The Rockport City Council, at its special meeting Tuesday, Aug. 31, approved and adopted on second reading, by unanimous vote, an Ordinance extending a moratorium for 60 days, on the submission, acceptance, processing, and approval necessary for the creation of development plats, construction or facilities related to recreational vehicle (RV) parks or manufactured housing parks for land within the City of Rockport.
It was noted this should be the last extension, which could end prior to 60 days, if the council approves a new RV ordinance.
(Note: The moratorium has been in place since July 2018, less than a year after Hurricane Harvey, to slow the construction of RV Parks during a time when the City was developing its new Comprehensive Master Plan, which includes a Land Use Map, and study of ordinances.)
Director of Public Works and Development Services Mike Donoho said no current developments are being delayed due to the extension.
Andrew Kane and Kristie Rutledge made comments prior to the council’s deliberation and vote.
Kane said the City is interfering with free enterprise, adding COVID led to the explosion in RV sales, which tourists are now using.
“Rockport is going to miss the boat. We’re going to squeeze out our Winter Texans (because current RV spaces are being used and there won’t be enough RV spaces available for Winter Texans),” he said.
Rutledge said “RVing” is a way of life.
“Many seniors come here year after year. They provide a lot of sales tax revenue. To miss out on that because our RV parks are full is a real shame,” she said.
She also said the City’s Comprehensive Plan (CP) will make way for high-density housing, which concerns her.
Councilwoman Andrea Hattman noted the proposed RV ordinance was brought to the RV Council and they didn’t like it.
“That is why we are extending it today,” she said. “We want to do this correctly. We don’t want to see clear cutting (trees to make space) or RV spaces that are too small.”
City Manager Kevin Carruth said the City is at the “end stages” of working out details in the RV ordinance.
“We are going (back) to the RV Council with the final tweaks to the (RV ordinance),” he said.
Mayor Pat Rios said one RV Park owner recommended making the moratorium permanent.
Councilwoman Katy Jackson asked Donoho, “How long has the R-8 (RV) ordinance been on your desk, ready to go?”
Donoho said Aug. 8 was the deadline to receive input. Since that time there have been members of the RV Council and City staff out due to illness.
“We meet Thursday to review the suggested changes,” he said.
Jackson then made the motion to approve extending the moratorium 60 days. It was seconded by Hattman, and approved unanimously.