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News for December 4, 2021

Florida County “Not Impressed” With Proposed RV Resort Plan

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A report said Tuesday that the Crystal River City Council was not thrilled by a developer’s proposal to build an RV resort on 325 lots near King’s Bay and a flood-prone area.

Councilman Ken Brown told Daniel Baker, an engineer at ACP-Communities LLC, that he was “not impressed” with what he had presented that night.

A council vote has allowed developers more time to work with city staff to compromise their plans for the 68-acre resort located between West Fort Island Trail & West Plantation Lane.

A second public hearing is scheduled for the Sept. 27 council meeting. This will be when the members of the council vote to approve the framework for Plantation Outpost’s breaking ground.

The report said that the council would continue to consider the Plantation Outpost as an item on its Aug. 23 agenda.

If the council and other regulatory agencies approve, Plantation Outpost will be built in six phases over a period of 10 years. It would also serve as a neighboring amenity to the Kingwood-owned Plantation on Crystal River.

According to the report, many Citrus County residents were against the development.

Many of them expressed concerns to the council about how the 322-lot RV resort with its artificial water system and its flooding problems could affect the aquifer, pollute King’s Bay and cause more congestion on roads and encourage trespassers.

Another concern was a canoe/kayak launch that was not in compliance with manatee protection. RVs were allowed to leave without a plan, and permanent park trailers were in danger of being put in a flood zone.

According to the report, Collins stated that staff could not support the application because of inconsistencies and negative findings.

The Crystal River Planning Commission’s citizen members voted 7-0 in June for the council to close the Plantation Outpost.

Baker stated that the proposed resort design is nearly identical to what was approved by the 2018 city council. The work didn’t begin, but the developers submitted revised masterplan and rezoning applications to city staff.

The current Plantation Outpost schematics add 7 acres to the Plantation’s east, allowing 28 additional lots. It would also replace Plantation’s nine-hole Lagoons golf course.

Baker stated that there were “some opportunities to improve the plan.”

Robert Batsel Jr., the City Attorney, stated that he and Kamala Corbett’s lawyer will continue to discuss their “professional disagreement” regarding whether the Plantation Outpost’s 2018 plan is still valid.

Baker stated that resort tenants could stay up to six months for a fee simple in their recreational vehicle, located on 172 lots, or a model trailer measuring 400 feet, placed on 150 lots.

Baker stated that this is a development of commercial lots. Unlike the approved 2018 plan, “This is not a residential campsite for people to live in or occupy their homestead.”

The resort‘s park trailers will be anchored to the ground and require the structures to be raised above the 12-foot elevation of the highest point on the land, Baker said in the report.

He explained that workers would dig into the uplands of the property to spread the fill over the lot to improve its grading and create four acres of water bodies.

Residents and council were skeptical about the developer’s plan to enter underground karst and groundwater.

In the same report, Vice Mayor Pat Fitzpatrick said that “the whole thing worries me a little.”

Brown said, “This property does not have waterfront property. What you are suggesting is to make the property waterfront.” “You purchased a swamp. You own a swamp.”

Baker stated that permitters from the Southwest Florida Water Management District are expected to approve dig-and-fill methods. Baker also stated that no wetlands would be affected.

Robert Holmes, a Councilman, stated that the government has a poor track record in digging around the city. He cited previous instances of disaster digs.

Baker also stated that stormwater runoff from the surrounding areas and floodwaters that county crews pump out of adjacent neighborhoods would be treated in the resort‘s 12 acres worth of retention lakes.

However, the report added that critics were not convinced that excessive rainfall or tidal water could not runoff into the bay and surrounding areas from such intrusive development.

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