RV Park for Wind Energy Workers Debated
A proposed RV park geared toward attracting wind energy workers is creating a controversy in Tulia, Texas.
The Tulia City Council was scheduled to vote this week on whether to grant a specific use permit request that would allow a 59-unit RV park to go in on what is now a vacant city block close to the north edge of town, the Plainview Herald reported.
The park is being supported by the city's economic development corporation as well as the council, whose previous vote on the matter was voided. However, the park is opposed by some residents who live in the area as well as the Tulia Independent School District. Both the school administration building and an elementary school are located close to the property located between El Paso and Floyd and Eighth and Ninth streets. In the area, according to City Manager Dan Dible, are a "very rundown trailer park/junkyard" as well as some nice homes.
Dible, who also serves as director of the economic development corporation, said the RV park is in response to the wind energy development in the area and the subsequent need for housing.
"As we all know, wind energy is coming," Dible said. "We're expecting a lot of activity and we're going to have a lot of workers in the area, several hundred at a time."
He said wind energy representatives have said one of their greatest needs is housing. "There's a critical need for housing," said Dible, adding that attracting workers to town would benefit the entire town economically.
As a result of the housing need, land was purchased by local residents in order to develop Highland RV Park, and Dible said the economic development corporation gave its unanimous support to the project.
However, the issue ran into a stumbling block when the request for a specific use permit was requested from the city's planning and zoning committee. Dible said a large crowd turned out for that matter, and the request was rejected on a 3-2 vote with one member absent.
That vote was appealed to the city council, however, and Dible said council members upheld the appeal on a 4-0 vote.
But Dible said that vote was voided, although he wouldn't say why on advice from the city attorney.
"I can't discuss that," he said.
Now, the matter will be heard again by the council.
As residents around the proposed RV park worry about decreased property values, Dible said issues surrounding the park include such things as fencing, traffic patterns and location of trash containers. He said the land is located in a mixed bag of surrounding property.