Residents don’t oppose development that is congruent with the county’s Comprehensive Plan, but this development is just wrong: wrong location, wrong zoning changes, wrong density!
Dade City, Florida. Thursday, December 6, 2021, at 1:30 pm at the Historic Dade City Courthouse the first public hearing about a proposed RV Condo park on rural Lake Iola Road will take place. Residents will have the first opportunity to specifically address the proposal in front of the Planning Commission regarding a 550 space RV Park on Lake Iola Road. The proposed development is 24x the density for housing in the protected Northeast Pasco Rural Overlay. It also sits on a fragile lake and wetlands.
Over 1000 residents signed a petition to Planning two years ago when the property was acquired by an out-of-area developer. Local activists point out that while 1,000 people may not sound like a large public outcry, in context where properties are one home per five acres, that’s actually quite a large outcry.
Residents are also concerned because the property in question used to belong to Commissioner Ronnie Oakley’s sister and a relative of Randy Maggard’s. Maggard used to sit on the SWIFTMUD board and water usage with this property potentially jeopardizes the water supplies for the whole area. Residents have long experienced reduced water access during the winter season when farmers would freeze their crops. However, supplying 550 RVs and swimming pools and splash pads proposed by the developer signals a major potential problem especially given the rampant, unbridled development afoot in what was supposed to be a rural transition area into Dade City. Proposed density from those developments along with the proposed RV park will overtax the water supply.
Residents reiterate that they don’t oppose development in the region but that it should not be in the protected rural overlay. Every county has a Comprehensive Plan for land use. Pasco County’s plan includes the Northeast Rural Overlay as a protected area; the area was set aside as part of a compromise negotiated by residents in exchange for Pasadena Hills’ higher density developments.
While many point to “tourism dollars” and jobs as potential benefits to the development, the RV Park is fairly self-contained and would not encourage residents to leave the park. Only one caretaker position has been defined by the developer.
In stark contrast is the impact to the existing community – large scale motor homes with tow-alongs on a rural two-lane scenic road, water issues, fire/rescue, law enforcement – the so-called revenue does not meet the cost to local residents. Additionally, there will not be property taxes paid by the park residents so those costs will be passed on to landowners in their tax bills.
“We feel the developer is trying to “walk between the raindrops” by calling this project a commercial venture. He is asking for a major change to the Comprehensive Plan and a rezoning from Rural Ag to an MPUD with a wastewater treatment plant to boot!” says local spokesperson Lisa Moretti, “we all know nothing is perfect and that wastewater plant could easily fail – right into the aquifer, into Moody Lake which ultimately feeds into the Green Swamp as part of the interconnected lakes system in the area, and frankly into our drinking water.”
You can see more at https://nostjoervpark.com for maps and related information.