The Ormond Beach site that Belvedere Terminals picked is alarmingly close to several residential communities, including the Bear Creek Retirement Community and Ormond Lakes Neighborhood. The residents and local officials banded together and successfully paused the permitting process. However, Belvedere Terminal is attempting to sidestep Ormond Beach residents and local officials by asking state legislators to override local authority, also called home rule. The bill, (SB 1624-Energy Resources) filed by State Senator Jay Collins (R-Tampa), would reclassify these types of fuel storage facilities as “resiliency facilities” and allow them to be built on any land zoned as commercial, industrial, or manufacturing. In other words, they could be built just about anywhere and right next to residential neighborhoods.
Impact on Property Values
The facilities are not only a direct threat to the safety and well-being of residents but also threaten to significantly devalue properties. Homebuyers will recognize the inherent risks and stigma associated with living near a giant flammable fuel facility, which will lead to a decline in property values. The relentless flow of tanker trucks will also contribute to noise pollution and traffic congestion, further degrading the quality of life for local residents.
Environmental Threats: Spills, Leaks, and Ecosystem Damage
The risk of fuel spills and leaks is an inherent danger with fuel storage. Such incidents can lead to extensive environmental damage, contaminating soil, groundwater, and surface water. This not only endangers aquatic ecosystems but also poses a significant risk to the drinking water supplies of nearby communities. The facility’s location, near sensitive environmental areas, should require stringent scrutiny to prevent irreversible damage. However, SB 1624, removes all local local authority over land use restrictions.
So, let’s join Ormond Beach and demand that the Florida legislature allow us to decide what is built in our backyards.