Proposed Marina Stirs Up Controversy In Hancock County

The 50,000 square foot dry dock storage building could store around 320 boats stacked on three levels, and some residents say they don't want the marina to become a reality.  Clyde Koerner lives just yards away from the proposed development, and he is one such resident.

"I'm looking at a big 3 story building staring me in my face instead of looking at nature," Koerner says.

The marina development would include a bait and tackle shop and a concessions area on a 20-acre site. Some of the land is wetlands, which would be destroyed to make way for the project.

"Another concern is the traffic going down the street," Hancock county resident Gerald Johnson says. "I have two grandchildren here, and the traffic is already too much. This will create more, and it's something we don't need."

But others say having a Marina in the neighborhood might be a good thing.

"Sure I think it could be," Hancock county resident William Breland says. "The little pamphlet we had, looking at the way the canals were coming in and draining in one way and going out the other, and the way the building on Blue Meadow Road, I think it would be an asset."

"According to what they're planning on, it might not be a bad idea," Hancock county resident Keith Breland says.

Whether or not the proposal sinks or swims rests in the hands of County Planning and Zoning Commissioners. Developer Drew Fillingame needs a special exception to the County zoning ordinance before he could build.

Right now, that area is zoned for single family homes. We tried to contact Fillingame about the neighbors objections, but were unsuccessful.

Planning commissioners could take up the issue at their February first meeting.