Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Dr. J. Crayton Pruitt's development plans for the Dekle Beach area started out with the Magnolia Bay Marina & Resort, which was squashed because of the environmental impact that the development and proposed canal would have on the Big Bend Seagrasses Aquatic Preserve along Taylor County's coastline. The rejection of Magnolia Bay was followed by plan 2 -- The Reserve at Sweetwater Estuary which eliminated the marina and included a golf course with 624 housing units, an 874-room hotel and 280,000 sq. ft. of commercial space. Because this plan still impacted 58 acres of wetlands, it too was rejected by state regulators. The new plan for a golf course community called the Sweetwater Resort Community will encompass approximately 1291 acres of land along Dekle Beach Road and County Road 361 (the Beach Road), and significantly reduces the impact to wetlands. The development will include residential, commercial, hotel & conference center, recreational areas, roadways, trails, boardwalks, kayak & canoe trails, a golf course and club house. It is expected to create 685 permanent non-construction new jobs in the area.