County gives green light to RV park development plan

Theordora Rusnak, president of the Citrus County Council, reads a resolution from the CCC to county commissioners opposing the expansion of River Lodge RV ParkThe Citrus County Commission  on Tuesday night gave the green light to an amendment to the county's Comprehensive Plan that will allow the River Lodge RV Resort to expand.

The vote was unanimous to approve the RV park's expansion.

Inverness attorney Clark Stillwell presened a comprehensive plan amendment for redesignation of approximately 170 acres from Industrial District, Low Intensity Coastal and Lakes District, and Public/Semi-Public Institutional District, to Recreational Vehicle Park and Coastal and Lakes Commercial at 13150 W. Foss Groves Path to the east of the existing River Lodge Resort RV Park near Inglis.

Stillwell also proposed running a 10-inch pipe from an existing water plant to the area, which would service the area as well as Inglis. That proposal could be in lieu of building a wastewater treatment plant on the property, Stillwell said.

Opponents, which included representatives from the Citrus County Council, took issue with the county's approval of the amendment, citing danger to wetlands and the aquifer. The council is a consortium of civic clubs, homeowners associations and environmental groups.

In comments before voting, commissioners all agreed the 10-inch pipe would bolster centralized utilities in an area that wasn't serviced at present. Commissioner Winn Webb said it would protect natural resources by eliminating septic tanks that are in the area. Commissioner Joe Meek called the approval a "big step forward" for Citrus County, and Commissioner Dennis Damato said the request met all the technical requirements, and Commissioner John Thrumston said it stays true to the intent behind the Comprehensive Plan.