Aaron Bessant Park Improvements Workshop Date Set

In a city commission meeting yesterday, a date for the first public workshop was set to discuss the improvements slated to be made to Aaron Bessant Park in Panama City Beach.  The park improvements were voted on and approved to begin planning at the last commission meeting.  Originally, three members of the commission voted for and two members voted against the improvements.  The tension from the disagreement seemed to be present at yesterday’s meeting.

An accelerated schedule

Panama City Beach City Manager Richard Jackson presented what was later dubbed an “accelerated schedule” for project construction and completion.  The schedule included awarding the construction contract in October and beginning development in November.  The goal, in the schedule, is to be complete and ready for the Seabreeze Jazz Festival in April.

Details about the park improvements
  • 60′x40′ amphitheater with permanent roof and walls suitable for theatrical productions, orchestral performances and musical events
  • Expanded amphitheater lawn area (see diagram below
  • Vegetative buffers around the parameter to prevent the need for temporary fencing
  • The Festival Lawn (the sandy area that’s used as overflow and vedor parking behind the park) will be improved to the quality of Frank Brown Park’s festival area
  • This area will support parking, play fields, and will have sod and irrigation
  • Additional bathroom facilities
Information about the public workshop

The public workshop is an opportunity for your voice to be heard.  The intention is to hear feedback from community residents and interested parties to get feedback on the project, it’s future use, implementation and development.  I would urge anyone that is planning on going, not to go with the intention of stopping this project.  The point is to get public feedback, and if you come with your argumentative hat on, your input will be difficult to hear.

The workshop will be held on Wednesday August 31, 2011 at 6 pm.

The issues on the agenda to discuss at the workshop:

These are bullet points provided from Panama City Beach City Manager Richard Jackson.

  • FCT (Florida Communities Trust) Management plan and their view of “passive park”
  • Parking
  • Access
  • Soccer fields
  • Number of bathrooms
  • Long term maintenance responsibility and cost
  • Environmental respect for Lullwater Lake (wetland)
  • Sound attenuation
  • Operational Standards
  • Traffic
  • Pedestrian access
  • Lighting

I have an opinion on this development, as well as the new Walmart development, as I know many of our readers do.  You can read it here.

9 thoughts on “Aaron Bessant Park Improvements Workshop Date Set

  1. What’s the point of the workshop? They are going to do what they want.
    And how much do these promoters have to pay to use this place?
    Why are they exempt from the noise ordinance when there are hundreds of households next door?


    1. Hopefully, all of the hundreds of households next door will be attending the events and will have an opportunity to contribute to the noise. I would assume the promoters will have to pay the same price as the patrons will have to pay to enjoy the offerings, unless it is a “for profit” event.


      1. Not likely given that the locals aren’t always even being allowed to buy tickets to these concerts nowadays. Not that that matters: I’m writing this a mile from the Park, and currently feeling my walls vibrate to the sound of drums from the Country Music festival (so yes, I’m probably biased and opinionated). No one can convince me that these events won’t get louder or more regular once a new stage is built. This workshop already has the feel of going through the process just because it needs to be done, I’m becoming resigned to the fact that the voices of a large number of residents are not being heard anyway, and even this article makes it sound like we are just being argumentative! I don’t believe the suggestions I’ve heard aired many times, of looking into other possibly better suited locations in the area has ever been considered.


      2. That was a wishful thinking typo in my last post: it’s the Christian Music Festival, not Country. 🙂


      3. You are being argumentative. Weve been needing a concert park around here for years and thats the perfect place to put it. Its not like they are going to have concerts every night any way and they will have to be over by 10pm.


      4. Wrong! They were playing until at least 10:30 -11:00 Sat night. I know because it kept me awake when I had to get up early for work the next day……thanks TDC for messing up my sleep pattern.


  2. Again…… you have to think here people. This loud music that you are complaining about already will not be an issue every night, 7 days a week or 365 days a year. It will just be for a few evenings. What on earth did you think it would be when this planned amphitheater was constructed here? When there are bands & events scheduled, there will be noise. Please tell me…… weren’t these “BIG” major events held over across the main road in a big baseball field? Is this where it will be constructed or in Pier Park?
    Someone mentioned about noise of condo owners, renters, residents up on the West end side hearing the noise & being bothered. One thing that (may) happen here: Residents that do not like music will eventually move as will condo owners that live there year round or renters will migrate down on the East end.
    But then again I think this is really people worrying for nothing here, the music will not play continually forever. Surly if you think about this rationally residents & condo owners will see this.
    Good Luck……..


  3. If people are run out of the immediate area due to concert noise, will you pay the loss in property value for us all, Cathy?
    I really dont think tourists opinions should override local resident concerns.


    1. I seriously believe that residents and condo owners will be (as you put it) “Run out of the area” because music is playing less than a mile from where it usually plays possible 2 or 3 evening a week.
      Payments— I support PCB the many times a year our family, friends and business partners come to enjoy Panama City Beach, and for over the 50 years I have been vacationing here. This is how well I know the area & can give a “valid” opinion.
      I may be labeled “just a tourist” to you but, I am proud I can share interest in a community I love so well.
      Peace be with your opinion……


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