Walton County Board of County Commissioners gave a green light to the owners of Blue Mountain Creamery at Tuesday morning's meeting in DeFuniak Springs.
Identified on agendas simply as The Yellow House, litigation and mitigation has been ongoing with the county for some time.
At Tuesday's meeting, Planning Director Mac Carpenter presented the proposal for a small-scale amendment to change the designation for the corner where the Creamery rests from residential preservation to neighborhood commercial.
Carpenter said the change was due to a settlement agreement reached between the county and owner Christine Taylor, who bought the property in 1995.
The creamery is located at the corner of County Road 83 and County Highway 30A and the building has housed other businesses through the years.
The Taylor family was represented by Tallahassee land-use Attorney David Theriaque.
Theriaque noted that he has an online petition signed by 770 supporters, along with 400 signatures on a written petition, and letters of support for the Creamery.
The property is surrounded by other businesses operating under the Village Mixed Use designation.
"The ability to use the building as a home has left the building," said Theriaque. "But because of the land-use designation she can't get insurance on the property. If a hurricane comes, she is unable to insure. This change will enable her to no longer have non-confirming status. They are non-confirming because of the use and they have been sited for using an awning, for putting out a bench, and for a picnic table."
The property rests on .25 acre.
Assistant County Attorney Sidney Noyes advised commissioners that if the Creamery ever wanted to expand in any manner the owners would have to come before commissioners for a development order.
Several residents spoke in support of the business telling commissioners they enjoy supporting a family business and being able to walk to get ice cream.
"The designation of neighborhood commercial is much less intense. It prohibits bars and gas stations. We support this land-use change," said Carpenter.
District 5 Commissioner Tony Anderson was the first of the four commissioners to recommend approval.
"It's a landmark," he said. "In the hot sun there will be 50 to 100 people trying to get ice cream. These people have worked extremely hard to build this business up. It's family owned. South Walton and 30A want this. We need to approve this so these people can get insurance."
Although District 4 Commissioner Sara Comander said she was torn, in the final tally, all four Commissioners voted to approve the change.