In Texas, every new development is expected to align with the standards and regulations of the local municipality through the zoning codes and ordinances. Owing to that, one of the most important steps when developing a new RV park is to study the local zoning codes and regulations.
Understanding the land’s purpose through zoning codes will also help you understand the density of the development—in this case, a new RV Park—and its relationship to the surroundings, especially when it is adjacent to residential zones. When reviewing the local ordinance, developers may encounter different issues.
Have it in mind that conditional use applications can warrant extra time and application processes for zoning changes or variances. Some municipalities in Texas are known to include a public consultation requirement as part of the application process.
It is important to highlight the benefits and added value that your park will bring to the neighborhood such as bolstering the landscape and offering a vast array of services to the community. Also, note that you can apply for a PUD (Planned Unit Development) if the site is large enough and falls outside the local governmental jurisdiction.
A PUD will note the exact characteristics of the development, independent of the municipal ordinance. If you are seeking to develop a new RV Park or expand an existing one in the state of Texas, here are important zoning laws you must know.
4 Most Important RV Park Zoning Laws in Texas You Must Know
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Location and Fencing
In Texas, RV parks will only need to be situated in those zoning districts where RV parks are permitted. Aside from that, RV parks will have to be situated at least two hundred (200) feet from any single-family residential (SF), single-family attached residential (SFA), two-family residential (2F), or multifamily one (MF-1) or multifamily two (MF-2) zoning district.
Have in mind that this requirement does not apply to SF, SFA, 2F, MF-1, or MF-2 areas within the 100-year floodplain. Also, recreational vehicles should never be placed closer than ten (10) feet to the property line separating the RV Park from connecting property, measured from the recreational vehicle’s closest point.
Furthermore, no recreational vehicle should be placed within an RV park closer than twenty (20) feet to any property line adjoining a single-family, townhouse, two-family, or apartment residence. To shield the RV Park from view, a fence at least eight (8) feet tall must be installed on the property line adjoining any residence (single-family structures, townhouses, duplexes, quadruplexes, apartments, etc.).
Size and Density
Every RV Park in Texas must be at least three (3) acres in size, with a maximum of five (5) acres. The maximum RV park site density is expected to be around twenty (20) sites per acre. Note that only one recreational vehicle is allowed per recreational vehicle site.
Aside from that, every recreational vehicle site within the RV park will need to have a minimum area of a thousand nine hundred fifty (1,950) square feet and shall be at least thirty (30) feet wide and sixty-five (65) feet in depth. Have it in mind that these sites will need to be designed as pull-throughs to make it easy for RVs to enter and exit the site.
The left one-third (⅓) (10 x 65) of the site, or the driver’s side, must be fitted with grass and other landscaping, and the middle (10 x 65) will have to be clearly paved with cement, and the remaining one-third (⅓) can be paved with either cement or asphalt.
Also note that the middle portion will have to be used for the parking of the recreation vehicle, with the paved area on the right serving as a parking and patio area. Landscaping will also be required, and at least one large variety tree will need to be planted on every third site.
Street Access and Street Lighting
Note that every recreational vehicle site within the RV Park will need to have easy access to an internal private roadway, which is also expected to have access to a public street. In the state of Texas, the entrance of the internal roadway will need to be a pavement width of at least thirty (30) feet with an adequate curb radius.
Meanwhile, in accordance with planning standards, the internal streets will need to have a pavement width (concrete or asphalt) of twenty-four (24) feet and be devoted solely to the public as an emergency access (fire lane) easement. If the RV Park is developed for one-way roads, the roadway width may be fifteen (15) feet.
Each emergency access easement should have a clear unblocked width of twenty-four (24) feet (fifteen (15) feet if one-way) as well as a turning area and radii of at least sixty (60) feet to allow emergency vehicles free movement. No dead ends are permitted.
Metal signs will also need to be mounted along the emergency access easement by the owner or agent of the RV Park, noting that parking is prohibited.
Have in mind that the sign type, size, height, and location will need to be approved by the city. The city engineer must approve the installation of sufficient street lighting for the RV Park. There shall be no access to the RV park via a residential area (single-family, two-family, or single-family attached).
Also note that every RV Park is expected to have an office for the manager of the RV Park, and bathroom and shower facilities, coupled with laundry facilities. Note that all facilities used by residents will need to have sufficient light inside and out during the night hours.
Facilities will also have to meet all Texas Standard Plumbing Codes. Additionally, RV parks in Texas will need at least one recreation area, located to be free of traffic hazards, very accessible to all park residents, and centrally located where topography permits.
In addition, recreational facilities must account for at least eight (8) percent of the gross park area. Recreation areas include space for community buildings and community use facilities like adult recreation (basketball court or tennis court) and children’s playgrounds, as well as swimming pools, but exclude vehicle parking, maintenance, and utility areas.
Factors to Consider Before Choosing a Location for RV Park
Lease or Rent Price
One of the major factors you should consider before you choose a location for your RV park is the rent or lease price of the land. If you cannot afford the rent price of the land you want to use for your RV park, you will never get started, and your business plan will never be translated into reality.
Proximity to the Market
Aside from paying the rent or lease agreement of a piece of land, another factor that will influence your decision when looking for a location to build your RV park is proximity to the market. If you settle for a location just because it is cheap, and the location is not accessible to your target market, then you will spend more or struggle to get people to make use of your RV park.
The demographic composition of the location is an important factor to consider if you are looking for a location to build your RV park. If you get it wrong with this aspect of your business, you will find it difficult to attract people to your RV park.
You should consider a location where the demographics compose of people who own recreational vehicles and people who love camping.
Infrastructure and Accessibility
Another major factor to consider before choosing a location for your RV park is the infrastructure and accessibility of the location. Infrastructure facilities include roads, highways, and bridges, as well as the assets required to make them operational such as transit buses, vehicles, and gas stations.
Technical systems such as networking equipment and cabling are considered hard infrastructure and provide a critical function to support business operations.
The competition is yet another key factor to consider before choosing a location for your RV park. Most businesses fail because they don’t have the capacity to survive the competition within their market space. If you are coming into a location with a competitive advantage that will place you way ahead of your competitors, then you may want to play down this factor.
But the truth remains that as a new business, it is advisable to start in a location that will guarantee you a monopoly of the business for a while before the competition starts.