Developer Seeks Zoning Change For 376 Acres In Molino For Residential ‘Estates’

January 16, 2022

A developer is proposing a large scale zoning change for 376 acres in Molino for the potential development of residential “estates”.

The acreage, all currently wooded and undeveloped, is on five parcels along or near either Gibson Road or Crabtree Church Road in Molino. The parcels are owned by Thomas Henry of Thomas Homes in Cantonment.

“The current growth in the area suggests that an additional area of low-density residential development would be in the general direction of development of the surroundings,” the application states. “The infrastructure is in place to support such a pattern of development. The approval of the proposed future land use will expand the residential area and will provide necessary dwellings to accommodate the future projected population.”

The current agricultural zoning on the property is agriculture, which allows for a maximum residential density of one dwelling unit on each 20 acres. Henry is proposing a future land use change to agricultural residential, which would allow a maximum of one residence per four acres.

The application states that site design is ongoing, but Henry envisions a “sprawling rural residential development comprised of large multi-acre single-family detached estates”. Application documents state there is sufficient infrastructure in place, including road capacity and utilities, to support the residences.

Some of the property is wetlands, which may limit development. Documents state that a majority of the property is not “prime soil” for agriculture, as defined by the USDA.

Before any future development, site plan reviews will be required for all proposals to ensure compatibility with the surrounding area.

The Escambia County Planning Board will hold a hearing on the zoning and future land use changes on Tuesday, February 1 at the Escambia County Central Office Complex at 3363 West Park Street.

Pictured top: Zoning changes are being proposed for the parcels in red. Pictured below: Public notice signs. graphic/photo. Click to enlarge.


46 Responses to “Developer Seeks Zoning Change For 376 Acres In Molino For Residential ‘Estates’”

  1. 20 acres on January 22nd, 2022 6:36 pm

    I wanted to purchase a parcel of land 40 acres I wanted 20 acres
    County said I couldn’t split the 40 because of zoning. It was very close to this property in question. They also denied me agricultural status because I have less than 40acres now.
    I think it just comes down to who your drinking buddies are and how much money you have.
    I have no problem with growth I have a problem with what’s good for one should be good for all

  2. Floridaman on January 20th, 2022 5:58 pm

    I hope we can stop this. It will fill our community with yankees fleeing their commie hellscapes that they voted that way. And then corrupt our way of life. If Thomas ever did anything good for a community I haven’t seen it, and would bet I will never see it.

  3. Mike J. on January 18th, 2022 12:52 pm

    Yep, that’s what happened in Beulah when the 4H club sold their land to Navy Federal and they have been chopping away at the country life ever since. If I owned that property, I would put my house right in the middle and not sell.

  4. Vickey Grant on January 18th, 2022 12:44 pm


  5. Puddin on January 18th, 2022 8:53 am

    This is crazy. We don’t have the infrastructure for more people in this area. We would need more schools, wider roads, traffic signals, etc. And then a Walmart and dollar general stores. Next thing you know, our peaceful country life is gone.
    How about instead of developing farmland, we focus on revitalizing down town. The huge among of beautiful old homes down there that are going to ruin is so sad, and such a waste.

  6. Bonnie Exner on January 18th, 2022 12:26 am

    I resent the way this whole clandestine rezoning fiasco came about…why wasn’t there town hall meetings about possible change like has been in the past..Could it be that those who are promoting this didn’t want their neighbors to know??. Also I find the timing of the meeting interesting..TUESDAY at 8:30 am when most people are on their way to work..and the location..25+ miles from the land in question…I believe it is a case of the fox being put in charge of the hen house. Yes,growth is inevitable but quality and quantity of expansion needs to be addressed and assurances that ALL the infrastructure is inplace before the first home foundation is dug.

  7. Carola on January 17th, 2022 10:30 pm

    Here we go again! Build it all up and then
    watch the hats come off while they scratch their heads wondering why nobody thought about traffic! Navy Federal ring a bell?
    It’s always an afterthought isn’t it? Then bingo, we have road construction! Always an afterthought!!! Heard of planning ahead? Never! Not here in these woods.

