New Resort Proposed

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Jason M. Dunovant of the Smith Mountain Eagle reports on the newest proposed addition to Smith Mountain Lake: LakeWatch Spa and Resort.

LakeWatch Plantation developer Trey Park will meet with the Franklin County Planning Commission on Tuesday, July 10 to discuss his plans to construct LakeWatch Spa and Resort, a commercial and residential development on over 600 acres of property in Westlake.

The proposed project is located directly across from where LakeWatch Plantation, which includes residential and commercial development, is currently being built on Route 122. Park is requesting permission from the planning commission to rezone much of the property, as well as several special use permits to construct several aspects of the development.

The current plans for LakeWatch Spa and Resort include 827 living units, 71 single-family lots, several condominiums consisting of 152 units, a motor coach village with 192 lots, and a six-story hotel and restaurant with 150 rooms.

Also included in the development are several fast-food and family restaurants, multiple stores, ice cream and sub shops, an 18-hole signature golf course, a driving range, four tennis courts, boat and R/V storage, and a vineyard with a restaurant.

A shopping center is also proposed for the development adjacent to Route 122, with several retail shops and family entertainment. Several boat slips and water recreational activities are also planned for the development.

The scale of the project is similar to Penhook Cove, a project approved last year by the planning commission and later by the Franklin County Board of Supervisors. That project was met with a lot of concern from residents near the development. It was eventually scaled down and renamed Penhook Village before it was finally given approval by the county and by many of the residents.

Because the project is still in its early stages, few Lake residents know about the project. Park, however, has met with several residents living near the proposed development to assure them the project will be well developed.

“I think whatever he builds, he will build it well,” nearby resident Ginny Brock said.

Brock has been pleased with the work Park has done at LakeWatch Plantation and elsewhere and is not opposed to the development, mostly because of her trust in Park as a developer. She understands that the quiet area commonly known as Becky’s Creek was eventually going to be developed and that Park will work with residents to make sure it is as unobtrusive as possible.

Brock’s only concern is the six-story hotel proposed adjacent to Smith Mountain Lake, although Park has agreed to camouflage the hotel as much as possible behind trees and other foliage.

Laurie Redding is another resident with property near the proposed development. Like Brock, she has few concerns about the project after speaking with Park.

“It’s a very well laid out plan,” Redding said.

A public hearing will be held on the project at 7 p.m. at the Franklin County Courthouse boardroom. If approved by the planning commission, it will be sent to the Franklin County Board of Supervisors later this summer for their consideration.

Thanks to Jason M. Dunovant of the Smith Mountain Eagle for this news.

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