published: Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Swamp Hammock will have to get special use permit
SEBRING - It was another five-hour session for Highlands County
commissioners Tuesday evening as they again discussed the proposed
Swamp Hammock Outdoor Recreation Park. At the end of the meeting, the
commission totally reversed their direction - voting by a 4-1 margin to
throw out a requested zoning change and instead pursue issuing a temporary use
permit to the facility.
Even so, questions remained about the ability to conduct a commercial venture on property zoned for agriculture. Highlands County commission chair Jack Richie ordered planning and zoning staff to get on formulating such a measure. Apparently, that will not come back to commissioners, but be administrated by Highlands County Zoning Supervisor Linda Conrad.
Early on, commissioners questioned staff about that issue after hearing contentions from legal counsel for Swamp Hammock opponents Paula House that state statutes prohibited such use agricultural zoning. However, upon receiving assurances from both board attorney Ross MacBeth and members of planning and zoning staff that such uses were indeed allowed under both Highlands County's comprehensive land use management plan and land development regulations, they continued the hearing.Just like last month's session there was a long line of both proponents and opponents of the proposed facility. Opponents discussed concerns about noise, trash, pollution and liability problems. Proponents said such recreation was sorely needed especially for the county's youth.
Come-on Wendell (by: Blindman~ - 3/27/2013)
Wendell, what would you expect about something like this? There are deep feelings on both sides. So much land has been fenced from off-roading in this county compared to "the ol'e days", kids need a place to bust out and get down n' dirty in the mud but how can you blame the quiet community and land owners around there for not wanting it in their back yard? Mr. White is probably the only one involved who really cares about the youth & 4-wheeling while the owners are trying to salvage a failed investment and Mr. Kennedy is seeing $ signs. It does appear to be a bit ridiculous if you look at key players in the game.
Swamp Hammock (by: Wendell Whitehouse - 3/26/2013)
Doesn't anyone think this is just getting a little bit ridiculous??? I mean, come on guys......
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