Concerns Rise Over Propane Tanks Near Homes in Brevard County, Florida

Residents near 512 Cross Road in Brevard County, Florida, are exploring legal options to halt the construction of two 30,000-gallon above-ground liquid propane tanks by Ideal Gas Company. The approved site plans, authorized by county commissioners in March 2021, were not presented to residents. The tanks’ proximity to residential areas has sparked safety concerns and objections from the community.

Melinda Smith, a 10-year resident of the Vanguard Estates neighborhood, expressed her shock at the prospect of having massive propane tanks just a few hundred feet from her home. The property spans about 1 ½ acres and has been zoned for “light industrial” use since 1958. The site plans indicate that propane trucks will pass near manufactured homes, raising concerns about safety regulations and the impact on the neighborhood’s aesthetics.

While Brevard County officials emphasized that residents’ concerns were addressed during the planning process, Robert Cunningham, a resident, founded the Stop Ideal Gas Group to challenge the project. He believes the county is neglecting the community’s economic and safety interests. Ideal Gas co-owner Michael Siegel stated that the project fits the site’s zoning laws. Still, his company is willing to enhance landscaping and safety measures to ease concerns.

Ideal Gas has submitted permits for various project elements, including a modular office and fencing, but no tickets have been requested to construct the propane tanks. The controversy underscores the delicate balance between industrial development and residential safety in growing communities like Brevard County.

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