Panama City Commission Approves Absent Homeowner Ordinance - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Panama City Commission Approves Absent Homeowner Ordinance

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After hearing from a concerned resident living off of Kraft Avenue in Panama City about her neighbors unsightly yard and home commissioners decided to take action, putting in place an ordinance that could catch the eye of absentee homeowners.

"These photos here are photos of the house on this side of me," said Pat Hewett at Tuesday morning's meeting. 

The ordinance simply states if lawn and home maintenance is not done City crews will take care of the problem, but a service assessment will now be attached to property taxes rather than imposing a lien on the property.

"In most places that we've seen it has been very beneficial especially when you have absentee ownership," said Mayor Greg Brudnicki. "Because you can file a lien against something and if they don't ever go to sell the property the lien may not get paid for many , many years and property taxes are paid every year."

The ice house sitting on St. Andrews Marina will soon flaunt a new look. The Panama City Commission voted to approve a change order for construction with a savings of more than $30,000 to the city.

"What we are doing to instead of a wood facade we are adding a metal facade," said Commissioner Mike Nichols. "In terms of the first price we had was about $80,000.  The metal facade would actually give us a lower cost at $50,000."

Commissioner John Kady did voice concerns over whether metal will still be a suitable fit for the St. Andrew's community although the vote did pass unanimously.

Also a new development in Panama City North located near John Pitts Road and Star avenue was considered for a Level-3 Development order.


"That's phase one," said a lawyer from the Traditions Subdivision. "Hopefully there will be a phase two at some point, but phase one is 183 lots, which will obviously generate traffic on the existing roads there."

At a previous meeting commissioners had tabled the decision with traffic concerns. Tuesday the motion was approved unanimously.

The regular commission meeting was also the first held at the new 8am meeting time.

The A.D. Harris Learning Village will soon have a new live-in landlord.

During Tuesday's CRA meeting the board voted to take over the master lease agreements at the campus, which will allow the organization to oversee day-to-day operations. 

Essentially the Community Redevelopment Agency was playing a role that called for periodic evaluation being the schools owner, but the relocation of the CRA offices will give leasees an on sight manager.

William Whitson with the CRA says they will be taking over maintenance and operational responsibilities from the volunteers that have run the campus for so long.

The A.D. Harris building just opened it's Village Health Center and will also have a new tenant taking over their gymnasium in Global Arts Studio.

"We are going to move our office in there so we are going to have a presence there all the time, said Brudnicki. "I've had additional inquiries from people here in town who want to move in there so I think it's going to be good."

"With this change with us moving our operations in there we can give it more time and more attention and more focus to growing and reinventing and reestablishing that campus as a bright star in the community," said Whitson. 


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