  8. Annoyed on January 17th, 2022 9:03 pm

    It will be people from bigger towns who want to live the way we do but then they will complain of gun shots at 6am when we’re in the backyard tree stand during hunting season or the 9pm gun shot when there’s coyotes trying to get in the chicken coop. They will complain of the bonfires, four wheelers and other things we do. They want to live in the middle of now where but don’t want to accept and adapt the lifestyle that comes with it.

  9. Hawk on January 17th, 2022 5:07 pm

    I’d like to add to what Jimbo wrote. Growth is human. But the problem with this area is, Escambia County can only grow North. Don’t blame your feelings of being crowded on individuals. Genghis Khan did it. The Romans did it. We did it to the Native American. It will continue. We must adapt, as humans have for thousands of years.

  10. Neighbor on January 17th, 2022 12:02 pm

    Attend the meeting! Let them see you! Voice your concerns to those present at the meeting! Just like a school board meeting, fill out the form to request to speak. Fill the room with people sharing the same concerns.

  11. Jimbo on January 17th, 2022 10:41 am

    I understand why most of you are upset and it is the same reason that people were upset when you built your homes in the country however many years ago it was. Things change and time moves on. All you are guaranteed that will not be built on is what you personally own. Insulate yourselves by buying more land around your homes or just wait for them to come, as they will. If you want to be upset with anyone, who sold the developer the property??? I am sure that was a neighbor that took the cash. Sorry it is happening, but that is how it is. Humans keep making more humans and the builders keep making more homes.

  12. Luman on January 17th, 2022 8:43 am

    @ reader just growth is not the argument. The rate and type of growth is however. 1 house per 20 acres is fine with me and is current the rule. 4 acres per house is a issue. That amount of growth will not only change but hurt our community. All these house will be on septic and this property is between not 1 but 2 creeks that feed into a large water way. The roads can not handle 200 plus more vehicles. Note: the bridge on Crabtree was recently repaired the bridge on Gibson has been 1 lane only for 2 years plus. We have 1 gas station that is .20 higher already and most of the time don’t even have fuel. The DG is the only source of small grocery’s. Our community is in no way ready for such development.

  13. SueB on January 17th, 2022 8:13 am

    Look what the County Commissioners approved of and ruined wet lands just for a Southwest Sports Complex. Neighbors are attended meetings and complained to no avail. Have to fight big money with money (money which we neighbors did not have) and we lost.

  14. brianh on January 17th, 2022 5:47 am

    We’ve let the so called home builder run Escambia and Santa Rosa counties for far too long. They have lined their pockets and then buy the BOCC members of both counties. What do we the citizens get? Crowded roads and more taxes and fees.

  15. Reader on January 16th, 2022 10:33 pm

    You are wasting your time fighting this just because you don’t like it. The planning board will follow all the rules and look at all the regulations. One house for every four acres is the allowed use by law with the change, and they will make the change.

    To win, you must fight with the idea that agricultural use — farming or timber — is the most important use for the property.

    We don’t like growth is not a winnable argument.

  16. Alex Arduini on January 16th, 2022 10:08 pm

    If you want to fight this zoning change, show up to the meeting or email/call every county commissioner and tell them how you feel. Let your voices be heard.

  17. EMD on January 16th, 2022 9:53 pm

    I think we should get to vote on this. There are a number of senior citizens in the area that can not drive in traffic or at night like they once did to get to important meetings. It is not that they do not care. Let the developers do something useful and humane, like go and develop Century. They could use the help, if that is possible.

  18. Kris on January 16th, 2022 8:49 pm

    The infrastructure is already in place? What a joke! The water lines are old and breaks occur very often. Internet is sketchy at best. Power goes out every time the wind blows. 99, Crabtree nor Gibson can handle that kind of traffic flow. If we get heavy rains, the bridges are under water and impassable. The sagging power lines won’t allow trusses to pass underneath either. As for agriculture, the land has been growing trees! The wetlands clean our air and our water systems!

