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Concerned about poorly maintained RV parks, Surfside Beach, Texas, officials agreed on March 11 to draft an ordinance limiting RV owners’ stays at the community’s RV parks to a maximum of three months each year.
The southeast Texas community’s current ordinance, passed in 1995, restricts RVs from staying in the same place for more than six months. However, the ordinance is considered weak because owners have been known to briefly move their vehicles after six months and return the next day.
“We have parks that are flagrant cesspools – two in particular, and one is heading in that direction,” Surfside Beach Mayor Larry Davison told the Brazosport Facts of Clute.
The restriction is also necessary, Davison argues, because some RV park owners are keeping their own trailers on the lots and renting them out to visitors.
The town’s board of aldermen likely will vote in April on the ordinance, which would limit stays to one three-month stint over an entire calendar year. “At some point, an RV park should be empty,” Davison said. “Certainly, in the case of a storm, there shouldn’t be one trailer out there.”
While correcting the town’s problems, Davison said the ordinance also will undoubtedly harm RV park owners whose properties are well managed and maintained. Yet, he explained, the proposed ordinance is the village’s only way of solving its problems.
Periodically, RV parks have been a hot button issue in the town for the last five years. Surfside Beach already has limited the number of spaces at the parks and restricted RV parking outside the parks, such as in people’s yards. They also have tried to battle poorly maintained parks by cracking down on those that have improper septic systems or that house unlicensed or immobile vehicles.
“Until we get it just like we want it,” Davison said, “it’s going to keep coming up.”