City Council members voted to deny the woman’s request to have the connection made when they discussed the matter Tuesday evening.
That decision came in spite of the fact that the City Planning Commission voted last week to allow the connection to be made.
The owner of the trailer said another recreation vehicle is already set up on the property, and she was told the trailer had been there since January.
But Councilwoman Libby Spires stressed the fact that the city’s ordinance does not allow travel trailers to be used as residences within the city limits.
She and Mayor Pro Tem Mike Scotten both were concerned about similar cases being brought to the City Council in the future if the trailer were allowed to remain in an area designated as a mobile home or manufactured home park.
City Building Inspector Albert Vilches said the definition of a manufactured home, according to the ordinance, requires that the trailer be at least eight feet wide and 14 feet long. The structure should have at least 820 square feet.
Also, manufactured homes are only allowed in areas zoned for those structures.
The trailer that the petitioner wanted connected to electricity does not meet those requirements.
“If it’s allowed, what’s to keep the next RV from locating there?” City Attorney Frank Warner asked the council.
Vilches said he had intended to deny the permit for the electrical connection until the planning commission voted in favor of allowing the woman to keep the trailer there.
“If it’s not allowed by the ordinance, I don’t understand how it happened,” Spires said.
Spires then asked if property off South Adams Street near the Meyer property had recently been allowed to be used as an RV park.
At least three properties within the city limits have been allowed to serve as RV parks, but those were approved after the owners had made substantial investments in the properties and had threatened legal action if their projects were not approved.
The point being made by Spires, Scotten and Warner was stressed when two men in the audience said they have four acres within the city that they would like to develop into an RV park.
“If you allow that RV in the city limits, then my friend can develop an RV park on his property?” Roy Galvan asked the council.
The RV owner told the council that she had been assured she could move into the space where the trailer is located now but that she has only been allowed to connect water to the structure.
Spires stopped the discussion on the matter by making a motion that the request for an electrical permit be denied.
That motion was seconded by Scotten. When the vote was taken, Councilman John Fulghum abstained, allowing the motion to carry with only two votes.
Mayor Santiago “Jimbo” Martinez Jr. and Councilman David Carabajal were not at the meeting.
Gary Kent is a reporter at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 120, or at reporter@mySouTex.com.