Neighbors Nix Homeless Texan RV Park's Plan

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June 5, 2013 by   - () Leave a Comment

The vote was unanimous — all 89 people who came to the homeowners association meeting at Woodland Hills on Sunday afternoon (June 2) voted to fight the new homeless RV park being planned to go in right next door, KTBC-TV, Austin, Texas, reported.

"Community First Village" is a project from the homeless charity group "Mobile Loaves and Fishes."

The 25-acre property would provide affordable housing like RVs for disabled homeless.

Tony Federico with the Woodland Hills homeowners association says everyone who came to the meeting appreciates what the charity group is trying to do; they just don't feel it's the right place for it.

"They felt that to a certain extent that they bought here and they expected the neighborhood to stay this way and they felt to some extent that it was an infringement on their sovereignty, what they had purchased, what they had bought. Because it could take 30 years to pay off a house and all of a sudden something like this gets thrown into their backyard and they just didn't feel comfortable about it," Federico said.

Dack Zerger lives in Woodland Hills with his wife and two kids. Like many of the homeowners, he didn't know about the RV park's plans until recently.

"The flyer that I read said 'Come to the meeting and we'll talk about the homeless RV park.' My thought was 'What is a homeless RV park?"' Zerger said.

He has several issues with the idea.

"There's obviously safety concerns which are hard to predict. My second concern that I thought of right away was property value. Will this affect my property value?" Zerger said.

Zerger wanted to make sure people realized the thought process behind the neighborhood's stance.

"We don't lack compassion. We represent the alternative viewpoint that 'Hey this might not be the right place for this. And these are the reasons why and let's talk about it,'" Zerger said.

Elizabeth Nitz has lived in Woodland Hills with her husband for six years.

"Obviously safety is a concern. The understanding that I got today was no sex offenders will be allowed to be residents of the community. However misdemeanor crimes, felony crimes, violent crimes … those offenders won't be prohibited from moving in," Nitz said.

Nitz says she actually used to volunteer for Mobile Loaves and Fishes and she's still a big supporter of the organization.

"Mobile Loaves and Fishes does great work but I also would be really surprised if within their organization, any of those folks would be very willing to have this community in their neighborhoods," Nitz said.

Obviously, none of these plans are a done deal yet until the city and county approve them.

There will be a public hearing on the RV park soon.

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