A whole lot of Homosassa residents made the effort to attend the Halls River Development Public Hearing last night.
Starting at 5:06 with Clark A. Stillwell, attorney for the Halls River Development, Inc, presenting the case as to why Homosassa needed a four story, 101 room, 50 foot high structure on wet lands plus a 2,500 sq. ft. restaurant and how their project would fit in.
Then it was time for the public to speak up.
Only one person in the audience, Bud Allen, spoke in support of the developer. Twenty-five spoke against.
Starting with Rodney MacRae who stated that “There is a time and a place for everything and this is not the time. Not the place.” He used one of his father’s quotes and said that anyone that wanted this project “Got rocks in their head”. Rodney further said that the project was “Not Compatible with Anything”.
One of my other favorite presenters was Iris Rose who stated her case against the motel and turned to the commission and said that we have no mayor nor city council. “We only have you”.
Very strong words.
There were attorney’s, residents, concerned citizens from other parts of the county, speakers representing groups. All with impassioned pleas to stop this project.
Two retired professional firefighters from Orlando that had settled in Homosassa said that neither our fire department nor the water system was adequate to protect the building. Others pointed out that there was no parking provided for the trucks and boat trailers that would come with the motel guests nor enough parking for the employees.
At 7:35 the public portion was closed and then the board made their comments. Each commissioner gave many reasons for their vote.
Starting with Scott Carnahan. No.
Scott Adams. No.
Ron Kitchen. No.
Dennis Damato. No.
Joe Meek. No.
The application was denied at 7:51.
And then there was a standing ovation.
Sometimes having a lot of concerned citizens stepping up against something that they see is just wrong actually does work.
It’s not over. There will probably be lawsuits.
But Homosassa and the environment won this round!