  19. Mike Spinks on January 16th, 2022 7:49 pm

    Please leave it like it is. Having lived on Gibson Road for over forty years, I enjoy going outside on a cold winters night and seeing nothing but stars. Why don’t the county hold meetings out this way? Are these planners, commissioners, and developers afraid of us people who have a little common sense? How much money are these people going to make? How long will it be before the people in God’s country have to start paying city taxes? Again, leave it as it is.

  20. Cmt on January 16th, 2022 7:28 pm

    Are country way of life is slowly be taken away from us. A subdivision would definitely be a nail in the coffin of our rural life. Just look at Pace or even more recently Beulah. Definitely do not want a subdivision anywhere near here.

  21. Klondike Kid on January 16th, 2022 6:35 pm

    I sympathize with the folks that live there. The unbridled growth in Beulah ruined my ancestral homeland of Klondike. All of the people that moved to Beulah shortcut through my old neighborhood to get to the interstate. If this caper proceeds in Molino , you’ll have the newcomers going 55 or 60 mph through your neighborhoods to get to Hwy 29 . It will change your community forever , and not for the good.

  22. Hawk on January 16th, 2022 5:47 pm

    I left The Pine Forest area 16 years ago. I left Hwy 97 eight years ago. I could see the handwriting on the wall each. I am not telling you where I live now. But I am surrounded by 6 neighbors and 100,000 thousand acres of state forest. The peace and quiet will be here for a very long to come. I actually have hope that my grandchildren will enjoy it. Learn to look and prepare ten years in front of you.

  23. Kp on January 16th, 2022 4:29 pm

    No decent roads, already overcrowded schools, no grocery stores, limited fire and ems provision. But it’s owned by a builder so it will pass. Then in about a year here will come the complaints about bear, coyotes etc etc.

  24. Lorene on January 16th, 2022 2:51 pm

    Also, there has been land clearing on highway 97 at that end of Sunshine Hill Rd. I wonder how many houses are going in there ?

  25. mike on January 16th, 2022 2:04 pm

    Just feel lucky it’s not some noisy, stinking, dirty industrial crap that we have to deal with a few miles south of you guys :mad:

  26. cj on January 16th, 2022 1:33 pm

    The developers are trying to turn us into south Florida.

  27. Worn Piece on January 16th, 2022 12:52 pm

    To put this in perspective, who is buying and developing the property, as opposed to who is selling the property? To quote Pogo…”The enemy is us.”

  28. Bonnie Exner on January 16th, 2022 12:39 pm


  29. Sandra on January 16th, 2022 12:31 pm

    Interesting that it stated the infrastructure is adequate when the bridge over Alligator creek on Gibson rd has been reduced to one lane for over a year because it didnt pass inspection

  30. Brian on January 16th, 2022 12:18 pm

    Awesome. I need a bigger lawn. I hope it’s in my price range.

  31. Charlotte Rebecca Bates on January 16th, 2022 11:52 am

    Let it alone. I live in Cottage Hill, and it was quiet and peaceful, until people started building homes, and now the crime rate has gone up, I have neighbors that like to shoot their guns, and once I called the Police, they came out and told me, “You know you live out in the country.” What the hell does that have anything to do with that? You got houses out here, with kids playing. And to top it off, what about the wildlife that make that land their home? I hate the idea of putting up more homes being jammed up together so close, you can hear your neighbor fart inside their home. Money talks, and common sense walks.

  32. Luman on January 16th, 2022 11:38 am

    Please everyone attend the meeting but also share and blow this up many in our community probably do not even know about this. The lot next to these lots is owned by Thomas also. 845 acres that will the next they try to rezone. That would be over 1000 acres that they want 1 house per 4 acres. Please help!

