Life at the end of the road in San Leon isn’t always pretty.

John Wayne Ferguson: 409-683-5226; or on Twitter @johnwferguson.


Senior Reporter

(23) comments

Richard Illyes

The real crime is telling people they can't live as they choose and making criminals out of people who live in their RV's. There used to be a saying that liberals were waking in the night in a cold sweat with the thought that somewhere somehow somebody was making money. What is waking them these days is the thought that somewhere somehow something is unregulated. This is just crazy. Leave them alone.

Paul Hyatt

I truly understand the County Commissioners trying to do the right thing, but do they realize or have a plan for those people who are kicked out of their trailer homes. As stated before this is all that they have and all that they can afford to call home. Yes in a storm those trailers can and will cause havoc if the storm surge or the wind rips them apart and yes it could cause problems for their neighbors. But again is the county prepared to help the ones whose homes will not comply? Most of the trailers that do not comply are probably not theirs and most likely someone else owns them and renting them for what ever they can get out of them. If the rules pass then you are going to have an increase in homelessness...

Jessie McCulley

"San Leon War On Drugs" is a Community Committee Established Last year in 2018 to help Identify and assist our Law Enforcement in the reduction of Drug Activity & Crime that had grown rampant here in Sunny San Leon ~ I'm proud to say since it's Established & Help from Law Enforcement, District Attorney's Office & County Commissioner's Office it has reduced crime and drug activity significantly !!! Law Enforcement, District Attorney's and the County Commissioner Darrell Apffel have attended our meetings resulting in a welcoming reduction of these activities in our little Sunny San Leon Community ~
On behalf of the SLWD Committee I would like to send out a huge Thank You for all their help & support !!

George Croix

Yet, 'officials' are happy to see built 'free' homes at taxpayer expense for people who do not show the responsibility to carry flood insurance on the Gulf Coast, something a LOT less expensive than an RV and it's upkeep.
How about an ordinance requiring that, and a fine if not done, to avoid the public nuisance of soaking the public unnecessarily.....

Gary Scoggin

After Ike many who received rebuilding assistance and all of those with rebuilt “Ike houses” were required to carry flood insurance. If they didn’t have this insurance during Harvey they are ineligible for the new housing program. This includes, by the way, a lot of fixed income folks who saw big increases in their flood insurance premiums over the last few years and were literally having to prioritize food, medicine or insurance. Another group without flood insurance lived far outside of the “normal” floodplain and never imagined the need for flood insurance. You can consider them short sighted or irresponsible if you wish. As far as people in mobile homes, they only qualify if they owned the trailer and it was on THEIR property. People such as the ones in this story owned trailers in a park, i.e., not on their property and are thus ineligible for the housing program.

Some private organizations are doing repairs or replacement of Harvey damaged mobile homes, Samaritan’s Purse being a prime example, but generally this assistance is hard to come by. So, yeah, some people getting new houses on the public dime but it’s a lot harder to qualify this time around.

George Croix

Yes, I do consider that to be the case...but, that's just me....
There's a reason, a similar one, that people don't wait until they are near anticipated end of lifespan to buy life insurance. Statistics and spreadsheets and maps don't cause loss of life and/or property - nor do they prevent same...
Thanks for closing the info gate, Gary, but the horses are already out and gone this time, and experience says some will also bolt next time, too.....
I should feel a lot better, I guess, that the beatings until morale improves are anticipated to decrease in the future.....[huh]

Rusty Schroeder

Let's get beyond this trailer park, where probably over half of the trailers are not road worthy. This is going to be in all parts of the unincorporated county, who is going to enforce this ? Do they plan on neighbors reporting people living in trailers ? This is a dangerous proposition that better have considerations of consequences. Comm. Apffel doesn't have a clue how many people are living in trailers that are not roadworthy in his own precinct much less the county. Greater Santa Fe, Dickinson, and Hitchcock have 100's of people living in trailers that haven't moved in 10 years and are in no shape to do so now or 3 months from now. The people living in these trailers are usually elderly and living off social security to try and make ends meet. Like Paul said, these men better have a plan for the people whose homes they are going to declare a nuisance or unlivable. My guess is they don't, only friends that have bent their ear about the eyesores they have to see on their drive home. If they implement this plan, I want to see them personally enforce it. Just like they have enforced punishment of the $500K that was "lost" in the Purchasing Department, yeah, the mystery person. BTW, my taxes are due in 11 days and this theft still has me untrusting of County Government as a whole.

