After making some corrections and recommending changes, the commission voted to pass the proposed regulations on to the City Council for final approval.
City Building Inspector and Ordinance Compliance Official Lanny Holland said before the meeting that he knew of four companies that are interested in building recreational vehicle parks around the city.
City Secretary Tomas P. Saenz said earlier Monday that the ordinance will affect RV parks built within the city’s extraterritorial jurisdiction, which extends one mile beyond the city limits.
Saenz said there is no room within the city limits for such a park but the City Council needs to have some regulations for RV parks to keep them from becoming substandard eyesores.
Saenz and Holland said the nine-page ordinance was compiled using similar ordinances from several other cities.
“This is something new for us,” Saenz told the commissioners Monday.
Holland said he had heard that at least four RV park developers had expressed an interest in building facilities here to provide living space for individuals and crews who will be in the area working on oil drilling sites in the Eagle Ford Shale formation.
Drilling activity is expected to last 10 to 15 years and many pipeline, drilling fluid and oil field service companies are already locating offices and equipment yards in the city.
Joe B. Montez, executive director of the Bee Development Authority, reported Tuesday that he had been working with one out-of-state company, trying to find property that can be developed into an RV park.
Holland said the number of RV spaces in each facility will be determined by the ordinance and the amount of space available within a certain property.
City Manager Tom Ginter explained to the commissioners that there are measurement specifications that determine whether a vehicle is considered a recreational vehicle.
For instance, Holland said, anything over 40 feet long is considered a mobile home and not a recreational vehicle.
The proposed ordinance limits RVs to less than eight feet wide and 32 feet long.
The ordinance, if approved by the council, designates specific measurements for RV spaces, proper drainage, water systems, sewerage regulations and even the amenities that must be included on a service building.
It also governs the number of parking spaces that must be included within the property, the space requirements for each vehicle and the amount of space between sites.
The commissioners also recommended that the city charge an annual licensing fee of $50 for a park with fewer than five RV spaces, a $250 fee for parks with between six and 25 spaces and a $500 fee for parks that have 26 or more spaces.
Ginter said he expects the council will review the ordinance at its Dec. 14 meeting and possibly approve it.
“We’re not trying to catch up,” Holland told the commissioners. He said the city will be ahead of the issue and ready to offer guidelines to developers.