He was at the Beeville Community Center with Archer Street RV Park developer Diana Endsley for an “open house” designed to explain the concept of the facility for residents of the Ellwood Terrace and nearby residential areas.
Property owners in the Ellwood area are objecting to the construction of the RV park, saying the facility will negatively affect their property values.
Endsley and Jones were there to ease the minds of Ellwood residents and assure them that she was not building a “trailer park” in the area.
“We are not going to be having mobile homes or FEMA trailers,” Endsley told the 17 residents who showed up for the open house.
Endsley used a Power Point presentation to show what she has planned for the development. She said the facility would not be meant for Eagle Ford Shale oil field employees only. The main focus of the park would be to provide high-end, first-class living arrangements for travelers who consider recreational vehicles their second homes.
She said she plans to allow only nice fifth wheel travel trailers and motor homes in the facility. Endsley said she also plans to eventually build furnished cabins within the complex.
A list of planned amenities included full-service hook-ups, paved, lighted streets, laundry facilities, four shower areas, four restroom areas, the furnished cabins, meeting room, a recreation area with a pond, pet walk areas, cable television, wireless Internet, a gazebo for cookouts, security monitors, a gated entrance and a green space area.
Also, staying at the park would not be inexpensive. Rates for the trailer and motor home sites would be $35 a day, $175 a week and $450 a month. Rates for the furnished cabins would be $125 a day, $500 a week and $1,200 a month.
Will live there herself
Endsley said she plans to live there and manage the place herself. She will limit the occupancy to four persons at any one time and each person, other than the initial two occupants, will be charged $5 a night to stay there.
Endsley also has drawn up a stringent list of rules for anyone staying at the park. Those rules will include keeping the RVs clean and in good repair, limiting motorcycle riding within the facility, quiet hours between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m., registration of all guests and their visitors at the office, no walking through occupied sites, no campfires, pets on leashes, proper sewer hookups, no smoking in facility buildings or cabins, no foul language, intoxication, loud music, vandalism or rowdy behavior, two-car maximum at each site and no parking on lawns or on roadways.
Endsley said the development is being designed mainly to attract travelers who come to South Texas for the winter, for events and special occasions. She hopes to provide a place for those who come to Beeville for the Texas Mile, Western Week, rodeos and college students.
“Even college students live in RVs when they are in school,” Endsley said.
Winter Texans wanted
The developer said she expects winter Texans to take advantage of the park. RV facilities on the Gulf Coast are full most of the time and travelers who used to stay in the Rio Grande Valley are avoiding that part of Texas because of the increasing criminal activity.
Endsley said she plans to promote Coastal Bend attractions and use a web site to interest travel clubs in staying in Beeville. The location makes this an excellent place to stay while taking day trips to other parts of South Texas.
Other reasons to bring winter Texans here include amenities such as Coastal Bend College. The college offers a variety of classes and programs in which winter Texans would like to participate.
Ellwood property owner Glenn Slayton asked Endsley if she thought she could charge the same high rates she plans without the Eagle Ford Shale activity. She said she felt she could.
“My concern is long term,” Slayton’s wife, Diane, said. “I’m worried about what it’ll look like in 10 years.”
Endsley said she would want any future owner of the property to have the same interest in maintaining the facilities that she has.
No longer woods
The developer said an existing drainage ditch will provide an excellent barrier between the RV park and Ellwood addition. She also plans to build a fence along that property line and to let park tenants know that they are not to go into that neighborhood.
Endsley also said she plans to have one main entrance to the park, off North Archer Street. An emergency entrance could be located onto the street that is farthest east within the Ellwood facility.
Jones told the gathering that the 22 acres that used to be woods is no longer woods.
“Something is going to go in there,” the attorney said. “With this case, you know what you’re getting.”
If the RV park is not built there, then the area will be developed for apartments or duplexes. And there is no guarantee that a development of that type will be as upscale as the RV park Endsley plans.
“If we knew it was going to be a bunch of old rich people, we probably wouldn’t worry about it,” Glenn Slayton said.
Endsley told Slayton that she will not only be living there herself but she will have a staff there that will monitor the place.
Nice RV park
“It’s something that I’ve wanted to do for at least 10 years,” Endsley said. She said she has been an RVer for decades and she wants to get her family involved in the project. “And I want to build it in South Texas.”
When another neighborhood resident asked how the property would be rezoned, Jones said that was not known yet. He said the zoning would have to be worked out with the City Council.
Ken Fields, a Corpus Christi attorney hired by the city to represent it in the matter, sat in the audience, listening but not speaking.
Acting City Manager Deborah Ballí, City Secretary Imelda Bernardo and City Building Inspector Lanny Holland also were present.
Local businessman Scott Childress asked where the nearest RV parks in the area are located. Jones explained that Endsley now is staying at a facility in Mathis and that the only other RV park in the area is located in Goliad.
Endsley said the facility in Goliad has gravel streets but the park where she is staying in Mathis has paved streets, like the ones she has planned for the Archer Street facility.
Nicer than Mathis
Jones called the Mathis facility “a step below the park she wants to be built here.”
“They do have construction workers and winter Texans,” Endsley explained. “It’s a very quiet park.”
When asked about potential drainage problems in an area that already is troubled after heavy rains, Endsley assured those at the meeting that she has had engineers address that situation and their work has been permitted by the
Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.
Endsley said contractors have already built a detention pond that will hold runoff from the property and allow it to slowly run into existing drainage facilities.
Won’t be trailer trash
“How are you going to know there won’t be trailer trash?” one woman asked Endsley.
The developer said troublemakers will be asked to leave and police will have access to the facility.
“All you can do is have the best security possible,” Jones answered.
Glenn Slayton then said he would like to see something in the city’s RV park ordinance that would limit the amount of time a tenant could stay there. He said he was worried that someone could move in some old trailers and rent them out to someone else.
“Mrs. Endsley wouldn’t allow that,” Jones answered.
The attorney said city residents should know that Mrs. Endsley is often on the Archer Street property.
“She certainly won’t be hard to get hold of,” Jones said.
Gary Kent is a reporter at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 120, or at reporter@mySouTex.com.