Kensington Lakes proposal

This is the layout for a recreational vehicle park proposed on U.S. 17, three miles from I-75. The site might include some manufactured homes. U.S. 17 is seen on the lower right corner, and the railroad line is a boundary on the upper left corner.

A developer wants to build a large recreation vehicle park along U.S. 17 on land that was slated for a subdivision 16 years ago.

The Charlotte County Planning and Zoning Advisory Committee voted unanimously earlier this month to recommend the project to county commissioners, who are scheduled to hear the proposal on Tuesday.

The project would include a maximum of 439 recreational vehicles on 91 acres along the north side of U.S. 17, three miles east of the I-75 exit. The developer could possibly build up to 257 manufactured homes on the site instead of some of the recreational vehicles. Manufactured homes are allowed in recreational vehicle parks by state law due to the need for affordable homes, the developer’s lawyer, Geri Waksler, said.

County zoning laws do not allow recreational vehicles to be permanent dwellings. Residents can only stay up to 180 days and then must leave for at least 30 days.

A previous board of commissioners reviewed the project in 2006, approving zoning changes and housing density swaps for a subdivision with 255 homes. The property owner is still Standard Pacific of Tampa GP. The new developer is David Anthony Sr. of Punta Gorda, who has done many projects in the city, including Buttonwood Village in the 1980s and more recently Creekside RV and Venture Lakes on Jones Loop.

For the original plan, commissioners approved the last two-year extension in 2019, which expires in October.

Part of the property is in a coastal high hazard flood zone, and no permanent homes can be built there.

The proposal is confusing, Waksler said, because the property owner wanted to retain rights to the original project, just in case. So both projects are in the current proposal.

One neighbor, Greg Martin, said he has been disappointed by the lack of appealing development along U.S. 17. It seems to be mostly storage places going in, he said, adding that he felt that mobile homes will become unsightly.

Planning board member Paul Bigness said developments by Anthony have always been very attractive. The site will be 21% open space. It will have its own sewage treatment plant and will bring in water from Punta Gorda utilities.

After the meeting, Anthony said the park will exclude very old model trailers and vehicles as well as pop-up trailers or tent structures.

Owners of recreational vehicles are limited to 180 days on site, with a 30-day absence required. Recreational vehicle sites must also dedicate 10% of the space to leisure amenities.

Heritage trees would have to be preserved or replaced. The county would require landscaping minimums and buffers for neighboring properties.


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