Early design of Norriego Point shows pavilion, rock plans: Some Holiday Isle owners worried

Matt Algarin
These early conceptual drawings, created by Tetra Tech, show what the improvements to Norriego Point may look like. The rock wall may be extend further along the point as engineers study the erosion, but Seevers said there will still be plenty of opportunity for boaters to park along the point. A picnic area with pavilions, restrooms, drinking fountains are also included in the plans.

The proposed improvements to Norriego Point now have a visual representation, as conceptual pictures have been created by city contractors.

"It's still really early in the process, but this shows the basic idea of what we are trying to do," Mayor Sam Seevers told The Log.

The city secured $10.2 million in grant funding through the Natural Resource Damage Assessment program to complete a full stabilization project along the critically eroded Norriego Point.

As part of the restoration and stablization process, the city will use either a rock-heavy plan or combination of rock and sheet pile at the tip of the point, as well as build several erosion control structures to dissipate wave energy.

The point will also be restored to pre-Opal size, which will see roughly 8 acres of land mass added, two new embayments for recreation will be constructed, and a picnic area with pavilions, restrooms, drinking fountains, educational signage, a multi-use trail and bike racks will also be part of the new Norriego Point. The plans also call for a short road with parallel parking spaces, which would be part of the Galic Pointe property.

With the slate of improvements on the board, some Holiday Isle condo association presidents have expressed concern that the point's enhancements will create additional traffic along Holiday Isle.

In a letter to various parties along Holiday Isle, John Burns, president of the Destin Sands Condo Association, wrote that the proposed changes will "adversely affect our properties."

He suggests in the letter that is on file with the city that entities form a group, hire legal counsel and "fight to preserve our piece of paradise as we know it."

The final design of the point must ultimately be approved by the city council.

Although it's still early in the process, Seevers said there should be plenty of excitement about the future of the point, as city leaders have worked hard to secure the funding.

"It's going to be something we are very proud of," Seevers told The Log.