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SUNSET BEACH — A planned protest by Jaguar’s Lair property owners has been quashed because it fails to meet town guidelines.
The protest had been planned before the next Sunset Beach Town Council meeting Monday, Nov. 4, at Sunset Beach Town Hall.
Organizer Norm Fitzgerald, a Florida resident who owns property in the unfinished Jaguar’s Lair development, had notified fellow property owners “and interested parties” about “a very large protest” tentatively planned for two hours that afternoon prior to the 7 p.m. town council meeting and possibly outside the entrance to Jaguar’s Lair.
“A protest during the meeting is prime time stuff for the media,” Fitzgerald wrote in the email that started circulating last week.
Fitzgerald contacted the Sunset Beach Police Department about requirements for such a protest.
This past Saturday, Oct. 12, town councilwoman Karen Joseph sent an email to fellow town council members and town staff alerting them to the matter.
Joseph wrote if the group wanted to protest at town hall, it would fall under the town’s special event permit requirements, which mandate a 60-day timeline to secure a permit.
She also cited limited parking at town hall as well as “our need to keep spaces available for the many contractors who come to (town hall), not to mention the residents, staff and council all in need of parking … the group will no doubt need to park elsewhere.”
If the group chose to park at an empty building lot across from town hall, it would need to secure permission from owners of that property, Joseph wrote.
If they wish to protest at the Jaguar’s Lair site, Joseph said they would need to secure necessary permits from Brunswick County.
Joseph added Sunset Beach Police Chief Lisa Massey had been contacted by Fitzgerald, “and she has answered his questions.”
Joseph added she has been told by her sources the group had also been talking about protesting at Ocean Ridge.
In light of the group’s inability to meet town guidelines, Jaguar’s Lair property owner Cas Kacala said Monday they are looking into alternatives.
Laura Lewis is a staff writer for the Beacon. Reach her at 754-6890 or firstname.lastname@example.org