Growing Pains or a Growing Economy?

Mixed reviews are coming out of Wakulla County this month as dozens of housing developments make it past the drawing board.

As cleanup continues along a hurricane battered coast, developers aren't skipping a beat. Shell Point is spotlighted this month. Soon a restaurant, an inn, dozens of homes and even a marina will decorate the waterfront.

Ed Brimner, Wakulla County Commissioner, says, "Wakulla County is a great place to live. We're building better and better developments."

And hundreds are heading south of the Leon County line, choosing the rural life over big city services.

Matthew Tulipan, a new resident, says, "It's really quiet; we thought it would be a more mature area, that sort of thing."

Still, some say the area is growing too fast!

Developments are bursting at the seams in Crawfordville, but closer to the coast homes and lots remain empty.

Take for instance Surf Road, a sparsely inhabited area with four developments in the works. A few miles away is Tide Creek, a subdivision approved a decade ago that still looks bare to the bone.

Howard Kessler, Wakulla County Commissioner, says, "It's not so clear on the coast where many subdivisions are approved but sit idle."

He calls it urban sprawl minus the urban. Commissioner Brimner agrees but says the board is working out the kinks when it comes to planned growth.

Commissioner Brimner says he expects the county to double in size in 25 years, but he says that means the population will max out at a mere 45,000 people.


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