Beach Master Plan catching heat

The SRIA has been working on a new master plan for the commercial core of Pensacola Beach. The buzz is that the SRIA has gotten such a bad response from the general public at the last two meetings, that the chair Tammy Bohannon has called a special meeting for Friday, March 5 at 2 p.m. to allow for the proponents of the plan to voice their support to SRIA and making it more difficult for citizens have to work to attend. There are emails protesting the meeting time circulating all over the beach.

The SRIA wants to fast-track the plan…approve at its March 10 meeting and then present to the Board of County Commissioners the next day.

I received this email from a concerned citizen:
“The last public hearing was a farce because the plan was already voted upon by eight members of the thirteen committee members of the study committee. The rest were not present. The steering committee was not supposed to vote for a recommendation per the first committee meeting. The reasons for that were that some members did not want to be covered by the Sunshine laws. However, they are.”

Others are upset that the original intent of the study committee was to develop beautification. Instead it has morphed into a “Beach Master Plan.” The plan calls for relocating Pensacola Beach Blvd (the road that comes off the Bob Sikes Bridge) to the east (to its original location). Three traffic circles will be added. The county spent millions to move the road in the 1990s. The estimated cost of the new road construction is over $45 million, according to another email I was forwarded.

How do they want to pay for it? By incrementally raising the bridge toll each year.

I can’t find the plan online but I did find these minutes from the Steering Committee meeting on Feb. 2: Master_Plan_Meeting_Feb_2_2010

Here are some supplementary notes.

I did find a preliminary design presentation, but I’m not sure when it was presented.