Commercial development proposed for Ocala mobile home park

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Posted May 7, 2021 | Brendan Farrell,  

Caption: The entrance to the Blue Skies Estates mobile home park at 2426 NE 14th St. is show on Friday. The park’s owner is requesting a zoning change to develop part of the property for commercial use. [Carlos Medina/Ocala Gazette]

The owners of a nearly 60-year-old mobile home park at the busy corner of Northeast 25th Avenue and Bonnie Heath Boulevard hope to open part of it to commercial development.

The proposed change would encompass about half of the 14-acre mobile home park known as Blue Skies Estates. The proposal is on Monday’s Ocala Planning and Zoning Commission meeting agenda.

Ocala Properties of Marion County, the owner of Blue Skies, wants to rezone 7.44 acres of the property from residential to community business district. The application for a zoning change points out that the area is home to a gas station on the northeast corner, a shopping center on the northwest corner and a bank on the southwest corner. The part of the mobile home park under consideration is on the southeast corner of the intersection.

City growth management staff recommends approval pending a final development plan. The zoning can include community businesses like department stores, fast food restaurants and liquor stores as well as single- and two-family dwellings.

“The applicant recognizes the need for proposed development to be compatible with neighboring residential uses to the west and is proposing to provide part of the right-of-way necessary to make NE 24th Avenue a conforming roadway,” the items reads.

Blue Skies Estates opened in the 1960s, but the property has fallen into disrepair in recent years.

Two years ago, an investigation headed by the City of Ocala Environment Enforcement Unit found a multitude of code violations and hazardous conditions. Red tags were issued to at least 40 of the 51 homes on the property. There was also an arrest in 2016 for producing methamphetamines.

Conditions were improved after the violations and some of the mobile homes were still occupied as of Friday. The application stated the owners would eventually seek a zoning change for the remaining portion of the park.

Ocala Properties of Marion County bought the park and the surrounding land in 2004 for $2.6 million.

The planning and zoning commission will make its recommendation, and the request will go before the Ocala City Council for its consideration.

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