In an effort to create an upscale glamping and RV Park, Leesburg Lakefront RV Park LLC is seeking permission from the Leesburg City Council to add the more creative units to the park it hopes to develop on Lake Griffin north of U.S. 441 and west of C.R. 44.
Developer Enon Winkler, who plans to call the project Blue Gill Marina and Motor Coach Resort, asked the council recently to revise the buffers in the existing Planned Unit Development for the park, shrinking the exterior buffer from 80 feet to 30 feet, but including a fence. He is also requesting more flexibility in the units he places in the park. That ordinance comes back to the city council for a public hearing and a vote on Oct. 10.
“This is an existing PUD that came before you last year as an upscale resort,” Planning & Zoning Director Dan Miller told the council. He told them if they wanted to reduce the buffer, they should meet with adjoining property owners and get them to sign off, and they did.
“They wanted to do creative units, including tents, yurts, different structures,” Miller said. “It’s a very interesting project. They also have a marina, boat slips and some recreation areas. We think it’s going to work out really well.”
Attorney Tara Tedrow, representing Winkler, said the project would have 250 total lots with a range of high-end glamping options. As for the cottages and bungalows, Tedrow said those would be rental units available for RV and motorhome users who want extra indoor space with a private bathroom. “Pricing will be dependent on which level, whether it is waterfront or interior.” Internal spaces would have amenities included, such as a picnic table or fire ring with cabana.
The developer submitted numerous artist renderings of different types of cottages, bungalows and yurts, but Tedrow said the final design has not been completed.
“When we held a community meeting with the neighboring property owners, we received confirmation of their support,” she said. “We were already allowed the same number of RV camping spaces.” The modifications requested will just make it more upscale. “There is nothing like this project anywhere nearby.”
Other projects that offer similar amenities in Central Florida have long waiting lists, she said.
Central Florida has had both successes and failures with upscale RV parks. One success is the West Gate River Ranch Resort, where visitors can stay in air-conditioned tents, tree houses or teepees. Other concepts have been proposed but never got off the ground.
“We have a lot of onsite amenities, including the marina, a restaurant, clubhouse, and another restaurant on commercial footage with pickleball courts, options for visitors as well as for the community, at large,” Tedrow said.
Permitted uses at the park include boat slips, a clubhouse, boat spaces, swimming pools, a mini golf course, sport courts and dog parks.
The RV Park will only allow visitors to stay for up to six months and they cannot construct decks or screen rooms. The petitioner will be required to develop a master plan showing all the RV pads, community amenities, parking, drainage, landscaping and boat storage.
The engineer for the project is Hudak Engineering, Inc. headquartered in Orlando. The landscape architect is Landscape Dynamics Inc. out of Winter Park and the surveyor is Besh Halff, with Halff Associates, Inc., located in Tavares.
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