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Okaloosa County moves forward with planning study to address rapid growth in northern regions

Okaloosa County, Florida – Okaloosa County is taking steps toward managing its growing population, particularly in the northern regions. The county’s rapid expansion has required a comprehensive planning study, and officials are keen on involving the community through a series of town hall meetings.

Engaging the Community in Growth Management

The process began with a public town hall meeting in 2023 and will continue with two additional gatherings in March 2024. These meetings are crucial for collecting community input and ensuring the residents’ voices are integral to the planning process. Okaloosa County Board Chairman Paul Mixon emphasized the importance of this initiative, stating, “We are excited to move forward with the next step of this study that will address how we can responsibly manage growth and progress in the county. We want to ensure that the voices of Okaloosa residents are heard so that we can preserve what is most important to us. With sound planning, we can ensure our quality of life is maintained and enhanced.”

The main goal of these town halls is to gather feedback on the residents’ primary concerns and introduce the consulting firm, Inspire Placemaking Collective, Inc., tasked with the study. The insights gained from these meetings will guide the Board of County Commissioners as they provide further instructions to the consultant on how to proceed with the study.

The scheduled town hall meetings are set for 6 p.m.–9 p.m. on March 25 and 27, 2024, at the Baker Recreation Community Center and Crestview Community Center, respectively.

To facilitate ongoing public engagement, Inspire has launched a dedicated website for the study, which will allow the community to review and comment on draft reports and other crucial aspects of the planning process.

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