Shady Gators

CAMDEN COUNTY, Mo. — Neighbors say they like the idea of expanded parking for the lakefront hotspot, Shady Gators and its companion venue, Lazy Gators. But one neighbor raised concerns about the owners' plans to demolish a nearby house for expanding the kitchen.

The Parking Lot

However, the P&Z commission approved recommending two rezoning requests with the aim of building an additional parking lot for the Gators complex.

Gary D. Prewitt, via Four Wise Guys, LLC and Byou Rental Properties, LLC, has asked the county to rezone two lots from R-1 Residential to B-1 Low-Impact Commercial:

1) Approximately .221 acres located on Lot 75 of Horseshoe Bend No. 6, on Sweet William Road, in Lake Ozark. The surrounding properties are zoned R-1, B-1 and B-2.

2) Approximately .282 acres located on Lot 76 of Horseshoe Bend No. 6, also on Sweet William Road, in Lake Ozark.

The re-zoning would allow the properties to be developed into a parking area.

“We are on a peninsula, which makes it difficult for us to have adequate parking,” Andy Prewitt explained to the commission. He added, “We have problems in the residential neighborhood with our offsite parking, due to customers walking back and forth to that parking lot through a residential neighborhood.”

“We have been working with [Camden County] Sheriff Tony Helms, and he supports this rezone. He thinks it will be a good step towards controlling pedestrian traffic.”

Linda Halbert, who lives on Aqua Fin Drive, across the street from the parking lot, spoke to the P&Z commission regarding the request. “I am in favor of adding parking. It will get people off the streets,” Halbert said. “I have seen people almost hit by cars numerous times because they were wandering around in the dark, on curvy roads.”

Nearby resident Elizabeth Smith withdrew her former declaration of opposition to this rezone. “I’m less opposed to the parking lot because it will solve some of the problems we have on the streets,” Smith said. “I am not opposed to the additional parking,” she ended.

According to the Camden County Unified Land Use Code, B-1 zoning will not allow Prewitt to move a restaurant or bar to this parcel.

“We have no intention of expanding Shady Gators,” Andy Prewitt assured the P&Z commission. “There has been commercial creep into the residential area,” he said. “We already own property in that area, and this will create B-1 zoning in an area that is already commercial.”

Currently, there is a small 50-space parking area directly in front of Shady Gators, as well as a remote 55-space parking lot on Bittersweet Road. “We do a lot of shuttling and a lot of walking back and forth to that remote parking area,” Prewitt said.

He assured, “We will take care of the runoff, it will not be built on the lake, there will be a buffer zone and it will all have to be approved by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.”

Camden County Administrator Tanna Wirtz noted that this type of development could serve as a buffer zone between the more intense retail and office uses and the established residential neighborhoods.

Prewitt said the goal was to construct the parking lot in the winter, so it will be available in time for the next tourist season.

The P&Z commissioners voted unanimously to approve recommending this rezone request. The case will next go before the Camden County Commission for a final decision.

The Kitchen

Gary D. Prewitt, Glacier Park Investments, LLC., has requested the Camden County Planning & Zoning Commission re-zone approximately .24 acres on Sweet William Road in Lake Ozark from Residential-1 to Business-2 (General Commercial). The request was heard at the P&Z meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 21, and was tabled due to opposition.

The property in question is located next to the Shady/Lazy Gators complex, and is surrounded by R-1, B-1 and B-2 zoned properties. A house is located on the property, and according to Andy Prewitt, representing Glacier Park Investments, the house is currently being used as a rental property. “We would like to demolish the house in the near future and incorporate it into the kitchen of our restaurant,” Andy Prewitt told P&Z commissioners.

It’s no secret that the Gators complex has had a rocky relationship with neighbors, and at the Aug. 21 meeting, nearby resident Elizabeth Smith spoke to the P&Z commission in opposition to this rezoning request. “I oppose any further development in this area,” Smith said. “Currently, as it exists, it is intrusive to our neighborhood with excessive noise. The customers are not respectful of the residential property owners and the police have been called in repeatedly to escort customers to their cars/destinations.”

The decision was tabled, as with all cases where there is opposition. P&Z commissioners will vote on this rezone request at the 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 18 Planning and Zoning commission meeting at the Camden County Courthouse. If the P&Z commission approves recommending this rezone, the case will then go before the Camden County Commission for a final decision.

Prior to construction of any structures, a zoning/construction permit application will be required, as well as all proper sign-offs from the Horseshoe Bend Road District, Camden County Wastewater and Lake Ozark Fire Protection District.

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