KEY LARGO -- After years of delay, the redevelopment of Key Largo Ocean Resort is now underway.
Last week, construction crews were inside the Mile Marker 94.5 property preparing to connect to Key Largo's sewer system and working on other drainage facilities.
The walled and gated 22-acre former RV park had been shut down because of illegal building additions to trailers, narrow streets and a litany of citations for code violations.
In late 2010, following a fire where emergency vehicles were unable to access burning trailers in a timely manner, Circuit Judge Luis Garcia ordered the park closed.
After the closure, a redevelopment plan was proferred to bring the property into compliance.
Developer Jim Saunders said the property has been downsized by about 50 homes.
Most of the 285 single-family units will be 52 by 30 feet in size. Construction likely will not begin for about six months. Saunders said all units must be on stilts and parking must be under the homes.
The neighborhood's governing body is considering instituting an architectural review board to manage the property's beautification.
While future homeowners begin pulling residential building permits, Fountain Engineering crews will continue redesigning underground drainage features and building up the property.
Saunders said he doesn't expect any other major hurdles as the project moves forward, though other permits will need to be granted for clubhouse improvements and marina construction. The marina installation will require approval from the Army Corps of Engineers.
"A homeowner will be able to move into his home much before he can dock his boat," he said.