FPL continues hearing on possible plant site

Florida Power and Light (FPL) asked to continue a public hearing originally scheduled for the Nov. 10 Hendry County Board of County Commissioners meeting until its Feb. 9, 2016 meeting.

The power company is requesting a zoning change on a more than 3,000-square-acre piece of land off of County Road 833 from General Agriculture to Planned Unit Development.

Should the county approve the zoning change, FPL could possibly use the property to build a solar and gas power plant called the Hendry Next Generation Clean Energy Center.

The controversial plan has been highly contested by members of the Seminole Tribe of Florida, as well as residents of Hendry and neighboring counties.

The parcel in question abuts the Big Cypress Seminole Reservation and has been cited as a sanctuary for many native flora and fauna, including the Florida panther.

Roughly the same plan was blocked by a judge several years ago, who said Hendry County could not rezone the piece of land because it was contradictory to the county’s comprehensive plan.

This year, FPL is asking the county to amend its comprehensive plan in order to make it legal for the plant to be built on that piece of land.

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