Possible Moratorium Sought to Outline Regulations for Man Camps


The talk of the town is still the oil boom, and any topic brought up relative to that is a source of contention.

One of the biggest issues in San Angelo is housing, and the oil boom’s demand on the market.

For this reason, a new ordinance is necessary to deal with incoming traffic for RV parks, campgrounds, man-camps and other temporary housing establishments.

“There is no ordinance for RV camps as temporary housing versus [RV camps for] vacation camping,” said AJ Fawver, Secretary to the Planning Commission.

With no existing ordinance in play, the city has to come up with an means to regulate and manage the temporary housing crisis.

Councilman Fleming has requested a formal moratorium to give the city time to get effective regulations in place.

The moratorium, lasting 90 days, gives the city time to plan ahead and improve upon existing regulations for a more comprehensive plan.

The Planning Commission was consulted for a recommendation by City Council on how to proceed, and these recommendations were discussed in a meeting at the Planning Commission Monday.

Fawver delineated exactly what actions would cease in the presence of a moratorium: all applications for campgrounds or RV usage would be suspended; no action would be taken for zone changes to manufactured housing parks (MHP); no action would be taken on site plans for campgrounds RV parks; and no action would be taken on applications for expansion of capacity for existing parks and campgrounds.

The City’s legal department has already been working on state a precedent since none of the current city officials have ever implemented a moratorium.

“I think San Angelo is being proactive, not trying to just react,” said Lysia Bowling, the City Attorney. “I think it’s smart.”

Bowling explained, “The first stage of moratorium under procedure operated by state law is 90 days. It’s excellent to pursue this method under government code.”

Once public comment was reached, Mike Walters, a board member of the Temporary Housing Committee, spoke on his experience with the housing issue.

“When this group came together, there was a lot of contention in that room,” said Walters. “We felt we put together a plan for San Angelo.”

The committee put together a plan for RV parks that Walters felt was good, but they were still working on the temporary housing issue when the committee was suddenly disbanded.

No one present at the planning commission knew who did the disbanding, only that word came down from the City Manager’s office.

Therefore, Walters asked the Planning Commission to add to their recommendation to City Council that the Temporary Housing Committee be revived.

“I think if we do this, we can do this in 90 days if you take where we started from,” said Walters. “I’d liked to see us finish what we started.”

The Planning Commission agreed, and motioned to recommend the moratorium to Council with the additional recommendation to revive the Temporary Housing Committee to finish the job.

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