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Commissioners approve exemptions for RV development

Monday, December 2, 2019 by Jack Craver

The Travis County Commissioners Court said yes last week to a proposed RV park that was facilitated by an exemption to certain development regulations county staffers believe are not necessary for homes on wheels.

“What we’re trying to recognize is that vehicles are different than your stick-built or manufactured homes,” said Anna Bowlin, division director of Development Services, about the proposed 35-pad site on Fitzhugh Road.

For instance, noted Bowlin, water availability is often a requirement of traditional subdivisions.

“We determined that for this commercial subdivision, that if there was a problem with water, they literally can drive away and get water,” she said.

Similarly, staffers have proposed different standards on emergency access for RV parks than traditional subdivisions. Typically, any development greater than 30 units triggers the requirement for secondary access. However, staff has determined that isn’t necessary for fewer than 100 RVs.

At the same time, county staff members have proposed that any similar subdivision that benefits from such exemptions be subject to a restrictive covenant mandating that the homes on the land are in fact mobile vehicles.

Commissioner Brigid Shea wasn’t comfortable supporting a plan that didn’t mandate access onto two different streets.

“I think we have a heightened responsibility, given that we know this region is going to be hotter and drier. And we are already the fourth to fifth highest urban wildfire threat region in the country,” said Shea.

Shea was the only commissioner who had a problem with the exemption. The Commissioners Court voted 4-1 to approve the exemptions and allow the development to go forward.

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