It’s been a very interesting time around Destin lately. There has been a lot of activity taking place, lots of issues brought forward before the Chamber and the city. Your Board has been engaged in most of these issues, whether you’ve heard about them or not.
As always, your Board considers all angles on all issues. Mostly, the decisions it makes, the positions it takes, are geared around whether or not its position 1) improves the quality of life/quality of place, 2) has a positive impact on the economy and business climate, 3) what are the repercussions of our actions.
Recently, the Board voted to take a position opposing aircraft taking off and landing in/around/near the harbor, East Pass, and Crab Island (it’s a harbor for boats, not an airstrip!). The Board voted to support the widening of Highway 98 from Silver Sands Outlets to Airport Road in Destin. The Board supported the extension of existing development orders by two years, as long as these were date specific with an end date. (Destin City Council actually passed an ordinance to extend by one year rather than two, a position your Board fully supports). And we’ll continue to monitor the progress of the city’s new comprehensive plan, specifically what happens with the tiering system for development.
One of the more tense issues has been that of the opening of a strip club in the industrial district of Destin. While we haven’t heard from a large number of members from either side of this issue, your Board of Directors has discussed the issue at numerous meetings. At its February meeting, the Board voted to take a position of opposition to the strip club. The Board’s official position and statement are: “We acknowledge that City Council is bound by law to make its decision, and we understand our position may not affect its decision in any way. This Chamber has worked hard over last three years to diversify our economy. It is going to take redevelopment within the city. The industrial park is primed for redevelopment, so it is an area we can use to diversify our economy. What hi-tech research business is going to want to come in and locate its business next to a strip club? It is going to hurt our efforts to diversify our economy and create jobs. Therefore, we are opposed to a strip club in Destin.”
So there you have it – your Board’s position on the strip club. As always, we welcome your comments or questions.
Until my next blog, I wish you continued success in your business. I hope to see you soon at an upcoming Chamber event!
Shane Moody, CCE, FCCP
President & CEO
Destin Area Chamber of Commerce