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Florida City Considers ‘Recreational Resort’ Usage

October 27, 2009 by   - () Leave a Comment

Developer Bill Manfull wants to build a luxurious park in Palmetto, Fla., for top-of-the-line recreational vehicles and the well-heeled tourists who drive them.

He calls it a “destination resort” and it would take advantage of Palmetto’s shoreline and sunshine, and could even include athletic courts, a marina, fishing pier, boardwalk, cabins, and maybe even a bowling alley, according to the Bradenton Herald.

But before Manfull can even submit his first plan, Palmetto needs to have a category in its comprehensive plan to accommodate such a facility.

That’s why Manfull asked commissioners during a comprehensive plan workshop Monday (Oct. 26) to consider adding “recreational resort” to the list of approved uses for the city’s urban planning district category.

Right now, Palmetto has nothing in its comprehensive plan for a new-style RV park with tourist features, said Mark Barnebey, a Palmetto city attorney.

It’s been about five years since Palmetto updated its comprehensive plan, and alterations like the one that Manfull is requesting are part of what will eventually be a list of changes that must go through two public hearings and approval by the state, Barnebey added.

Manfull, who races cars and trucks and stays in an RV when he travels, has been working on this idea of a luxury RV resort for Palmetto for about eight months. He said he has invested millions of his dollars into the city, being the owner of roughly two acres of downtown property.

The recreational resort idea got a positive response from most city commissioners. However, Tambra Varnadore said the language was too broad and she could not support it.

“What if someone wanted to have a recreational resort in the city of Palmetto and include nudists?” Varnadore asked.

Barnebey said he thought language could be written in to give commissioners complete control of what could go in a recreational resort.

A luxury RV resort would pump tourist dollars into Palmetto and create jobs, said Misty Servia, a planner with King Engineering of Sarasota. Servia represented Manfull at the workshop.

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