La. ‘Boom Town’ Grappling With RV Population
Lafayette, La., loves being a boomtown, but it hasn’t quite figured out what to do with the folks who build that boom.
As reported by the Lafayette Advertiser, the Lafayette Consolidated Government passed an ordinance Oct. 15 prohibiting the use of recreational vehicles as permanent homes. A few days later, LCG president Joey Durel vetoed it. The tension between Lafayette homeowners and RV dwellers is too complex an issue to be solved simply with an ordinance, Durel decided.
More and more construction and oil workers move all over America, from project to project. Long hotel stays can be expensive, so those workers often choose trailers as homes, even bringing spouses and home-schooled children along.
“Any time you have a boomtown, you’ll have growing pains,” Durel said. “The ordinance as written was too far-reaching. It needs to be more targeted to address the problems of safety and what’s appropriate in a residential neighborhood.”
The ordinance allowed LCG to send a warning letter to anyone living in a trailer for more than 180 days in one year in Lafayette’s unincorporated areas. If the person did not leave within 30 days, LCG could have responded by cutting off utilities. Planning and Zoning Director Eleanor Buoy told the LCG council she had gotten frantic complaints from homeowners in one neighborhood where residents were renting out parking spaces to itinerant workers living in campers.
“We never really imagined something like this would happen,” Buoy said.
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