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Wakulla County Charter Committee votes to make changes in charter, despite concerns about state law

Posted at 12:27 PM, Dec 06, 2023
and last updated 2023-12-06 12:27:55-05
  • Wakulla County Charter Review made the final decision to make changes to Wakulla County's charter.
  • They voted to pass all the proposed amendments
  • Watch the video to find out why some committee members are concerned two of the proposed amendments may go against state laws

Broadcast Transcript:

The Charter Review Committee voted to pass the proposed amendments with 12 in favor and 3 opposed.

Now those amendments will go on to be reviewed by the Wakulla County Commission

Some members of the Committee are concerned that the state law could preempt the following proposed amendments:

  • Requiring all new development to preserve live oak trees and others measuring at 12 inches in diameter.
  • Requiring all new proposed RV parks be limited to a maximum of 5 RV spaces per acre.

“There was a law passed in special session in July or signed in June or July that deals with citizens' initiatives on land development code issues and two of our proposals fit that category and if it’s determined that the new law new state law preempts what the county is doing then those will not go to the voters but again at least maybe we can start a discussion on those items.”

Andy Riddle is on the charter review committee. He says despite what happens he feels it sparks conversations about these topics.

"If those items are preempted at least we start a discussion on those items and possibly make some changes through different means."

If the items are preempted that means the amendments would not go to the voters to decide on.

During discussion, that's when they realized the proposed amendments could impact the law.

Others are feeling hopeful that the proposed amendments could make it on next years ballot.

"I think it went pretty well in the end. We moved the whole body forward. It would've been very disappointing if that would've not happened."

Dave Damon is also on the charter review committee. He says after a year of working on the charter he hopes the proposed amendments will move forward.

"With the Florida Legislature making changes with preemption they may or may not be able to go forward, so we'll just wait and see if we really accomplished much or not."

Wakulla County Commissioners are expected to evaluate the proposed amendments by the meeting on January 2nd or after.