Florida State Park Hearings Begin Today

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July 5, 2011 by   - () Leave a Comment

RV resort owner Jennifer Wallis will be there.

So will state Sen. Mike Fasano.

Neither is happy with a state proposal to add 45 camping spots to Honeymoon Island State Park in Dunedin, Fla. And they plan to attend a public meeting this evening (July 5) to voice their opposition, The Tampa Tribune reported.

"I adamantly oppose the idea," the New Port Richey Republican said. "First and foremost, Honeymoon Island is one of Florida's treasures. I am not in favor of paving over any part for a private company to make a few dollars."

The state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced a plan last month to allow tent and RV camping on 17 acres of land at the popular waterfront park, which normally is open only for daytime use. It's part of a plan to offer camping at more parks across the state.

Fasano, Wallis and others don't think it's a good idea for Honeymoon.

"I don't know what impact it is going to have on the environment," said Wallis, who owns Sherwood Forest RV Resort on Alternate U.S. 19, a few minutes from the state park.

"It will be helpful to people in the area looking to camp but not helpful to the existing campgrounds," she added. "It's hard when competition comes in."

Fasano said a private company should not be running any campground there.

"They have an advantage that government is helping them," the lawmaker said. "What about the mom-and-pop campgrounds?"

Fasano said he has written a letter to Gov. Rick Scott and the DEP opposing the idea.

"It's just wild how they come up with these ideas," he said. "Any revenue that would be obtained from this ridiculous venture would be minuscule compared to the damage that would be done to Honeymoon Island."

He is hoping that plenty of people will turn out and give state officials an earful.

"I'm hoping they will hear the voices of the majority of the people asking them to slow down the process and maybe bring it to a stop," Fasano said.

The public hearing on the proposal to build a campground at Honeymoon Island State Park will begin at 7 p.m. at the Hale Senior Center, 330 S. Douglas Ave., Dunedin.

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