Okaloosa County moves forward with North Okaloosa planning study

OKALOOSA COUNTY, Fla. (WKRG) — Preserving a way of life is the goal of many Okaloosa County residents as officials determine how to address the needs of the rapidly growing north end of the county.

“We’re not, not welcoming people,” Baker resident Keri Pitzer said. “We’re just asking people to respect our way of life and recognize that we have a purpose in the north county. We have farmland that is actual functioning farmland in the state of Florida, and we want to protect that.”

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Looking to get input from citizens, the county hired a consultant, Inspire Placemaking Collective, to conduct a planning study and survey residents on the future of North Okaloosa County.

As part of the survey, residents are asked to list their concerns related to growth in the county and what they believe should be prioritized.

“We’re just worried that we’re going to be run over with neighborhoods and infrastructure that we’re not prepared for, so we’re trying to stop the growth,” Pitzer said.

Town hall meetings have also been scheduled to get residents’ feedback. The next meeting will be held Wednesday at 6 p.m. at the Crestview Community Center.

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Pitzer is encouraging residents to participate.

“We edge to the Blackwater Forest; we have three rivers that run through here,” Pitzer said. “If we have too much growth, we’re going to start affecting the life of not just us but the animals and agriculture and all the things.”

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