Do you remember La Borgata, a luxury development resort community that was to be developed on the west end of Panama City Beach? A few years ago, amid real estate horror stories and a sinking market, Ronnie Gilley Properties cleared the land, installed the infrastructure and bought the support of country music star, Alan Jackson to develop this luxury community across the street of Wild Heron. This development was to consist of just under 200 luxury town homes and condominiums from 850 to 3,000 square feet, retail shops, salt water pools, heated spas and plenty of other resort fluff.
Well, plans have changed.
Proposed now for that property is an upscale RV park, with over 100 RV pads, individual “cabanas” for each RV and a slew of “staff recommendations” from the Panama City Beach City Planning Board. An upscale RV park is certainly not a luxury resort development, but I guess it’s better than a full-scale trailer park, right?
The planning board meeting in which it will be discussed publicly is next Monday, December 13 at 2 pm. At that time, City staff will consider the development, how it’s different from the current development order, how it will impact the area differently than the other planned development and what local residents think.
Here are some of the staff recommendations:
- Permanent vegetation plan to make property look better during development and eliminate the “eyesore”
- Fully enclose the site with a 6 foot solid-face fence 25 feet back from all property lines
- Have 3 canopy trees planted every 20 feet
- Have one shrub planted every foot
- Have suitable landscaping with irrigation outside the fencing, along with native vegetation
- The proposed 250 sf accessory structure shall not be rented or sold independent of specific RV pad
- Each RV pad should be landscaped according to master plan
- No onsite sales or storage of RV’s
- No mobile homes
- No Tent camping
- All utilities should be underground
- All RV pads and roads need to be paved with adequate lighting
- Each RV pad should be a minimum of 9 x 20
- All pads should have water, sewer, and electrical connections
- Should have male and female bathroom and shower facilities
- Storage of boats, trailers, etc. will be in separate fenced area and landscaped onsite
- RV pads should located at a minimum distance of 100 feet from perimeter boundary
- Dumpsters should be enclosed and landscaped and located at a minimum distance of 200 feet from perimeter boundary
- Project should include complete network of sidewalks
- Have a maximum duration of stay – e.g. max of 30 days, then must leave for 15 days.
I think if they keep true to their word, and keep it upscale, this could be great for the area. I totally understand the “transient” issues local residents have, but we’re not talking about trailer trash here, RV’s are expensive, and usually the RV “travelers” that come through are a higher end, more sophisticated visitor.
Currently RV travelers have no destination to visit on the west end of Panama City Beach. This could be a good tourism draw for our area. And, if the developer stays true to the staff recommendations, this could be a great addition to our area.
Tell us what you think? What do you think this proposed RV park would do for our area – good or bad?