Resident questions zoning changes

Published: Friday, June 7, 2013 at 11:47 AM.

CHIPLEY — AMVETS Post 7 of Chipley is considering moving to a new location outside the city limits, but Washington County Planning Commission members say county zoning and liquor laws may hamper that move.

Chipley resident Miles Anderson came before the commission Tuesday to ask questions about the zoning of a piece of property in Washington County that the AMVETS were looking at purchasing for use as a lodge.

“When we reviewed the zoning status it said ‘commercial,’” Anderson said, “but when we called the planning office we were told it was residential.”

Senior Planner Mike DeRuntz explained that the property Anderson was talking about is zoned as residential property on the county’s Future Land Use Map. The building on the land was once used as a fraternal lodge, Anderson said, and he asked why the property’s zoning changed from commercial to residential. He also said that in checking real estate listing and with the county property appraiser’s office, the property is still listed as commercial.

“I understand how you may feel about alcohol sales, and the consumption of alcohol, but in this country, you are allowed to make a choice, whether or not you want to purchase or consume alcohol,” Anderson said.

Anderson said he had called DeRuntz’s office and been told that he could not sell alcohol under the county’s current zoning laws.

“I would like someone to sit down with me and explain why it’s okay to sell a six-pack three miles north of town, but I can’t negotiate for a piece of property to move a fraternal organization to,” Anderson said.

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