Progress Energy is coming with its nuclear power plant construction and the Levy County Commission is starting to feel the impact from the public.
In Tuesday's regular county commission meeting a request to re-zone 4 parcels of land from along US Highway 19/98 and Southeast 68th Avenue in Inglis from agricultural to C-2 which would allow a variety of retail and personal services uses sparked a discussion among citizens about the coming changes.
Darryl A. Diamond, a licensed real estate broker who is moving his business from Kissemmee to Inglis, requested the change to allow a real estate office and mini-storage facility to be constructed.
Residents in the area opposed the change because Diamond could sell the property after winning the C-2 designation and an alcoholic beverage operation could use the re-zoning for a bar.
The county Planning Commission recommended denial of the re-zoning by a 3-2 vote.
The county commission, with Commissioner Nancy Bell absent, voted 4-0 to disapprove the re-zoning request and recommended Diamond come back with a request to rezone the property C-1. The would allow him to build his office and mini-storage, but would not allow a bar.
"I don't want my neighbors to feel I am going to blow this area out," Diamond said, explaining that he will be retiring to the Inglis area. "But I realize Progress Energy is going to be bringing in a lot of folks."
He said he hopes to be selling real estate to the employees brought in by the construction of the two-unit nuclear power plant.
Another concern, addressed by residents in the area and Commissioner Tony Parker is the wetlands on the rear half of the parcels.
Claudia and Steve Anderson, who lives on Southeast 68th Avenue, said the land "is wet. It's wet all the time. It's wet now."
She noted his entrances will not be on Hwy 19/98. "They won't be able to come off 19, they will have to come off 68 which dumps them off to our driveway."
But the bottom line was the likelihood of a bar opening at that location. "If he can get it zoned today and sell it tomorrow," she said.
"I'm sure you remember when we had Crossroads Bar and when Inglis had a topless bar," Steve Anderson said. "We didn't have it long, but we had a topless bar."
"We're not in the city limits and we don't have protection," he said. "The only protection is the deputy. '
Anderson said the residents were already policing the area themselves to stop garbage dumping on their road. "We see somebody doing something wrong and we go get 'em and we shouldn't have to do that," Diamond said, "This is a rural area. And I know that you would like to keep it that way. But a lot of people (with the Progress Energy project) are going to want to live in this town."
"We're ground zero and Progress Energy is coming."
Parker asked Diamond if he had approached the Southwest Water Management District about building on the property and Diamond said he had not done so.
"Right now they're pretty strict. They're pretty thorough now," said Parker.
"I am concerned that you have not consulted an engineer. I am worried that when you find the business you're wanting to put there is not feasible . . . you are going to want to get your money back on this land.
Parker pointed to the bottom line for his concern: "And you sell this and this (re-zoning) allows a nightclubs and bars to be put there.
"And we can't take the zoning back."
Parker later added, "I don't want to see this kind of business there tomorrow."
In other business, the commission:
* Approved the closure of a portion of Southeast 66th Place on King Ranch land.
* Approved a hardship variance for 4.5 acres on Northeast 78th Terrace to allow Charlotte Cox to move close to her daughter Judith Graham.
* Approved a final plat for Harpers Subdivision, rezoning 40 acres in agriculture zoning to allow four lots of 8.8 to 9.7 acres each.
* Approved County Library Director Bonnie Tollefson's request for a lease extension for the AF Knotts Public Library in Yankeetown, the library system's Annual Plan of Service and a Community Libraries in Caring grant application. The grant would provide computers for the Bronson library.
* Approved an agreement between Nature Coast Transit and Creekside Christian School. Commission Chair Sammy Yearty recused himself from the vote because he attends the school's church.