PARRISH, Fla. (WWSB) - A debate is brewing over the possibility of changing the name of Moccasin Wallow Road in Parrish.
“Moccasin wallow, that’s where the moccasin’s wallow,” said Pat Neal, president of Neal Communities. “That’s where the cottonmouth is, a venomous snake, the only venomous snake in Florida.”
That’s one of the main reasons the developer is hoping the name changes. He would like to see it changed to a name like North River Road. His North River Ranch development is now being built in Parrish.
“We think for the aspirations of the community and the future of that community, there needs to be a more appropriate name for that,” said Neal.
This is receiving a lot of mixed reactions in town. There are people who are in support of the name change, while many others are against it. In fact, ABC7 did spot a petition on the counter at a local sandwich shop opposing a name change. It was started by some residents and now has more than 3,000 signatures.
“I think it’s another thing that goes toward stripping away at the Parrish heritage and it’s something that we do have control over, to speak our mind about it,” said Jennifer Hamey, treasurer for the Parrish Civic Association.
Many residents say that if there is a name change, it should reflect the history of the Parrish community. Parrish has experienced enormous growth in recent years. Neal Communities says they have built more than 17,000 homes in the Sarasota-Manatee County area, quite a few of those in Parrish. They recently met with residents to try and get them on board with the name change.
“After all, there is going to be an investment of $300 million in education facilities, $60 million on the highway,” said Neal. “We at Neal are involved with all those things, but mostly we’re interested in the future of that region and the name that it reflects, the proper name for the future, not the past.”
This discussion is still in the early stages. The next step would be to have the discussion go in front of Manatee County officials.