A Christian retreat and conference center is coming to Bay County.
Thursday the Bay County Planning Commission approved a conditional use permit, marking its first step towards construction
The retreat will be geared towards middle and high school students and it's roughly expected to be completed in summer of 2015.
The 6.5 million dollar Pine Beach Christian Retreat and Conference Center will be located north of Lake Powell, to the west of the Wild Heron development on 65 acres.
This retreat is the brain child of Austin Norwood, who will serve as the director of operations. He confirmed that the property will be purchased in 10 days time.
It will include an 8000 square foot waterfront lodge and dining hall, 4 cabins and recreation areas and a pool for campers and staff.
It'll operate as a 501-c-3 charitable organization with donations coming from the public. Norwood said this has been a long time coming and he's pleased to take this next step forward.
"My wife and I had always dreamed of doing something like this. We had to wait for the right time for the economics to line up. We always wanted to promote good Christian values as well as conservation of our beautiful natural resources that we have here," said Norwood.
Norwood said his next step is to obtain a development order from the County, but they are well on their way.