Crestview named among University of Florida’s top 100 growing cities

Published: Friday, December 14, 2012 at 10:41 AM.

Panama City, the next closest neighbor on the list, ranked 73rd, with a 2.5 percent population decline since 2000 and .8 percent increase between 2010 and 2012 to 35,800 people.

No other Okaloosa, Santa Rosa or Walton County communities made the top 100 list.

However, with the city’s growth come growing pains.

Most noticeably, the homebound evening commute from the county’s south end has increased in recent years. New growth clogs feeder roads including P.J. Adams Parkway and John King Road.

The city addressed infrastructure expansion in expectation of the Base Realignment and Closure-mandated arrival of the 7th Special Forces, including expanding water and sewer systems.

However, traffic problems remain an issue because the county or state controls the roads that most sorely need widening, officials say.

“The city’s growth creates opportunities but it also creates challenges, and I think we have to be careful not to pursue growth simply for growth’s sake,” County Commissioner Nathan Boyles, who represents the north county, said. “We want to make sure we are growing in a way that allows us to develop economically but also allows us to preserve our unique quality of life.

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