Jackson County Board of Supervisors has approved a zoning exception, paving the way for the construction of a new RV resort in Gulf Park Estates, a WLOX report highlighted.
The decision, which came after a 4-1 vote on Monday, marks a significant step despite facing community opposition.
The board’s approval was met with mixed reactions. Following the vote, a group of attendees left the meeting in dismay.
Eamon Mohiuddin, expressing the sentiments of the dissenters, stated, “They were just outraged by the board of supervisors not representing them. The people who we elect should represent the people.” This statement reflects a broader concern about the alignment of elected officials with their constituents’ interests.
District 5 Supervisor Randy Bosarge stood as the lone dissenting voice on the board. Bosarge’s vote was influenced by a petition signed by nearly 1,800 residents from over 2,200 households in the area, opposing the resort. He emphasized his commitment to representing the will of the people, saying, “That’s a majority to me. Whether I like it or not, it’s what the people wanted and I’m always going to vote with the people every chance I can.”
The opposition, voiced by residents like Jimmy Zdenek, centers around concerns that the RV resort could alter the character of the neighborhood and lead to long-term occupancy in RVs. This apprehension highlights the delicate balance between development and maintaining community standards in outdoor hospitality ventures.
Countering these concerns, Adam Dial, one of the project’s developers, assured that county regulations prohibiting long-term stays in RVs would be strictly enforced. Dial’s statement addresses a key aspect of maintaining the transient nature of RV resorts, which is crucial for preserving the integrity of such developments.
The approval of the RV resort in Gulf Park Estates is not just a local issue but resonates across the campground and outdoor hospitality industry. It underscores the growing interest in RV-based tourism and the need for more such facilities to cater to the rising demand. This development could serve as a model for other regions looking to expand their outdoor hospitality offerings.
Both proponents and opponents of the project agree on the inadequacy of the infrastructure to support the new development. Beachview Drive, the road leading to the resort, is currently not wide enough to handle the expected traffic. In response, the developers have agreed to delay the opening of the resort by twelve months, allowing the county time to upgrade the road.
Bosarge detailed the road improvement plans, stating, “We’re going out for bid of the first phase in January, so we hope to be under construction by April or May.” The first phase will involve widening Beachview Drive from the entrance of Old Spanish Trail, covering a stretch of six or seven blocks.
Adam Dial commented on the road project, acknowledging the challenges ahead but expressing confidence in the community’s ability to overcome them. “That Beachview Drive improvement project is going to be tough, but we’ll all get through it, and we’ll all pull on the rope in the same direction and we’ll get it done,” he said.