Townspeople Rejected RV Park Plan, So Land Stands Empty

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October 24, 2011 by   - () Leave a Comment

A patch of property once slated for a controversial 14 1/2-acre luxury RV park in Panama City Beach, Fla., still lies fallow, although the city has spruced it up a bit at its own expense.

The proposal to change from high-end condos to a motorcoach resort was withdrawn from the planning board by the developer, but the city has been forced to remain involved. Utility pipes on the lot have been cut back and the property entrance chained, all at the city’s expense, The News Herald reported.

“Nothing much has changed (since nearby residents objected to the RV park),” City Planning and Building Director Mel Leonard said on Oct. 21. “The city went out and cut the pipes down and installed chains across the entrance to cut down trash.”

When developer Nashyork withdraw its plans in December 2010 in the midst of a packed and vocal planning board meeting, some audience members thought the withdrawal was just a delaying tactic, but Leonard said no other development plans have come forward.

Leonard said the city’s code enforcement officer did have to step in, however, and request better upkeep of the parcel, once intended for an upscale complex with ties to country music star Alan Jackson before the real estate market tanked and the RV idea was planted.

But after months of no response, the city decided against placing a lien on the property and instead did the work itself. It was more cost effective than getting lawyers involved, he said.

“They maybe spent five hours on it,” Leonard said. “It was a community thing and it needed to be done.”

At the time of the RV plan withdrawal, the planning board expressed concerns that the blueprints seemed inconsistent with nearby single-family residences to the south and west of the site, and worried whether the park, at the corner of Back Beach Road and Kelly Street, would place too high a burden on Back Beach Road traffic

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