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‘GENERATIONAL OPPORTUNITY’: Okaloosa County sets sights on Eglin AFB orphan parcels for development

The Okaloosa Board of County Commissioners unanimously approved sending a letter and summary document to Brig. Gen. Jeffrey T. Geraghty on Tuesday, outlining priority uses for 12 orphan parcels on […]

The Okaloosa Board of County Commissioners unanimously approved sending a letter and summary document to Brig. Gen. Jeffrey T. Geraghty on Tuesday, outlining priority uses for 12 orphan parcels on Eglin Air Force Base and authorizing county staff to evaluate options for a comprehensive master plan.

  • The parcels could see a mix of residential development, including single-family homes, multi-family transitional housing, 55+/senior community condos, and workforce housing. Commercial development is also a possibility, with plans for mixed-use highway frontage, medical facilities, and college expansions.

The decision follows a March 14 community meeting where representatives from the county and several municipalities identified potential uses for the parcels, which are considered candidates for leasing or real property transactions by Eglin AFB. The parcels include:

  1. Camp Pinchot (135 acres)
  2. East Garnier Creek (166 acres)
  3. Poquito Bayou (91 acres)
  4. Mill Creek Wetlands (36 acres)
  5. North Nine Golf Course West (115 acres)
  6. North Nine Golf Course East (55 acres)
  7. North Nine/K-21 (73 acres)
  8. K-21 (~350 acres)
  9. L-34 (200 acres)
  10. L-33 (295 acres)
  11. L-24 (80 acres)
  12. Addie Lewis Parcel (22 acres)

While the county is focusing its efforts on Orphan Parcel 9, which includes the North Nine Golf Course West and East parcels, the letter addresses all 12 parcels and their potential uses.

“We appreciate the efforts of Eglin Air Force Base to develop a Strategic Plan for orphan parcels within Okaloosa County that allocates land uses that meet Eglin community requirements and to seek opportunities with community partners for development,” the letter to Gen. Geraghty states.

The county proposes taking the lead on a comprehensive planning effort for the parcels in coordination with community partners, using the meeting results as a starting point for a 10-year strategic plan.

  • “While we acknowledge that the ultimate development of each orphan parcel will be subject to change, this document may serve as a starting point for a 10-year strategic plan that can guide each community partner’s efforts in the pursuit of orphan parcels adjacent to their community,” the letter reads.

County Administrator John Hofstad emphasized the importance of addressing attainable housing in Okaloosa County, noting that the county’s role is to eliminate barriers and reduce costs associated with development.

“We are doing what we can internally to help address this problem, recognizing that we’re not developers and we’re not builders, that’s not what we do,” Hofstad said during the meeting. “Our mechanism to move this forward is to eliminate as many barriers as we can to help reduce costs associated with that.”

The commissioners expressed enthusiasm for the potential of the orphan parcels, with Chairman Paul Mixon calling it an “exciting agenda item” and Commissioner Mel Ponder describing it as a “once in a generation opportunity.”

Next steps: The County says they will be working on this to “responsibly consider options” and be prepared to present their ideas with Eglin if they respond favorably to the letter.

10 Responses

  1. Unreal. There is no room for more people here. Dirtbags and POS people are gonna move in and ruin there great area. People are so greedy it is unreal. Clearly John Hofstad is getting kick backs along with other public officials around here. Wait until a hurricane his and all the homes that are broken into while the smart people evac.

  2. They think that Eglin AFB is going to give up there golf course!!!! They are so delusional!!

  3. BS Affordable Housing My A$$! DO NOT DO IT Gen Geraghty! Keep Eglin Fed Owned and Controlled! Seriously they think they can get or even afford Poquito Bayou and Eglin Golf Course…

  4. All the greedy sobs already screwed up the whole town . I was raised here as kid and never dreamed this kind of crap would happen to this place. It’s a damn shame!!!

  5. The greedy s.o.b.s have already screwed up the whole town.i never dreamed that it would be the way it is. It’s a damn shame!!!

  6. The affordable housing in that area near wonderful schools and senior assisted living condominiums would be great. For the military to even think of leasing or selling land for these ideas are great. Clearly, the military understands the assignment. Only simple minded, color focused, uneducated individuals would disagree with these great ideas.

  7. I think this plan would be great for this community. Changing with the times bringing economic growth. Jobs. Improvement housing and business opportunities. Vibrancy to the community.

  8. Eglin has aleady given up the back nine holes of the Falcon golf course. The Falcon is now a 9 hole course. My concern is how the topography matches up with affordable housing. There are a lot of elevation changes, natural barriers and beautiful forests. Would be natural location for more costlier homes with large lots, retaining most or all of the trees.

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