Planned RV Resort Riles Panama City Residents
The owner and operator of the Boardwalk Beach Resort in Panama City, Fla., is considering a luxury RV park for the area, but some neighbors aren’t happy with the plans.
WJHG TV reported that some of the condo owners at the Boardwalk Beach Resort are opposing Royal American’s request for some zoning changes to build the RV park. They say it could have a negative impact on their condo values.
When Boardwalk Beach Resort owners bought their condos years ago, they were expecting to be part of a huge beach front resort.
“We were told there would be four buildings,” condo owner John Bienkowski said. “Three additional ones besides the one we’re standing in front of today. Plus a number of amenities to make it like a park atmosphere, but with four buildings.”
Those plans were shelved when the real estate bubble burst several years ago. Instead, Royal American now wants to use some of its land to build an upscale RV park. Company officials say they want to attract tourists with luxury RVs to generate some revenue until it makes sense to build permanent structures on the land.
Royal American Marketing Director Amy Harris released a statement saying that their research shows that luxury RV owners is the demographic they want to attract to Panama City Beach. She also points out Okaloosa County recently approved a similar RV park for Okaloosa Island.
The company has requested a zoning change from Panama City Beach.
“It seems like we’ve been getting more, as this request is, is going from a district that allows some commercial use to an RV park. And it seems like RV parks are the land use of the day lately,” Panama City Beach Director of Planning and Building Mel Leonard said.
But some Boardwalk residents and their neighbors aren’t thrilled with the new trend.
“We just didn’t see the new plans being anything that would enhance the area. We thought that we would take a greater hit than a lot of people have already economically, because we don’t see it doing anything to enhance the value of our individual units or the property,” Bienkowski added.
The zoning change request was scheduled to go before the Panama City Beach planning board February 13th. But late Wednesday afternoon Royal American officials pulled it from the agenda to give more time to explain their plans to the owners.