Coast "With the Most"

Many residents living on Florida's "Forgotten Coast" are either clinging onto their roots or planting new ones.

For Don Ashley, the idea of some 4,000 new neighbors is frightening. As a nature lover nestled on beautiful St. James Island, he says explosive growth will have negative impacts.

"What is fixin' to happen is the community is going to be further divided," he says.

They will be divided because county commissioners voted four to one to approve four development proposals on St. Joe company land, a decision receiving mixed reviews.

Alan Pierce with the Franklin County Planning Department says, "It's a 15-year horizon. We're going to service that second home market."

Still, one commissioner says the growth is still too much, too soon.

Bevin Putnal, Franklin County Commissioner, says, "We're talking about four to five times bigger than what Carrabelle is now. In a short period of time, that's too much."

But Pierce says the county is at least five to seven years away in the planning efforts. The four proposed developments will go to the state for a final review.


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