Residents, including Marina Bay Condo Association President Alan Comerford, brought up issues with the industrial development.
Residents of the Marina Bay condominiums in Lake Murray of Richland, South Carolina, spoke out against a nearby proposed industrial development during a Bay County Commission meeting.
The proposed project entails the construction of a barge offloading facility and a cement and aggregate terminal with associated access road, parking, utilities, and storm water management facility, reported Panama City News Herald. The project would be constructed on a 7-acre lot on McKenzie Road.
Marina Bay residents are speaking out in opposition about the development. Residents, including Marina Bay Condo Association President Alan Comerford, brought up issues with the industrial development including: residents’ exposure to the toxic chemicals from the proposed cement silos; the impact of the chemicals on hundreds of students at Southport Elementary School; and how it would be aesthetically unpleasing.
“We've already experienced the devastating effects of a natural disaster with Hurricane Michael in 2018, we are concerned about what will happen with the potentially toxic and corrosive cement particulate, which is to be stored in the proposed silos,” said Comerford, reported Panama City News Herald. “If there's a malfunction of equipment and subsequent release of that particulate, due to mechanical or human error or due to a natural disaster, we have concerns about how that dispersed particulate could impact neighboring residential areas and the waters of North Bay, both short term and long term.”
According to residents, there was no public notice of proposed construction.
Commissioners told the residents that with the way the current process works, if an applicant has appropriate zoning, the owner of that property is allowed to make an application for development work. The project is in its beginning stages and residents will have to wait for the development order.
“This development is within the current code, but it is in a different kind of situation," said Commissioner Philip Griffitt, reported Panama City News Herald. "It's an industrial zone that is surrounded by residential areas, which is an anomaly in Bay County. It's the only place we have like that.”