Council Rejects RV Park Plan for Flood-Prone Area
The St. John the Baptist Parish Council on Tuesday (Feb. 9) turned down a Frenier, La., property owner's request to open a 12-site RV park next to his home, according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune.
Neighbors opposed the request by Louis Lipps, saying his proposal would diminish property values in the area.
Lipps was applying for conditional approval to build the site. He reminded the council that there is another RV park within 100 yards of his 20,000-square-foot site.
"Although I think this process has been a little unfair, I do know that I have met every requirement, jumped through every hoop, paid every fee in what I am sure will be a successful business," Lipps said.
But Wes Mobley, an owner of Frenier Landing restaurant, disagreed.
"We do not believe this is going to enhance the community," he said. "We believe the adjacent properties are going to suffer in the long run and hurt their property values."
Planning Director Mike Henderson recommended denial of the request, and expressed concern that the development is in an area that is vulnerable to tidal surge and on a road that is subject to flooding. He also said the creation of the park would place a burden on the parish to enforce laws forbidding people to live in a campground in a hazard flood zone for more than 180 days.
Henderson said after the meeting that the existing five-lot site was classified as a "campground," which does not require council approval. The parish Planning and Zoning Commission recommended that the council approve the measure.
Councilman Steve Lee said he thought the venture was a bad idea for the community and that the existing park was approved by the Nickie Monica administration without council approval.
He said he opposed the plan "because the vision for this property is unlimited," he said, referring to the Frenier area, adding that approval would constitute a "downside to that particular vision."
Councilman Charles Julien agreed.
"I think that the neighbors and the businesses in the area do have a right to say what they want to tolerate and what they want to live with and what they don't want to live with.