Community split on OLF-8 design proposals

The debate of what to do with the 500-plus acre site known as OLF-8 (former Navy helicopter training site – Outlying Field Site Eight) has been on the Escambia Board of County Commissioners’ plate for years.

Most recently, the commissioners hired DPX CoDesign to create a plan to maximize the opportunities for jobs and community uses on the site along Nine Mile Road, near Navy Federal Credit Union’s Beulah campus.

Four concepts were presented to the public in October, and the design firm received 271 votes for which design was preferred.

Escambia County has an estimated population of 320,086, so the votes cast reflect .085% of the county’s population and .11% of the county’s registered voters.

No concept received 35% of the first-place votes cast:

The Village Plan 34.7% (94 votes),
The Market Plan 28.8% (78 votes),
The Commerce Plan 18.8% (51 votes) and
The Greenway Plan 17.7% (48 votes).

DPX CoDesign presents its report today to the Escambia County Planning Board and Tuesday to Escambia County Commission during its 9 a.m. Committee of the Whole meeting.

NorthEscambia.com has a breakdown of the four concepts – here.

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1 thought on “Community split on OLF-8 design proposals

  1. A better idea may be to prepare a well-designed booklet describing each proposal and mail it to all county voters living within a certain distance from the OLF-8 site. Include a pre-paid return postage post card asking each voter to “rank” the four options. The board would not be bound by the results but casting the net wider in a uniform way, and ranking the options vice only selecting one, would give the board a much better sense of which option has more support, if one does. One variable likely not much considered to date, and it should be, is what will happen when Beulah someday becomes its own municipality, as seems inevitable, much like what I expect to happen in Pace and Navarre in coming years, perhaps in this or the next decade. How will the plan selected look to future generations in the hindsight of 20 or 50 years? Beulah is fast becoming Escambia County’s version of Pace where so many people who work in the City of Pensacola live to escape the city’s high crime, in 2019 the city’s “per capita” crime rate 56.2% higher than the state average, up from 54% in 2018, and 3.7 times higher than in Santa Rosa County.

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