Orange County (Texas) has postponed discussing and establishing regulatory guidelines for recreational vehicle (RV) park developments. The decision to defer the meeting came following recent changes in state laws, which the county is now thoroughly examining.
County Engineer Corey Oldbury was primed to present his comprehensive report with findings and recommendations concerning RV park regulations. However, Assistant County Attorney Denise Gremillion interjected, stating the need for a closer study of the newly enacted state laws to understand how they may constrain the county’s jurisdiction over setting such standards.
Orange County’s interest in regulating RV parks stems from a significant uptick in incoming construction workers. These workers are employed on an array of development projects, one of the most notable being the Golden Triangle Polymers plant, a massive $8.5 billion venture. The workers often use their per diem allowances to purchase RVs, which they then transport between various job sites. Alternatively, many find renting an RV at a park to be a more budget-friendly option compared to the cost of extended hotel stays or local apartment rents.
This surge in RV usage has brought the issue of park standards to the forefront. County Judge John Gothia indicated the need to ascertain which aspects of the proposed RV park legislation were given the green light during the recent Texas Legislature session. The session, which concluded on May 29, resulted in the passage of numerous new bills, while others were either rejected or left in limbo without a full vote.
A significant proposal during the session was to standardize RV park regulations statewide, compelling them to adhere to national requirements. This would bypass the current system, which permits individual counties to establish their own unique rules and standards. The implications of such a change could be far-reaching.
For private campground operators and RV park owners, this could mean a shift in the regulatory landscape. Currently, these owners navigate a patchwork of county-specific regulations.
A shift to a national standard might streamline operations, enabling them to anticipate the requirements of all RV parks statewide, or could potentially bring about more stringent guidelines and increased compliance costs.
The potential impact on private campground operators and RV park owners will undoubtedly be a critical consideration in these discussions.
As the matter remains pending, all eyes within the RV park community are focused on Orange County, waiting to see how this delicate balance between local autonomy and state standardization will be navigated.