Leland Planning Board recommends to deny request for RV sites in areas prone to flooding

Leland Planning Board recommends not to approve request for RV sites in areas prone to flooding
Published: May. 23, 2023 at 11:13 PM EDT
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LELAND, N.C. (WECT) - The Leland Planning Board decided to not recommend to the Town Council a request that would allow RV units into Special Flood Hazard Areas, or areas that are prone to flooding.

The applicant for the rezoning request asked the board to change language ordinances that prohibit RV sites inside SFHAs. The request would order each site to post a sign that indicates the site is located within a flood zone and that the RVs will be removed within 24 hours of the town declaring a state of emergency for a potential flooding event.

Public safety officials outlined several concerns with the measure, including the following:

  • If evacuation of the areas occurs, an uncertain number of RVs would increase the difficulty of an area-wide evacuation by additional congestion on roadways and at local fueling stations as area residents leave simultaneously.
  • Emergency officials would also have more areas they would have to monitor during an evacuation, citing a flood that occurred on May 19 that floods are not always possible to anticipate when and how fast heavy rain will arrive.
  • In an evacuation, the ability to give a twenty-four hours notice required for RV owners in an SFHA will not always be possible, and people in an RV park may not be connected to emergency alert systems.
  • Town planning staff suggested to the planning board to deny the motion, basing the recommendation on “the Town’s zoning ordinance purpose, the objectives of the Floodplain Damage Prevention ordinance, and Town’s Comprehensive Plan, Leland 2045,” according to town documents.
  • Electrical components of RVs could pose potential hazards during flooding and RVs would need to dispose of sewage, leading to possible infiltration into flood waters.

Supporters of the request argued at the meeting that the burden would be on RV owners to move the vehicles, not on emergency officials, and that an RV is a better vehicle to evacuate in.

Leland Town Council will vote on the matter at their next meeting on June 15.

The full Leland Planning Board agenda can be found here.