Fort Walton Beach may annex land to get a Wal-Mart

Okaloosa County has rejected Wal-Mart's request to rezone land, so the city may annex it

Oct.October 02, 2016 01:30 PM

About six weeks after Wal-Mart failed to get land in unincorporated Okaloosa County rezoned, Fort Walton Beach is pondering whether to annex the property.

Michael Beedie, the city manager of Fort Walton Beach, told the Northwest Florida Daily News that he recently met with Wal-Mart officials and owners of the property to discuss a possible annexation of the unincorporated property.

A Wal-Mart spokeswoman declined to comment but issued a written statement stating that the company is “currently exploring opportunities to better serve our customers in Fort Walton Beach,” where Wal-Mart has operated for more than 30 years.

The Okaloosa County Commission in August voted down Wal-Mart’s proposal to rezone the land from residential to general commercial, which would have allowed Wal-Mart to build a small store and a gas station there. The proposal drew a firestorm of criticism from residents of the Bayview neighborhood in Fort Walton Beach.

Beedie, the city manager, said he expects to put the proposed annexation on the agenda of the Fort Walton Beach City Council by early November. [Northwest Florida Daily News] — Mike Seemuth

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