EARLY — With various construction projects as well as year-round outdoor tourism, lots at Early RV parks are in demand – prompting a recent move by the city council.
Early city councilmen unanimously approved creating a category of zoning districts specific to recreational vehicle parks and tailored after the city’s two preeminent RV parks.
“The city staff has been working on a new zone that we would like to have added to our zone of ordinances,” assistant city administrator Larry McConn said. “We’re calling it RVD for RV park district … We had some discussion with the two current RV parks we have J’s on the east end of town and Harlowe’s right there in the center of town. We really modeled what they’re doing already into this zone.”
McConn said the decision to create an RV zoning district came not as a response to issues with its current parks, but as a response to growing demand. Under its previous zoning ordinance, a developer could establish an RV park anywhere within Early city limits zoned for commerce. Other provisions in the ordinance require roads capable of supporting fire and emergency medical service vehicles and creating a buffer zone between adjoining properties.
“We’ve had several inquiries in the last several months for people wanting to establish an RV park within the city,” McConn said. “Currently, they can do it in a C1 zone. It becomes problematic in the case of not being able to regulate what this RV park might look like as far as having any kind of paved street, driving structure, marked lots for fire, emergency or EMS to be able to find a particular trailer in that. We have nothing that sets out any kind of guidelines.”
Although outlining a few ideas of how to better regulate RV parks in the future, McConn said the initial phase of creating the RV district is simply to establish a baseline ordinance and refine it in the future.
“We want something that sets a baseline for the style of park we want, have some kind of street where the fire trucks won’t get stuck on if they drive in there, have a little bit of land and creating a buffer zone,” McConn said. “… We looked at several cities and several cities throughout the state of Texas are very strict in what they do with one of these zones, having anything form what kind of shrubbery they will plant to what kind of trailers they will allow in there. We gave direction to our staff that we do not want anything that restrictive.”