Oct 16, 2013 6:42 PM by Akeam Ashford
Lafayette Consolidated Government passed an ordinance last night banning the use of recreational trailers as permanent residences in the unincorporated areas of Lafayette.
The Planning and Zoning department says it's received several complaints from residents who felt recreational trailers were bringing down their property values.
Jim Gauthier has sold RV's for more than 30 years. He says the LCG ordinance doesn't address the real issue while hurting his customer base.
"There's been no complaints, and if their going to make it a life safety issue on a trailer, then say what it is. Are they burning up, or what's the problem? Do you have an issue with people renting them where you don't want them?," says Gauthier.
After Hurricane Katrina, the federal government ordered a large quantity of single bed RV trailers for those who were displaced.
Gauthier says those trailers aren't like the ones he sells on his lot. He says the FEMA bought trailers don't have holding tanks for bodily waste, and they don't meet RVA manufacturing codes.
Even though Gauthier's RV's meet his industries guidelines, Planning and Zoning Director, Eleanor Buoy, says the trailers don't pass HUD and international permanent residential codes.
Buoy says the parish ordinance follows federal and state guidelines for structures considered permanent housing.
"At this point, these recreational vehicles of the very large and expensive type or just the small weekend camping type do not meet safety codes," says Buoy.
According to the ordinance, if a property were found to be in violation, the ordinance calls for a 30-day warning letter to be issued, followed by fines of between $100 and $500 a day until the property owner brings the site into compliance.
The ordinance goes into affect in late spring 2014.