Monster houses proposed for south Walton County cause concern

SANTA ROSA BEACH — A development proposal that would put eight multiple-story 12-bedroom short-term vacation rental units — each with more than 5,000 square feet of living space — on a 2.5-acre tract on Sea Croft Drive east of Walton County Road 393 near beachside Walton County Road 30A must return to the county’s Technical Review Committee (TRC) next month for further consideration.

“I have great concerns about this one,” Walton County Planning Director Mac Carpenter, who chairs the TRC, told Bryan Osborn of Anderson Engineering, the Destin firm working with the developer on the project.

The proposal from Seacroft Holdings LLC, a corporation registered in Florida in December with a Panama City Beach mailing address, comes as the county is working through proposed amendments to its land development code aimed at addressing “monster houses” — local shorthand for massive short- term vacation rental properties like those proposed for the Sea Croft Drive tract — that can in some cases sleep as many as a few dozen people.