Voting to New Heights

Carrabelle residents will be heading to the polls Tuesday to cast their votes repealing two city ordinances. The ordinance getting quite a bit of attention is one that will establish a height restriction for new condominiums being built in the city.

When you come to the city of Carrabelle you can understand why folks want the small city to stay as is. Residents say they know change is inevitable but tall condos are simply out of the question.

Ron Gempel left the congested city of San Francisco bay for a more quite life on the Gulf Coast. He says the quaint city of Carrbelle is reminiscent of his early childhood. A developer wants to build condos near the waterfront that could take away from this small town feel, an idea Gembel and several residents oppose.

"The biggest selling thing we have here is the environment it's the naturalness...if we allow growth to be unchecked it will be like another Destin or any part of Florida that has been raped and turned into concrete jungles," says Gempel.

Developers decided to nix the idea, but city officials say a 2002 ordinance could give future developers the right to built without any restrictions.

"When the ordinance was written it didn't establish a height, which it should have. Had it establish a height I don't think this would ever come up."

Now residents have placed signs around town reminding folks to come and cast their votes this Tuesday to repeal the ordinance. If passed the measure would limit height restrictions and keep the appeal of this quaint city.

"The people love our area we have homes being built at the end of the street they already been approved, the high rise we simply don't need,” Brown says.

Carrabelle residents will vote on the amendment Tuesday. Residents will also vote on whether to prevent the extension of water and sewage to folks living outside the city limits.


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