St. James clamps down on new RV parks and campgrounds

The St. James Parish Council approved in a 7-0 vote an ordinance amendment regulating development of new RV parks and campgrounds.

The amendment adds to the ordinance an application procedure for new RV parks or RV campground sites and specifies the areas where they can be built.

Prior to the ordinance amendment, RV parks and campsites were not included in the parish’s ordinance addressing manufactured homes and trailers.

Council members Alvin St. Pierre, Jason Amato, Terry McCreary, Jimmy Brazan, Ralph Patin, Charles Ketchens and Ken Brass voted for the ordinance amendment during Wednesday’s council meeting.

The ordinance was enacted after complaints from residents concerned about the possibility of a new RV park opening in the Grand Point area between Convent and Lutcher.

Council members sought to amend the parish’s current RV parks and campground ordinance with, among other items, limitations on locations where future parks could open for business.

As a result of the vote, new RV parks or campground sites may not be built within 1,500 feet of any adjacent residential unit or property.

The legislation also bans new RV parks within 3,000 feet of any public playground, park or building used exclusively as a church, synagogue, public library or school, historical site or cemetery unless a letter of no objection is obtained from all adjacent residents and property owners.

Additionally, the parish’s Planning Commission from now on will require RV park developers to send notices by certified registered mail to alert property owners and residents living within 2,000 feet of a proposed building site, the ordinance said.

RV parks or campgrounds with current, valid licenses will be grandfathered in to the new law and are not required to abide by the new regulations, Parish Attorney Bruce Mohon said.

Other business before the council included:

APPOINTMENTS: Councilmen unanimously appointed Ken Guidry as District 3 representative to the parish’s Keep St. James Beautiful Board and Edward Johnson as a member of the Gramercy Recreation Board.