The future of 34.7 acres of property within the city of Humble (Texas) is still unclear following the Humble City Council’s decision to unanimously deny a variance request made by the owners of the property–Barefoot RV Park LLC, at the March 24 City Council meeting.
According to a report, Barefoot RV Park purchased the property in 2013 with plans to develop an RV park, says Robert Saville, who represented Barefoot RV Park at the March 24 meeting.
“Our park’s going to be five stars; it’s going to have a fishing pond, walking trails, a pool, trees. There’s going to be 30, 40, 50 feet between each space,” Saville said during the meeting.
“Where most RV parks are all concrete and slammed in there, it’s going to be aesthetically appealing for the city of Humble. None of the neighbors are opposed to this coming in. It’s going to be gated, landscaped well–it’s going to be nice.”
However, in December 2018, the city of Humble approved new rules and ordinances, which Saville stated limited Barefoot RV Park’s capacity to develop the RV park. According to the agenda packet, those regulations of concern include the following:
- Occupancy of an RV space within the park for more than 14 consecutive days, or more than 30 days within any 180-day period, is prohibited.
- Recreational vehicle spaces shall be provided in every park, consisting of a minimum of 1,750 square feet for each space, which shall be at least 25 feet wide and clearly defined.
- No recreational vehicle may be parked within 10 feet of another recreational vehicle. No recreational vehicle may be parked within 25 feet of a property line.
In response, Barefoot RV Park requested the continuous occupancy be extended to 90 days within a 180-day period, the RV space regulation be removed or changed to 15 feet wide, and that an RV may be parked at a distance of 10 feet from the property line if the property line does not extend beyond another residence.
“Since y’all passed these ordinances, that one ordinance kills an RV park because 95% of people who stay in a park want a monthly rate,” Saville said. “I know what y’all are getting at; you don’t want somebody setting up permanent shop there–a permanent residence–and our intention is not to do that. Some other parks will have people move after 30 or 60 days to another spot, so we’re asking that that is the only ordinance that we change since these were passed without our knowledge.”
However, Mayor Norman Funderburk said the new regulations, though extremely strict, were implemented purposefully.
“There was a lot of time spent, a lot of consideration given [to these regulations and ordinances]. Admittedly, we did make it a stringent policy, and that was our intent,” Funderburk said.
“We feel like if someone is going to come in here with development, in this case, an RV park, we need to set the bar high. For what development opportunities are left here in this community, we feel like those developers need to meet our standards, and we’re going to do everything that we can during our time here to ensure the sustainability of this community for years and years and decades to come.”
Council Member and self-proclaimed RVer David Pierce said that based on his experience, most tenants at RV parks are permanent residents and RV parks are now synonymous with mobile homes and trailer parks.
“I don’t have anything against mobile home parks [or] trailer parks, … but I just have to question if an RV was built for long-term living, especially with the hurricanes we have, the flooding. That area in particular flooded during [Hurricane] Harvey,” Pierce said during the meeting. “I just feel like it’s not the best interest of the city … with regards to our first responders, emergency responders to allow folks to live in recreational vehicles.”
In the wake of a motion made by Funderburk, Humble City Council unanimously rejected Barefoot RV Park’s variance request for all three points.
Funderburk said that the council wasn’t saying Barefoot RV Park cannot build an RV park, but should it be constructed, the council would prefer the conditions to remain in place.
This story originally appeared on Community Impact.