Neighbors Raise Concerns About Lox Groves RV Park Idea

A look at the current site plan for the proposed RV park.

A developer’s presentation on a possible high-end, equestrian-themed recreational vehicle park in Loxahatchee Groves was met with a concerned response from residents at a Tuesday, June 4 workshop session.

The hour-long workshop gave a conceptual overview of the project, proposed by the Ponte Vedra-based Bove Company and JMorton Planning. The 47-acre RV park is eyed for three combined parcels at the southeast corner of Collecting Canal and C Road. That puts it east of the Groves Town Center project and north of Southern Blvd. with access from C Road.

Town officials stressed that the project is very early in the process. The workshop was a pre-application meeting, and no votes were planned. As of now, nothing has been formally submitted to the town for consideration.

Speaking on behalf of the project — dubbed “The Paddock” — was developer Gabriel Bove.

“The culture of this community is very special and unique, and we want to be part of this community,” he said. “Tonight, we want to talk about our enthusiasm for bringing a high-end RV resort to the community.”

Bove said that he is flexible and wants to take a team approach and work with the community to make the project better.

“We really want to be an equestrian-themed community that fits with the spirit of what’s here,” he said.

The project calls for 285 RV sites. While it may run at full capacity during the winter season, it will be much less the rest of the year.

Bove said that he is working with people who specialize in RV parks. A demand study has shown that “an RV resort would be well-received and is well-needed in the Palm Beach area,” he said.

Bove showed a map indicating that the west coast of Florida has many RV parks, but there are very few on the east coast. “The demand for this is extremely high,” he said.

The project will require road improvements on Southern Blvd. that will include a deceleration lane but not a traffic light, as well as paving on C Road to the property. They will bring water and sewer to the property as well, and there will be enough staging to make sure that RVs do not queue up on C Road.

The array of on-site amenities includes a welcome center, clubhouse, swimming pool, dog park and an equestrian trail system that will tie into the town’s network. A buffer is planned around the perimeter.

The Paddock will be a high-end RV park patterned after a resort in the Jupiter area. The cost of a stay will be $165 per night in season. Monthly rates and out-of-season rates would be a bit less. It is designed for short-term stays. There will be a 180-day limit.

“Our rates will be in the A-class rates. We are looking for more higher-end clients,” Bove said. “We see it as an active resort. It is about lifestyle. It is about family. It is about having a good time.”

He said it will be much higher end than the nearest RV park, which is at Lion Country Safari.

Within the overall high-end RV park, there will be a higher end section at the front of the site for more upscale motor coaches, while an interior area will be more for families. It will be a gated community with approximately 15 employees managing the property and providing strict security.

Bove estimates that his company will make a $35 million investment in the community. “That is an investment that needs to be well-managed and well-run,” he said, adding that he expects the total local impact to the economy to be $100 million.

Only three council members were on the dais to hear the presentation. Councilwoman Phillis Maniglia and Councilman Robert Shorr left the room due to potential conflicts of interest.

Mayor Anita Kane was concerned about the road impact, not just on C Road, but on Southern Blvd., particularly given the size of the RVs.

“The traffic on Southern Blvd. is already horrible,” she said.

Kane also doesn’t want people at the park to be able to establish residency in the community.

Vice Mayor Marge Herzog asked if guests will be allowed to bring horses to the property. Bove explained that while the site will have an equestrian theme, they will not be in the equestrian business. They do not plan to have guests keep horses at the site.

Herzog also asked what would happen when the place gets older and becomes run down. Bove said the project will have a capital reserve fund to constantly upgrade the property to make sure it does not lose the higher end feel.

Councilwoman Laura Danowski listened to the pitch but said she would prefer to hear from residents rather than comment herself. Public comments were uniformly opposed to the project.

Ken Johnson of Collecting Canal Road wanted to know about noise control. “We want to keep our community the way it was intended,” he said.

Resident Nina Corning was concerned about the amount of trash the location would amass, as well as directing more stormwater into Collecting Canal. She said a development of houses was rejected for the site back in 2018, and this will have a much greater impact.

“This is nothing but insanity,” she said.

Resident Paul Coleman said that commercial uses should be kept south of Tangerine in the Southern Blvd. area.

Neighbors Bianca Berktold and Aly Daly said they bought in the area for peace and quiet and don’t think the project fits their neighborhood and the entire community.

“I have a horse farm. A 20-foot buffer is ridiculous,” Berktold said. “We are talking 285 spots with trailers, noise and people who are right there in front of our houses.”

As far as schedule, Bove hopes to submit applications for the project shortly and work on them with staff during the second half of the year. The formal public meetings for approval would be held during the first half of 2025.

The project will require comprehensive plan text and map amendments, zoning text and map amendments, a special exception use approval and a site plan. Bove said that several community outreach meetings are planned.