“I do not know any of the folks who support this proposal, but I’m confident they see it as positive, not just for them, but for the entire community. I hope they, like you, will understand why many of us do not see it that way. I also would imagine there are some unmet needs out here that we could work on together. This unfortunately, is not one of them,”
“Maybe the developers think they can do better than the Hogwaller ATV Park you have probably seen in videos. If so, I can assure you that most, if not all, of landowners opposed to this amendment don’t see this as a question of quality. It’s a question of compatibility. Nothing in this proposal is compatible with the farmland preservation designation, no matter how responsibly the developers would intend to proceed.”
Let Us Ride.
In order to get Double Gate ATV Park in Flemington approved at the County Commissioners Hearing on June 17th, the applicant must show that there is a need for the Land Use Change from Rural to Rural Activity Center. Because the property is in the Farmland Preservation Area, the bar is high. Let’s be clear – wants and needs are different things. I might want to put chemical storage tanks on my property adjacent to Lake Weir, but I would be hard pressed to show why they need to be in that location. In this same way, Double Gate may be able to present us with a long list of potential customers who want an ATV Racing and Riding Park in Flemington, but is there a compelling reason that it needs to be there?
It’s About Compatibility.
Like it or not, the proposed site for Double Gate ATV Park is in the Farmland Preservation Area. The County designated those boundaries in 2005 after extensive research to back up the importance of preserving that area for farmland for both environmental and economic reasons. It can not simply allow chunks to be taken out each time a developer expresses a business opportunity. Once it’s erased, it can’t be replaced. There are many ways to have fun and make a livelihood that are compatible with the Farmland Preservation Area. There are others that can be allowed if a sufficient need is shown and appropriate care is taken by the landowner. We have seen neither in this case, and so we strongly urge our County Commissioners to back up their promise to the people of Marion County and with us declare:
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