The Four Winds Youth With A Mission camp is seeking site plan approval for the first phase of its 20-year expansion vision in Montverde.
The first phase will include 10 dormitories and 58 staff cabins totaling 586 beds, multiple classrooms, a resource center and a 20,258-square-foot multipurpose building with a full cafeteria.
“It’s a small phase but gives them some breathing room” to continue fundraising for future expansion, said Greg Beliveau, the owner’s applicant, and CEO of LPG Urban & Regional Land Planners.
The timing and scope of future phases are dependent on the nonprofit’s fundraising, he said.
The camp, now 189 acres, with the recent addition of 16 acres, is owned by Four Winds Ecclesia, Inc. of Montverde. The Four Winds Youth With A Mission, or YWAM, non-denominational Christian camp is just south of the gated Bella Collina golf community.
The site plan is currently in the hands of the Lake County staff, which expects to return it to the developer with any concerns or comments by the end of this month.
Beliveau said camp owners hope to get construction of Phase 1 underway this year.
The camp’s 20-year expansion and renovation plan will allow the discipleship camp to host an additional 300 participants and 100 staff members, adding to the current 250 participants and 100 staff members, who live, work and train during 12-week programs. There are also youth group sessions that run for three to five days.
The camp runs a discipleship program that trains participants, then sends them across the globe to minister. But, right now, the camp does not have the space for all those wishing to participate, Beliveau said.
The new kitchen/cafeteria scheduled for the first phase is one of the major needs at the camp, he said. The additional dorms and staff cabins are also very much needed immediately, he said, and are included in the first phase.
Beliveau said he does not know the cost of the phase 1 additions.
During this expansion, some of the older buildings at the camp will remain and be renovated, while others will be demolished, Beliveau said. “There is an RV area already approved to meet current codes. And there will be new inside recreational facilities to minimize noise.”
Future phases could include a student resource center, 250 campsites, 15 cabins, lodges and barns. A bed and breakfast hospitality house is also planned, along with a wedding chapel, caretaker units and RV parking.
Outdoor recreational uses will include an amphitheater, additional baseball diamonds, a gymnasium and fieldhouse, pickleball courts, swimming pools, tennis courts and volleyball courts among other items.
The developer for the project, KJ Walk, Inc., is based in Minnesota.
Darla Miller, with Modica & Associates out of Clermont, is the environmental consultant and Sam Shroyer with Edward Dugger & Associates, out of Stuart serves as the consultant on architectural acoustics. Beliveau is the planner.
Four Winds Ecclesia first came to Lake County Commissioners in 2021 for approval of the master plan, but it needed commission approval to revise the definition and permitted uses in the Community Facility District future land use. One such addition cleared the way for the new cafeteria. Other allowable uses include daycare, schools, office buildings, auditoriums, and gazebos. The BOCC also expanded the PUD with the addition of 16 acres to the camp.
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