Leon Co. to reclaim property in front of Fish Camp, causing customer outrage

Leon County is giving Fish Camp on Lake Iamonia until June 20 to vacate about a half-acre of land that belongs to the county.
Published: Jun. 7, 2022 at 4:41 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - A dispute between Leon County and a local restaurant has customers up in arms, afraid their favorite spot might have to downsize.

The county is giving Fish Camp on Lake Iamonia until June 20 to vacate about a half-acre of land that belongs to the county.

This would mean taking down most of the restaurant’s outdoor seating.

“We’ve worked so hard,” Fish Camp owner Sherri Capece said. “And now they’re stealing it away from us.”

Capece took over the Fish Camp in 2019 and has worked over the last few years to make it a popular bar and restaurant, with outdoor seating on the lake.

“It’s a great vibe,” said Capece’s husband Christopher. “Everybody loves the vibe out here.”

But Fish Camp occupies about a half-acre of county property, which the county is now reclaiming.

“We’re just asking them to take their equipment and fencing off of our county property and shift it over onto their property,” Amanda Heidecker, Director of Leon County Parks and Recreation said.

According to Heidecker, the county has received complaints from boaters who say there’s not enough parking on the Van Brunt boat landing.

Searching for solutions, the county realized that Fish Camp was sitting on county land.

Now, the county wants to use that land to create 15 additional unpaved parking lots for boaters.

“It’s important for us to allow this public land for public use,” Heidecker said.

But Capece says this would be detrimental to her business.

“We’re weighing more options right now,” Capece said. “We’re talking about some ideas. One of the ideas is completely shutting down.”

She said she wants to work with the county to find a solution.

Heidecker was adamant that the solution will involve Fish Camp handing over that land.

“We’re not asking them to close up shop,” Heidecker said. “We’re not asking them to downsize. We’re just asking them to shift off the county property that is for public use.”

Commissioner Brian Welch has scheduled a meeting between county officials and the Fish Camp property owner to discuss how to move forward.

That meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, June 15.

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