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Fish Camp, Leon County in dispute over property

Restaurant to move items off county land by June 20
Posted at 6:16 PM, Jun 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-07 18:24:53-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — A popular restaurant at Lake Iamonia is in a dispute over land with Leon County.

These picnic tables, chairs and veteran memorial are part of Fish Camp but are all on Leon County property.

The restaurant has been put on notice that the county wants to use that space; a move the restaurant says will greatly impact their business.

In the next two weeks Fish Camp restaurant could lose access to a large portion of their outdoor seating at the Van Brunt boat landing.

Leon County Parks and Recreation says the restaurant was notified in April about the change to add more parking.

"We would have no seating. Not sure if we'd even be able to stay in business," Sherri Capece, owner of Fish Camp said.

She says people from Thomasville, Cairo, Monticello and more come to her restaurant and enjoy the bands and being outside.

With so much space gone it would force her business to slow down.

"We have limited inside seating and we have a very small deck. So half of our customers would get turned away every weekend," Capece said.

Amanda Heidecker, director of Parks and Recreation says boaters have complained about not having a place to park.

In a statement to ABC 27, Heidecker says to find a solution a property boundary survey was done.

The survey concluded that, "The Fish Camp operations significantly encroach onto County property, utilizing approximately a half-acre of County land for outdoor seating and patron access."

The plan is to re-establish the landing boundaries by allowing room for 15 unpaved parking spaces.

Capece says she is now hoping to work on a compromise with Leon County commissioner Brian Welch.

In a post on Twitter Welch wrote that he he will do everything he can to seek a resolution that will allow all citizens of the county to enjoy the north shore of Lake Iamonia."

For now Fish Camp has until June 20 to remove everything off of Leon County property.

Fish Camp says they asked Leon County if they could lease or buy the property, but the county refused.