"Gay Sex Camp" For Clewiston?
CLEWISTON, FL. -- Rumors have started in Clewiston regarding the purchase of the former Eckerd Youth Alternatives, Inc. land southeast of Clewiston. Some say the 269 acre parcel is to be used, as one anonymous email described it, as a "remote gay sex camp."
Hendry records indicate Bazu LLC, a Fort Lauderdale company, purchased the property by special warranty deed December 1st, 2010. Eckerd financed the purchase taking back a mortgage for $1,202,227.96 which includes and assignment of rents according to the 20-page document. Steven McCloud signed the mortgage on behalf of Bazu. The sale price is a reported $1,600,000.
(Photo: Headquarters Building At Camp)
The Hendry property appraiser says the property is worth $1,552,030 and zoned listed as A-2 for homes on 5 acres or more and recreational use. If so, and the purchase price was $1.6 million, it would appear this might not be such a financially stable business plan for Bazu LLC using the remote land as camping grounds.
Eckerd owned the out-of-the-way, rural 269 acre tract at 28280 Etumakee Way, off of County Road 835, 20 miles south of Clewiston since 1985, using it as a county approved non-profit home and residential treatment center for youthful offenders and behaviorally impaired youth with a capacity of 54. It closed several years ago.
According to the building officials many of the structures were built by the residents and it is yet unclear if permits were applied for or issued in the 80s and early 90s when many of the buildings were assessed by the Hendry Property Appraiser.
There are approximately 22 outbuildings including a store, a main office building with a commercial kitchen and dining room, a dormitory, a shop building with an attached duplex, a library an RO water system, and 6 campsites among other amenities.
Reports received by the Sunday Morning News says work has begun at the property, although building permits apparently have not been applied for or issued
Vitambi Springs Resort is a fictitious name owned by VSR Development Corp., formed on May 13, 2010 in Fort Lauderdale. VSR Development was set up the same day with Steven W. McCloud as president, Martin C. Ruddock, vice president/treasurer, and Antonio P. Barone, vice-president. The three also own Bazu LLC, the property owner of the site.
The three-man owners group set up websites for the Vitambi Springs Development Corporation advertising the "Vitambi Springs Resort" at http://www.vsrdc.com/
A pre-building permit application meeting was held with Hendry building officials in November 2009 concerning using this 269 acre site for 250 RV hookups with campground and cabins. On February 26, 2010, real estate broker Sherri Denning, real estate agent Julie Wilkins, and building permit applicants met with Hendry staff to discuss a variation of the use from the November meeting.
In October 2010 the group and Engineer Scott Morrisson met with zoning officials to propose 50 RV sites, and 30-40 cabins along with the existing primitive camp sites. The county gave them requirements for submitting paperwork but nothing has been received as of this date.
At this time, the property and nine main buildings located there, can be used for campers and RV use at the existing sites. Because the new owners have not applied for a use change to increase the camping spaces to 50 (or 250), they are currently allowed to only use the currently existing spaces which appear to be only six spaces for campers.