The Walton County Circuit appeal was filed on January 10, 2018.
South Walton Community Council needs your financial help for a legal appeal against the Cypress Lake development. The appeal will be filed shortly with the Walton County Circuit Court. SWCC has teamed with Beach to Bay Connection to fight this battle for the benefit of the South Walton community.
Cypress Lake is a mixed-use development located on the west end of 30A adjacent to Topsail Hill Preserve State Park, across from the Flamingo Village subdivision. The development is a mixed-use PUD (Planned Unit Development) with 141 residential units and 53,000 square feet of commercial.
Simply put, we want the developer and the county to follow the rules. Walton County has been allowing developers to ignore the Comprehensive Plan and Land Development Code by simply putting the PUD label on a project. Citizens who are interested in growth management and quality of life should be alarmed by this process which acts to serve the interests of developers and not the citizens of South Walton.
1. The procedure for a PUD requires separate legislative (policy-making) hearings for review and approval. The county uses a streamlined approach that ignores this requirement and goes straight to the Development Order review and approval. This has been going on for a long time.
2. The project is not consistent with the Comprehensive Plan, and the county does not have the authority to approve a project with inconsistencies such as:
a. Residential density of 13 residential units per acre versus a limit of 8
b. Incompatibility with surrounding neighborhoods lot sizes are half as big and density is double
c. No 30A Scenic Corridor setback – the project uses 20 feet of the county right-of-way to meet the landscaping requirement
d. Inadequate landscape buffers adjacent to neighboring community and Topsail Hill Preserve State Park
e. No sidewalks
3. The project application lists 6 deviations from the LDC, but there are more than that. The worst offender is 5-foot setbacks on all 4 boundaries - front, rear and sides.
Small lots, large homes, 5-foot setbacks, narrow streets, no sidewalks and inadequate landscaped areas all contribute to congestion. The developer has refused to rule out short-term rentals. We have to be concerned about a development for short term renters rather than full-time residents. This is not what we want for our community.
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