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Louisiana RV Rule Compromise in the Works

November 15, 2013 by   - () Leave a Comment

The Lafayette (La.) City-Parish Council is wrestling with a difficult question that affects the quality of life of local homeowners and the economic well-being of itinerant workers and the local companies that depend on them.

It appears, however, that the council and Lafayette Consolidated Government are working on a solution that will provide a good compromise, the Lafayette Advertiser said in an editorial.

The question is whether itinerant workers who hold jobs in the area should be allowed to live full time in RVs or campers in unincorporated areas of Lafayette Parish. An ordinance that would limit occupancy of such homes away from home to 180 days per calendar year was passed in October, then vetoed by City-Parish President Joey Durel. The council subsequently overrode the veto, reinstating the ordinance, all within a period of less than a month.

The goal now, according to council member Jay Castille, who represents the northern part of the parish, is to find a resolution that “doesn’t hurt anybody.”

That’s good to hear.

The issue first rose to the surface when citizens began to complain that their neighbors were renting space on their property to workers living in campers without sewage service or electricity.

Not only did it create an unpleasant odor, but it raised some safety issues.

Those are legitimate concerns for the homeowners, who are entitled to the peaceful enjoyment of their homes.

The problem is that the ordinance in its original form would prohibit these workers from staying for more than six months in parks or campgrounds that are designed to accommodate them.

It would cause a hardship for people who can’t afford to maintain two residences — one near their work and one in their hometown, where they pay rent or a mortgage. A motel room would also be an impossible expense for many of the lower-paid workers.

It would also cause a hardship for the businesses that might suffer a sudden loss of part of its workforce.

And a certain hardship would also befall the campgrounds, trailer parks and parks that profit from these long-term visitors.

To read the entire editorial, click here.

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