A new Dollar General is set to be built on the land that the Battle of Micanopy was fought on during the Second Seminole War. Micanopy residents attended a meeting Tuesday night to protest the construction of the store on Native American grounds.
The meeting between Concept Companies and the town of Micanopy had the building’s design — and not location — as its focus.
Long-time Micanopy residents, like Aaron Webber, were disappointed with the results of the meeting.
“Sort of the feel that I got after the meeting was it was really just a way to check the box. It was just a requirement from (Alachua County’s) Developmental Review Committee that they actually hold a meeting with the town in good faith to take these design considerations. It just seems like they have their design on paper and, in my opinion, they kind of want to stick to that design and aren’t necessarily receptive to what the town people want,” Webber said.
Efrain Ocasio, the Gainesville coordinator of the Florida Indigenous Rights and Environmental Equality Organization, is hopeful that the native lands will remain untouched.
“I think they’re in for a rude awakening because I don’t think their plans are going to happen, even though they do have obviously a huge financial backing. It’s going to be a long hard fight. … All in all, I think we’ll prevail,” Ocasio said.
Alachua County Commissioner Marihelen Wheeler was also in attendance at the meeting. She said the meeting brought things to her attention that will be looked into immediately.
“You know, the citizens raised interesting questions, questions that I didn’t know the answer to. So, what I’m going to do tomorrow is take these questions that came from the citizenry and try to find out through our legal staff and through our planning board where the disconnect is from what we think we know and what we are being told we know,” she said.
The Alachua County Development Review Committee is awaiting a final blueprint of the convenience store before any decision can ultimately be made.