James Lippert

Some practical thought should be given to the revised RV regulations. There are at least four (4) groups of RV users/parks that will be impacted: 1) Truly undesirable RV parks (not road worthy) potentially housing undesirable residents (repeat criminals and drug addicts), 2) Road worthy RV’s housing the retired, physically/mentally handicapped and other decent Galveston County residents of minimal financial means, 3) Top of the line, Road worthy RV’s utilized by relatively affluent residents for housing on a long-term basis (ie construction managers and project engineers) 4) Top of the line, Road worthy RV’s utilized by relatively affluent residents for housing on a periodic basis (vacation, fishing camp and holiday use). Enacting regulations with the intent of harassing group 1 will also adversely impact groups 2-4. I hope Galveston County has a plan in place to accommodate group 2. Group 3-4 have options and are already making plans to leave Galveston County, as requested.

George Croix


Gary Scoggin

I agree with George. Thumbs Up.

George Croix

I was just coat-tailing on James, Gary...
He's the brains on that post...we're just ride hitchers.....[beam][beam]

George Croix

Full disclosure, I own a travel trailer RV. 10 years old.
Except for a couple of very small stains from mulberry eating birds' indiscretions that won't come off, it looks like I bought it yesterday, not 2009, BUT I also don't have to live in it, and I have the financial means to keep it in good shape and road ready always.
As James lays out above, one size fits all, never does..................

Rusty Schroeder

You forgot Not Road Worthy on #2 also, I can take you to dozens of them. I told a friend about this article last night, he built and owns a very nice trailer park. When I told him the regulations being considered he laughed, and had 1 comment. "Do these guys have any clue how many people in Galveston County live in trashed out R.V.'s " ? That's where I'm at, these guys don't have a clue how deep the water is their about to wade off into.

James Lippert

Thanks for the input guys. To me it looks like the baby is getting thrown out with the bathwater. Nevertheless it is slated for vote at next Commissioners Court Regular Meeting, Monday January 28th @ 9:30AM. Old courthouse at 722 Moody (21st) St., ground floor. Public Comments are welcome, 3 minutes max per person. By law, the agenda does not have to be posted on the County website until Friday: .
Call Judge Henry’s secretary at 409-766-2244 for details, this is a volatile topic and may get pushed back.

Robert Braeking

The only difference between a travel trailer and a mobile home is the size. If the county pesters these people we should all insist that all mobile homes fall under the same rules. After all, they have tires and a trailer hitch. One should be compelled to drag one's mobile home down to the inspection station once a year and get it inspected and licensed. What's good for the goose is good for the gander.

James Lippert

Breaking News - For years the explanation from our local elected officials was that “FEMA made us write the onerous portion of the RV regulations, our hands are tied and we must do it”. Today it has been learned that the truly harassing and onerous portion of the Galv Co Floodplain RV Regulations WERE NOT actually from FEMA but most likely crafted by an unnamed local official. As of this hour local elected officials are rushing to amend the RV regulations, with quite likely more restrictive language, without Public Comment. A final vote being sought before Commissioners Court this Monday Jan 28, 2019 @ 9:30AM.

How this all fits into the bigger picture is unclear. San Leon is unincorporated, has remained unincorporated by numerous votes of the public and in a recently conducted poll of local voters.

George Croix

Been thinking about what Robert said yesterday about the inspections.
I have two inspection required trailers, a utility and a travel, both of which require inspection due to their GVW classfications.
Towable trailers/RV's are NOT the same inspection as a motorized vehicle or RV.
Essentially, it's a visual walk around, checking lights function, obvious structural defects, good tires, etc. ALL done visually, with, where I go, the trailer(s) off to the side of the parking lot, or even the side street. In/out 15 minutes, tops....

I'd LOVE to see such trailer inspections allowed to be done BY CERTIFIED PERSONNEL but AT MY HOME (or even at my lease site), for an additional premium fee for their travel and trouble.
Probably never happen, but I'd cheerfully fork over 50 extra bucks or so for in-town, at my home, service rather than go through the extra hook up or even relocation from where I'm using the T/trailer - and more than that for a lease visit.

Probably never be allowed, as it makes too much sense, and the State wouldn't get their extra cut above normal inspection fee.....

Robert Braeking

That sounds like a great retirement job. I'll look into it. Tires and brakes is on the inspection as well. This year the RV inspector plugged in a box that checked all the lights and brake magnets. Of course, I could have had brake shoes without friction material and it still would have passed. Inspecting lining thickness of electric brakes requires removal of the drums which also entails removal of the wheel bearings.

George Croix

I'd be your second customer, after yourself......

