MILTON — Santa Rosa County's latest Zoning Board meeting had an epic turnout as nearly the entire neighborhood of Windsor Villas attended the meeting, sporting bright green shirts in protest of a proposed rezoning of 2.42 acres for a planned RV park.
The proposed rezoning of the land from residential to commercial would add it to 5.71 acres that property owner Ed Dunn plans to create an RV park on with entrances on Garcon Pointe Road and Henzelman Drive. Dunn was represented by engineer David Lamar, who said initially they were going to try to build the park on the 5.71 acres and during the planning stage they they realized they needed it to be bigger. He said that the neighborhood of Windsor Villas and other homes in the surrounding area had contacted his client with several concerns about having the RV site in the area, including drainage problems that would impact their homes.
"Development of a property improves its drainage, it does not make it worse," Lamar said. "We will have a wet retention pond, requiring 150 percent of the normal county standard one inch of run-off on the entire 8.15 acres before we send a drop off Garcon Pointe or Henzelman. In short that is 330,000 gallons of water before we send a drop off. I think we are going to improve the drainage problem."
Lamar said another concern he has heard was the increase in traffic and RV's turning onto the Henzleman entrance who miss the entrance would not be able to turn around, causing a traffic jam. He said while traffic will rise slightly he does not see a major increase as the park would be close to the interstate and he thinks at most his park will only see around 71 trips everyday. As far as the issue with missing the turn, Lamar said while this could be a small problem, he believes with proper signage he did not foresee it being a major issue.
"I'm not saying it will never happen," he said. "But I don't think it will be the concern that folks are raising."
Adam Cobb, an attorney for Windsor Villas, said that if the property was rezoned, the affects would be permanent and if the park was ever sold the new owner could do whatever they liked within the commercial property guidelines.
"It is easy to make promises when they are not enforceable," Cobb said. "It is easy to make promises when at anytime the property could be sold. ... The effect would be permanent on those homeowners."
Cobb said that the property that they were requesting to be rezoned also serves as a buffer between residential and commercial property and should remain as such to avoid disrupting the nature of neighborhood. He said two homes in the neighborhood would border the park if the rezoning was approved.
"People in Windsor Villas bought those homes primarily because of the safety and quiet and by the very nature of the proposed development it would disrupt that," Cobb said.
The zoning board voted 5 to 3 to approve the recommendation to rezone the 2.42 acres to commercial property. The topic will move to the County Commission for a meeting on July 25.