The developer of a 1,000-unit recreational vehicle park near the edge of the Avon Park Air Force Range has withdrawn an attempt to ask the County Commission to amend its growth regulations to allow some permanent residences despite a pledge when the project was originally approved in February 2020 that no permanent residences were planned.
The project known as the Resort at Canopy Oaks has been at the center of an ongoing dispute between the developer and officials at the 106,000-acre military base on how further encroachment by development around its boundary will affect the ability of the base to host a variety of training, some of which involves the use of nighttime low-level flights by military aircraft.
Ancient Islands Sierra Club Group was on record as opposing the change.
Although the commission’s original approval ignored concerns raised by state planning officials in connection with a regional effort to buffer the base’s activities so training activities there would not be hampered,.
The approval was not a surprise since local economic development officials had attended an event at the development site before the first hearing that gave the impression the official approval was assured.
However the attempt to add permanent residences created some pushback from some commissioners led by Commissioner George Lindsey.
The withdrawal of the application came in a letter dated Aug. 15 from Bart Allen, the lawyer representing the developer. The issue was scheduled to be heard Aug. 16 before the County Commission after being continued earlier this year to allow the developer to meet with base officials to determine whether they could work out their differences.
Meanwhile, the developer has begun the review process to seek final approval of the next two phases of the planned RV park consisting of 589 spaces via the county’s Development Review Committee.