Wakulla Tackles Possible Revision to Wetland Ordinance

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By: Mike Springer
June 13, 2013

Crawfordville, FL-A proposed revision to Wakulla County's current wetland ordinance would allow homes and buildings to be built closer to them.

It's a proposition some here say they find troubling.

"We can't let you alter it. It wasn't meant to be it. It needs to stay natural," said Matt Hodges, president of the Wakulla Oystermen Association.

Currently, buildings must have a 75-foot buffer from the wetlands. You can get can a variance allowing you to build up to 35 feet of them. However, the proposed revision would allow you to build even closer than that.

Commissioner Howard Kessler called Thursday's town hall meeting to discuss the issue.

"There's a host of things does for free that we stop it from doing when we encroach upon it," said Kessler.

But others see the revision as an opportunity for the county. They say it allows the county to avoid lawsuits with the homeowners trying to build there and generates more money through the new homes being built.

"There's probably ten or twelve houses that within six months that will start being constructed because there are some lots out there that people want to build on, but they just can't get permission from the County," said Bob Danzey, a real estate agent.

County commissioners will have an opportunity to set up public hearings on the issue next week.

A date to vote on the revision has not yet been scheduled.

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