Lion Country Safari plans expansion

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. - Planners at Lion Country Safari are looking at adding more attractions to get more people to visit the popular park.

In 2006, an area for the public to feed giraffes and a water play area were added to the theme park and its walk through area.

Now the park is looking to add more attractions behind those popular family spots.

The area is almost 12 acres and is currently full of tall trees in the middle of the property.

Land planner Kieran Kilday said they are thinking of putting a 70 foot zip line in the area as well as more water attractions for people to enjoy during the summer.

"There could also be more animal play areas just similar to the one with the giraffes," Kilday said.

Planners would also like to nearly triple the size of their current theater. 

A remodel would be able to hold 400 people at the theater compared to the current 150, Kilday said.

The additions would make the destination about 65 acres, but Kilday said the addition plans are not set in stone.

"We need to have flexibility," he said.

The flexibility to put in different attractions in the future is what concerns certain residents who live nearby like Nancy Gribble.

Gribble said she supports Lion Country Safari, but has concerns that the park's proposals are specific.

"It's like a blank check," she said.

Gribble lives in the Fox Trail neighborhood where some people share the same concerns just like others in the Deer Run development.

One of the main concerns is Lion Country Safari's request to lift restrictions on live concerts along with other attractions at the remodeled theater, she said.

Palm Beach County Zoning Commission officials didn't support that request and Kilday said neighbors shouldn't worry about the park changing its identity.

A public hearing will be held on the property's expansion at Palm Beach County Commission chambers on May 24th. 

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