La. Parish Struggles With RV Park Zoning
No new RV parks can be built in a Louisiana parish for the next six months as officials try to figure out what to do with parks that will likely serve workers who live and work out of their RVs. At issue is this: Should those parks be treated as tourist-oriented RV parks, or more like mobile home parks?
Ascension Parish government officials are expecting nomadic tradesmen to move into the parish in the coming years with the billions in industrial development planned in the Mississippi River industrial corridor between Baton Rouge and New Orleans, The Advocate of Baton Rouge reported..
Finding gaps in their development and zoning code, parish officials earlier this month declared a six-month moratorium on new recreational vehicle parks.
Parish President Tommy Martinez said parish officials want a better handle on where RV parks for temporary workers will be located.
“If we allow it, we want to allow it in the way that we want it. We certainly don’t want a proliferation of these things that when the boom is over, you’d be stuck with the problem still hanging around,” he said.
The Planning Commission declared the moratorium Oct. 9 after the Parish Council adopted a resolution seeking the moratorium Oct. 3 at Martinez’s request.
About $4.6 billion in new projects in Ascension have been announced since the start of 2012.
Parish Planning Director Ricky Compton said parish officials were recently called about whether RV parks could be built in the parish’s most restrictive residential zoning categories: Conservation and Rural, which normally allow one to two single-family houses per acre.
Commercial-style zoning categories are where RV and mobile home parks are normally allowed.
Compton said RV parks for tourists in the style of a KOA Campground are allowed in the residential categories.
The developer argued to parish officials that RV parks for temporary workers could fit under that tourist provision.
Compton said the code did not have an adequate definition of what constitutes an RV park for tourists.
“We don’t think mobile home parks and RV parks should be in Conservation and Rural (zoning) because they (RV parks) get up to 20 units per acre,” he said.
He said the parish has been getting one to two calls per week about RV parks for workers.
What exactly the parish will propose is not yet clear, though Compton speculated the discussion could delve into a broader look at how to handle all kinds of temporary housing for workers.
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