McKenzie Offloading Facility development order outcome upsets residents

Published: Sep. 7, 2022 at 7:47 PM CDT
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BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - The McKenzie Offloading Facility project has been a controversial debate for months.

However, commissioners ultimately decided to not appeal the facility’s development order at Wednesday’s meeting due to legal reasons.

“Unfortunately, our land development regulation and our code plan puts in place that the people who applied for the industrial development have the right to build what they’re wanting to build,” Bay County Commissioner Doug Moore said. “Regardless of how we feel about it, we must follow the law.”

The project consists of building three new cement silos.

The end result didn’t leave residents happy.

“That’s our County,” one resident said. “You’ve like, put the nails in the coffin with that wonderful community there.”

Other people said, “I don’t like it,” and, “I have called the EPA and they have not approved what they have submitted.”

Residents didn’t want commissioners to approve the development order for many reasons ranging from noise disturbances to health concerns.

But, Hollingshead Materials, LLC is permitted by law to operate on the land because it’s industrially zoned.

“It’s business,” Hollingshead Materials attorney Lisa Minshew said. “They want to move forward. It’s going to be productive for the community.”

There were efforts to alter some aspects of the project, but the owners of the facility claimed it would’ve been too costly.

“At our last meeting, our encouragement to them was you state that you are community oriented - prove it,” Moore said. “Adjust and revise the height to show the neighbors you are willing to be part of the community. They chose not to do so.”

Commissioners added an air quality permit to the development order at the meeting.

They said they will hold the company accountable if they don’t follow the order correctly.