  33. Jon Smith on January 16th, 2022 10:50 am

    I don’t think we need agricultural converted to a subdivision just for profit. There’s a lot more land closer to town. The road capacity on Gibson can not handle that many lots with the 90 degree turns. Currently the bridge on Gibson is one lane and has been that way for over a year. Just subdivide the land into 20 acre parcels and not change the area for people that live out here for the peace and quiet. If you’re would about future population please build condos or apartments in the downtown area to reduce traffic. Just my two cents.

  34. Barrineau Raised on January 16th, 2022 10:36 am

    Don’t let them do it. Molino yall have enough big wigs, money, and pull to prevent this. Country living goes out the window, dollar generals will pop up on every corner, mom and pop shops will lose out, eventually turn those 4 acre lots in to mini subdivisions, and just plain and simple, Molino will no longer be comfortable country living ever again. Earnest ward and Northview will no long be Lil schools where every1 know every1. Crime will eventually go up as the population does. Please Molino stop it

  35. SueB on January 16th, 2022 10:33 am

    Wetlands should not be disturbed. But there is always a loop hole in which the County Commissioners agree to. Its all money in their pockets.

  36. EMD on January 16th, 2022 9:41 am

    I believe that most people that live in the country WANT to live in the country. Please just say, “NO!” to crowding.

  37. Mike on January 16th, 2022 9:13 am

    It does not matter who goes and complains about this he will get what he wants due to the fact that he is a big known home builder in the area. The north end of this county does not have the infrastructure that would be necessary. Next thing you know the county will want to 4 line all the little roads around to support the traffic.

  38. Rusty Shakleford on January 16th, 2022 8:43 am

    NO NO NO. Let’s be conservative and say 300 acres is buildable. That’s 75 homes with at least 2 cars a piece which translates to 150 more vehicles on 2 lane roads. Escambia County will do nothing to improve infrastructure to lighten the load. A builder saying all is good? What a joke. The only thing they are interested in is a “sprawling” wallet. The name Henry does not correspond to quality homes as history dictates.
    Folks live in the country to get away from all the congestion. The people in this county making decisions on projects like this do not take the people it’s effecting into consideration. Just because few if any show up for your CYA meetings doesn’t mean you don’t have a legion against it.

  39. SRR on January 16th, 2022 8:43 am

    The cable company needs to get on the trolley! We don’t even have cable up 97 and people want to develop subdivisions creeping out this way? This day and age working from home is paramount and most of us can’t even do that because just about every work at home net job wants 3-4mbps uploads; best you get on Frontier is 1mbps up.

    Holding out for Starlink but that is a ways off plus there’s about a 200-300mbps variance in u/d bitrate on a 1000mbps u/d service (which is not great because of potential packet loss, but way better than Frontier is currently). Plus Starlink will run $100 a month. I’m paying $110 a month for 12mpbs down and 1mpbs up, its robbery… Digital robbery. Also good bit monopolistic because they know we don’t have a better choice, currently. I will burn a Frontier effigy once better internet is available, for the 30 years of oppression being a decade behind technology, because the only provider is a greedy corporation.

  40. Geoff Bjorklund on January 16th, 2022 8:38 am

    Tearing down paradise to put in a parking lot.

  41. tc on January 16th, 2022 7:32 am

    Shame these “developers” cant sell their property at an affordable price.. His asking price of 20k / acre is straight price gouging folks & should be illegal..

  42. Honest John on January 16th, 2022 7:09 am

    I really don’t think the road capacity is in place as stated.

  43. mnon on January 16th, 2022 7:05 am

    more subdivisions… woohoo… /end sarcasm

  44. barrineau on January 16th, 2022 6:54 am

    Sure hope this doesn’t pass. I’ve lived out here my whole life and the country is slowly turning into Pensacola. But I’m sure someone’s pocket will be lined and it will pass.

  45. Russell on January 16th, 2022 6:26 am

    If we haven’t noticed developers destroy communities for profit. But the redneck south nothing is sacred!

  46. Concerned Citizen that on January 16th, 2022 6:07 am

    Hopefully someone won’t be paid off and this refining will be stopped! Tired of Subdivisions, keep them South of The Paper Mill.

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