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RV park owner expresses ire over Stockdale ordinance
STOCKDALE -- As RV parks continue to spring up throughout South Texas due to the Eagle Ford shale exploration, ordinances are being written or updated accordingly by city and county entities. But the owner of one RV park located within Stockdale’s extraterritorial jurisdiction is questioning the enforcement of an existing city ordinance.
Brenda Hanel returned to the Stockdale City Council Aug. 7 to question the council regarding alleged illegal RVs within the city limits. During the July 10 council meeting, City Manager Banks Akin said he was “derelict in his duty” regarding RVs not located in designated RV parks.
After the July meeting, Hanel alleged, the owner of Stockdale’s All-Tucked-In called her and other RV lot owners, to advise she was setting up an RV next to her business. Hanel said she asked the city manager and mayor about this. Both told her it was OK, although All-Tucked-In does not have permitting for RVs. They also said the motel would pay hotel/motel tax on the RV. Hanel said she called the state comptroller’s office and was informed that the owner of the hotel cannot collect hotel/motel tax on it.
“It is against the law,” Hanel said during the Aug. 7 meeting, since the RV is considered a licensed motor vehicle.
Akin told the council the RV was to be parked near the business for only one week to 10 days, not one month as Hanel stated.
Mayor Johnny Stahl instructed the city manager to verify Hanel’s statement regarding the taxation of the RV.
Stahl advised Hanel, who also questioned the utility rate charged for water and sewage, that the council is considering different rates for RVs, based on location -- within the city limits versus in the extraterritorial jurisdiction. The fees would apply to individual lots within the RV park, whether the lots are occupied or not. Stahl said the rate structure gives consideration to the city property owners who pay ad valorem taxes, so as not to add an additional financial burden on them.
In another matter regarding ordinances, Akin asked the council for clarification on the city’s mobile/manufactured home ordinance. As currently written, manufactured homes and mobile homes are only allowed in three areas within the city limits.
According to Akin, if one wants to set up an individual mobile home, one would have to request the property to be rezoned, which involves a 45-day period, a $250 zoning charge, and a public hearing. The council advised Akin to set up a workshop to discuss what changes are needed to meet the intention of the council.
While ordinance discussions dominated the meeting, the council came one step closer to approving the budget for the upcoming fiscal year. Akin suggested a decrease in the current rate of 33.75 cents per $100 of assessed property value to 33.72 cents per $100 of assessed property value. The proposed rate is an increase of 6 percent over the city’s effective tax rate. An adjusted tax rate of 31.81 cents per $100 of assessed property value is needed to equal the same amount of tax revenue as last year. Akin said it is important that the city generates enough revenue to pay for the $940,000 U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development street improvement loan, since the ad valorem tax is included as part of the security for repayment. No action was taken on this during the meeting.
The council also:
•Asked the city manager to begin the research and process for the city’s comprehensive plan, to update the 13-year-old document.
•Adopted a resolution for a $275,000 grant from the Texas Community Development Block Grant program, with the city to match $13,750, if awarded. Proceeds will be used for water plant upgrades, including an aerator and construction of a 12-inch service line. A hearing was held prior to the meeting, with no input from the general public.
•Appointed J.C. Hrubetz to fill the Stockdale Economic Development Corp. seat vacated by Brent Akin in June. Hrubetz’s term will expire in December 2013. The council will have to fill another vacancy, due to the resignation of Josh Hussong.
Stockdale City Council regular meeting, Aug. 7.
In attendance: Mayor Johnny Stahl, councilmen Scott Soden, Saul Bosquez, and Roger Armstrong, City Manager Banks Akin, Public Works Director David Tillery, City Secretary Thania Santos, City Clerk Margaret Hastings, citizens Brenda Hanel, J.C. Hrubetz, and Royce Wetz, and grant writer Kelle Odom of Austin-based Langford Community Management Services
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