Creating a ‘Competitive and Compatible’ LDC

The Escambia County Commission terminated the Land Development Code Advisory Committee Tuesday, charging county administration and staff with studying nearby counties in order to produce a revised “competitive and compatible” comprehensive plan.

Interim County Administrator Larry Newsom and Development Services Director Lloyd Kerr suggested the move. Newsom advised that the board rescind the resolution which created the advisory committee—“the committee goes away”—and allow staff to assess the comp plans of neighboring counties.

“They are our competition when it comes to development, you know, because we hear this, we hear this all the time, you hear this as commissioners,” Newsom said, describing how developers often consider moving their projects to locales like Bay County.

Commissioner Grover Robinson made a motion to abandon the committee and allow staff to evaluate committee’s work on an LDC-rewrite to ensure Escambia would be competitive with nearby Florida counties.

“And commissioner, can I have you add to that motion, ‘and to include a review and a study of the existing comp plan?’” said Commission Chairman Gene Valentino. “Is that what you wanted Lloyd?”

The motion passed 4-0, with Commissioner Wilson Robertson absent for the vote.