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Palm Coast Monday, Mar. 19, 2018 6 months ago

County denies proposal to rezone to allow RV park on Colbert Lane

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Residents of Grand Haven and Palm Coast Plantation spoke out against the proposal during a County Commission meeting March 19.
by: Jonathan Simmons News Editor

Residents of Grand Haven and Palm Coast Plantation do not want a recreational vehicle park near their homes — even a small one — and at a County Commission meeting March 19, they made sure commissioners knew it.

Repeatedly, residents speaking during the meeting’s public comment period compared a proposed 12-slot  RV park on Colbert Lane to a trailer park, questioned the applicants’ assertion that it would be “upscale,” and said they worried it would bring crime to their neighborhoods.

There were also more practical concerns: Richard Gurell, the applicant, did not want to hook the land up to city of Palm Coast water and sewer, because he didn’t want to be annexed into the city. But not hooking up would mean that he’d be running the site’s proposed 12 recreational vehicle slots, plus a large “caretaker” house he hopes to build as his residence, on a septic system.

Some residents noted the property’s proximity to the Intracoastal and said they worried about water contamination. The proposed site is 5.63 acres on the eastern side of Colbert Lane, south of Palm Coast Plantation and about 1,300 feet north of Lakeview Drive. It’s also near Graham Swamp, something Gurrell saw as a benefit because the swamp is an attraction for cyclists.

Gurrell told the commission he hopes to have his house there and rent out RV spaces to supplement his income in retirement. Because the RVs would be, literally, in his backyard, he’d have an incentive to keep things upscale, he said.

County Commissioner Donald O’Brien said he understood what Gurrell was trying to do. But O’Brien didn’t support the plan to run everything on septic.

“I can’t get past that,” he said. “I have a real problem with it being where there’s water and sewer lines close enough.”

Attorney Tim Connor, representing Gurrell, noted that the land use change Gurrell was requesting of the commission would move it to a “less intense” land use — from neighborhood commercial to planned unit development.

The RVs would be about the size of school buses, he said, and there would only be 12 on the property. Showing pictures of the unsightly shopping centers and strip malls that can be constructed in neighborhood commercial zoning, he asked, “Is this what we want for Colbert Lane?”

But commissioners said they found the proposed RV park out of character with the surrounding area. They voted unanimously to deny the rezoning application.

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