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Commission has a rethink on Ridge Manor RV plan

The Hernando County Commission has voted 3-2 to rehear the case of Bob Carson’s recreational vehicle plan under the name Just So You Know in Ridge Manor.
The Hernando County Commission has voted 3-2 to rehear the case of Bob Carson’s recreational vehicle plan under the name Just So You Know in Ridge Manor.
Published Mar. 24, 2016

BROOKSVILLE — Neighbors in Ridge Manor who strongly opposed a recreational vehicle park adjacent to their residential communities may get a reprieve.

While the County Commission this month voted 3-2 to approve the project, one of those who said yes said Tuesday that he has rethought the decision and wants the proposal to come back before the commission for new vote. And then the commission voted 3-2 to rehear the case of Bob Carson's recreational vehicle plan under the name Just So You Know LLC.

Commissioner Nick Nicholson said after Tuesday's meeting that he believes he made a mistake at the earlier hearing.

"I brought up the wetlands and the flood plain and how it's probably not feasible to build the thing … and then I voted for it," he said. "I blew it."

Carson proposed putting 151 RVs, including 17 permanent units, on a 28-acre parcel between the Whispering Oaks and Ridge Manor Estates residential communities. The entrance would be off U.S. 301.

The proposal, which was recommended for denial by the Planning and Zoning Commission, has divided residents of the area. Dozens signed petitions and complained to the planning commission that the park was not compatible with their neighborhoods, would cause property values to fall, would exacerbate flooding problems and would destroy their peaceful, safe community.

But others in the community had a different perspective, and they filled the commission chambers at the meeting in early March wearing bright green shirts showing their support for the plan. These were residents concerned that Carson would not be able to keep the community's golf course open if there was not an influx of residents to use the course.

They spoke strongly in favor of having the new recreational vehicle facility.

Carson bought the community's shuttered golf course several years ago, fixed it up and reopened it, explained Carson's attorney, Bruce Snow, at the hearing. Adding the RV component, and the visitors it would bring, is a key component to Carson's business plan, Snow told commissioners.

"Without that profitability, that golf course could go the way of other golf courses," he said. "Many people here are in support of this and understand the consequences of destroying that business plan."

The new hearing is tentatively slated for early May.

Contact Barbara Behrendt at bbehrendt@tampabay.com or (352) 848-1434.

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