Tarpon Springs Plans Boutique RV Resort Amidst Local Concerns

At the recent Tarpon Springs Planning and Zoning Board meeting, the discussion was dominated by a proposal for a new boutique motor coach resort on Island Drive and Hill Street. The application, presented by the principal planner from the planning and zoning department, outlined plans for a 16-unit RV park managed by Turtle Cove Marina. The board scrutinized the proposal, focusing on the site plan, parking arrangements, adherence to regulations, and impact on the surrounding area.

The proposed RV park, intended to provide short-stay accommodation for tourists, generated considerable debate. The board considered the applicant’s request for a hedgerow and a wrought iron fence for street screening, as well as concerns regarding traffic, road impact, and the six-week stay limit enforcement. The project’s compliance with the Smart Code was also discussed, with staff recommending approval of the conditional use and site plan, including the requested warrant.

Speakers from the public, including experienced RVers, voiced concerns about the practicality of the RV park’s design, traffic flow, tree coverage for shade, and overall guest convenience. Some supported the idea, citing the benefits of using waterfront property in a coastal high hazard area for an RV port, while others raised issues about the RV park’s proximity to the Greek town Historic district and potential traffic congestion.

Edward Spath, the owner of Turtle Cove Marina, presented the RV park proposal, emphasizing its viability and addressing traffic concerns, the need for flood mitigation, and the park’s potential to attract visitors to local businesses. Board members queried the project’s specifics, including the travel patterns of motor coach travelers, the park’s size, and its impact on the area.

In addition to the RV park, the board approved a conditional use and site plan for a Bingo hall relocation to a site previously occupied by a Mexican restaurant. The new development includes landscaping and site upgrades.

An application for a boat storage facility on Anclote Road also received approval. The outdoor storage facility, previously a boat repair and storage site, will serve boat and trailer storage needs, including a washdown area.

The board debated the necessity of a sidewalk for a redevelopment project aimed at code compliance and site upgrades. Concerns were raised about visual appeal, safety benefits, and the financial implications of a sidewalk potentially subject to future removal. The project received approval, emphasizing efforts to minimize costs and comply with regulations.

A unanimous decision was made to amend the land development code, shortening the duration of development agreements to not exceed five years, with the possibility of one extension by mutual consent of a supermajority of the board of Commissioners.

Board comments included the need for proactive planning for future development and growth, with members emphasizing city issues and smart code adherence.

Note: This meeting summary was generated by AI, which can occasionally misspell names, misattribute actions, and state inaccuracies. This summary is intended to be a starting point and you should review the meeting record linked above before acting on anything you read. If we got something wrong, let us know. We’re working every day to improve our process in pursuit of universal local government transparency.
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