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Land Yacht Port O’Call, an RV park in Melbourne, Fla., will house its last Airstream travel trailer in 2004 when the lease expires on the 29-acre tract that has been home to RVers since 1969.
Negotiations to keep the park at its current location have fallen through and now the group that once found itself a vital part of the Melbourne winter community hopes to relocate 17 miles south in Micco. A developer has offered to build a park on the 32-acre tract that was acquired by the group, said Frank Jennings, a resident of the park and chairman of the search committee for a new location. The new land must be rezoned from agriculture to RV use, and that may take a year.
If approved and the park is developed, it will include 230 sites, down from the 644 sites that the Port O’Call park offers. However, Jennings said there are 200 fewer RVers now at Port O’Call since the problems over the lease arose. “They didn’t want to be left with no place to go, so they found other areas,” he said.
The fight over the land began, Jennings said, when the Melbourne Airport Authority, which owns the land where the park sits, re-evaluated and decided the property was worth much more than the lease to the Airstream group. The retirees pay between $75,000 and $80,000 a year in rent to the airport authority, the group reported. The property sits across from the main entrance to the local airport, Jennings said.
Originally, the park was mostly a winter haven for retirees, with only Airstream trailers allowed. However, in more recent years, any brand of self-contained RV has been welcomed on a space-available basis.