Written by 11:20 pm Music

A COMMUNITY DIVIDED: Adelaide residents in row over swimming pigs enterprise

Business was served cease-and-desist from Jan 2022 but owner says he got approval letters a 12 months ago

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Residents of Adelaide are divided over whether or not they desire a business offering a swimming pigs experience operating in that community.

At a town planning meeting Thursday night, some residents of Beach Drive in Adelaide Village claimed they’ve been directly impacted by the Beyond Da Village Pig Experience and voiced strong opposition to the business being granted approval to operate.

Other Adelaide residents, nonetheless, welcomed the enterprise, claiming it was providing a much-needed economic boost to the community.

The supporting faction suggested opposition was from a small “clique” that doesn’t want the community to progress. 

Beyond Da Village Owner Charles Johnson. (KAREEM MINNIS)

Keenan Johnson, the Town Planning Committee’s chairman, confirmed the business operated by Charles Johnson didn’t have Town Planning approval and had been issued a cease-and-desist order from Town Planning in January of this 12 months. 

Operator Charles Johnson explained that before he commenced his operations in June of 2021, he had obtained letters of approval from the police and Department of Environmental Health.

He also noted that the Department of Agriculture’s veterinary section, in addition to animal control, had inspected his operations.

The operator can also be searching for approval to operate a beach bar and grill, and have the realm — which is zoned as residential — rezoned for business use. 

Johnson explained there are three interaction times day by day with the pigs and people experiences are capped at 25 people. 

National COVID-19 Vaccine Consultative Committee Chairperson Dr Merceline Dahl-Regis speaks during a press conference on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. (FILE PHOTO)

But Dr Merceline Dahl-Regis — a resident of Adelaide and well-respected health skilled who chairs the National COVID-19 Vaccine Consultative Committee and likewise played an instrumental role throughout the peak of the pandemic — said there have been “inconsistencies” in Johnson’s presentation.

“This activity began with a pig pen adjoining to my property,” she revealed.

“I spoke with my neighbor and told him to maneuver the animals because I used to be getting the odors into my bedroom.

“He accommodated the request briefly order, for which I used to be extremely grateful. They moved to where they’re currently situated.”

Dahl-Regis added: “We still have very large flies that weren’t there before. I’m not home within the day nor within the afternoon, but for a day or two, I earn a living from home and there are loud noises. I’d hear a microphone and all of the entertainment happening.

“My best concern is the tour boat operators with their twin and single engines coming as much as the shoreline to gather guests while there may be energetic swimming. That is incredibly dangerous. It will possibly be disastrous.”

Johnson, nonetheless, replied: “I don’t have anyone speaking on mics. I don’t operate that style of music there. It’s just light background music. Most individuals who come there aren’t engaged in that style of entertainment.”

Leslie Vanderpool.

Leslie Vanderpool, founder and executive director of the Bahamas International Film Festival (BIFF), said 30 residents have signed a petition against the swimming pigs business.

She asserted that Johnson was squatting on another person’s property to operate his business, and referenced the cease-and-desist order from Town Planning. 

“We are not looking for to show the realm right into a business zone. Many residents bought property on this area for peace of mind,” said Vanderpool.

One other resident, environmentalist and reEarth President Sam Duncombe, said: “I’m sandwiched between two pig facilities. The road we live to tell the tale is Beach Drive and most of Adelaide is on low-density residential.

Sam Duncombe.

“Mr Johnson was served a cease-and-desist order from Town Planning in January and continues to operate.”

Duncombe claimed that buses, jeeps and taxis were trafficking the realm due to Johnson’s business. 

One Adelaide resident who is a component of a bunch backing the business said there may be a petition with some 175 signatures in support of Johnson’s enterprise.

He argued that the business will not be contributing to noise pollution and that it has created employment for several young men in the neighborhood. 

Bernard Hanna, a Beach Drive resident for over 55 years who can also be backing the pig enterprise, said he was “shocked and surprised” that the realm was designated residential as he all the time considered it a business zone. 

One other resident said: “I’m very completely happy this is occurring. We now have employment. The tourists are coming back.

“Only three people in Adelaide are really opposing this. They never need to see anything good occur. It’s just a bit of clique on Beach Drive.”

Rupert Stuart, one other area resident, said: “The traffic coming onto Beach Drive and noise doesn’t affect those individuals who want the event. What’s happening on Beach Drive is affecting the residents of Beach Drive, not Adelaide Village.”

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