off city property.

"Growth is good as long as it's structured, I think everyone hates to see high rises," says Jeanne Rodgers, a resident.

"I don't want to make a decision on if it's good or bad, but it's good citizens have chance to vote on whether it takes place or not," adds Tommy Bevis.

It's a vote that could decide the future look and character of this popular fishing town. The special election on November 25 is a result of last month's legal battle between panhandle residents and city commissioners. Residents won, granting them a voice in local government.