Would a cold Diet Coke offer be considered a bribe.....[wink]

Jessie McCulley

I think that most people are totally missing the purpose and meaning of an RV which is a Recreational Vehicle​ a vehicle designed for recreational use (as in camping and traveling) not intended to be used for a Permanent Homestead. And if you so choose to use an RV as your Permanent Homestead you are expected to treat it as such.

Another words meet the permitting policies and guidelines that any other home owner living in San Leon has to follow or better said a Mobile “Home”

People are not required to “Move” their RV as long as it is understood that is being considered as a permanent home and has met the requirement of the Mobile Home Standard by Galveston County.

Personally, I am excited about the fact that the County is going to begin the enforcement of this Rule/Regulation/Policy or whatever you want to call it ~ It’s long overdue ~ I’m blessed to own several property here in Sunny San Leon and take pride in keeping them Clean, Manicured or as HGTV would say they have good Curb Appeal ~ And if you Do Not Believe that this Rule needs to be enforced and followed then obviously you don’t get around San Leon very much Or maybe YOU could be part of the Problem ?

I truly respect and understand there are people that have no choice or that is the choice that they choose ~ But that is where if you truly care about these individuals then you have the opportunity to be a good Neighbor and assist them through this process ~ I have already done just that by helping someone that I honestly believe needed the assistance.

This reminds me of Seatbelts ~ It’s been a “Law” for over 35 years and proven to save lives and they are in your vehicle for you and your families safety but yet there are still people complaining about them and Law Enforcement is writing tickets for it every day for people not wearing them !!!

We have Rules, Guidelines and Regulations for a Reason and that Reason is for all of us not just a choice few.

Robert Braeking

Certainly we have "Rules, Guidelines, and Regulations" for whatever misguided reason that the people who write the rules wish to chip away at our God given freedom and liberty. You mentioned the seat-belt rule. What could be more onerous? Any person who is free should not need the government to stand on his neck for his 'own good'. If one does not want to wear a seat belt it should be his own decision provided he is old enough or sane enough to make that decision. The law was forced upon the states by the federal government under duress because they threatened with holding hwy funding for a state that did not enact such a law. It is intended as a 'probable cause' law which gives law enforcement the right to make a contact without any other reason.

It is the 'Mrs Cravitz's' of this world that make the code of regulations look like an abridged version of 'War and Peace'.

For over 30 years I made a good living as a commercial truck driver/owner operator. I have driven over 3 million miles without a single chargeable accident. I have not had a moving violation in over 30 years. The ignorant regulations enacted by the FMCSA made it impossible for anyone but the big scheduled carriers to make any money in the truck transportation. Compliance with the new Hours of Service regulations made my income drop to the level that I could make more in the fast food a fry cook, not a manager. Not to mention the fact that the new regulations encourage driving while fatigued as stopping to rest is not an alternative except when the GOVERNMENT deems it necessary. All of us experienced drivers have moved on to other jobs leaving the roads much less safe as the only people driving trucks are inexperienced and wreckless. Ever wonder why every single day of the year there is an accident in Houston involving an 18-wheeler? When is the last time a truck driver helped your wife or girlfriend change a flat tire? There is not time. Gotta go, Gotta go, Gotta go.

Every year we are compelled to celebrate Independence Day and New Years day without the traditional celebratory fireworks. It is getting to the point that on December 31 at midnight it is best to be ensconced in one's bunker for fear that returning bullets will pierce his body at midnight.

The people who are living in RV's are doing so out of necessity. Anyone who disagrees has not spent a single night in an RV and understood the problems of using them for permanent habitation. The list of problems is lengthy.

No, Jessie, you are wrong. The united States of America and the State of Texas both declared their independence due to onerous regulations and taxation. A government that over-regulates is destined to be removed if not at the ballot box then at the point of the arms of which the 2nd Amendment speaks........even though that right has been limited by rules and regulations. It does not say 'keep and bear "small" arms. But that is another thorn in the side of the true believers in liberty.

Robert Braeking

Could anyone tell me how to do paragraph breaks when posting to the GCDN?

James Lippert

Founding Father Patrick Henry once said of the importance of transparency in government,
“The liberties of a people never were, nor ever will be, secure when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them.” The Texas Open Meetings Act was enacted to ensure that Texas government is transparent, open and accountable to ALL Texans. It requires that all state and local governmental entities conduct public business responsibly and in accordance with the law.

The ongoing discussion regarding the proposed "Floodplain Management Regulations" is more than about RV's. It is about the Civil and Constitutional rights of ALL citizens.

Regardless of your position (or lack of a position) on the foregoing, please consider attending and participating in Tomorrow's session at Galveston County Commissioners Court, 722 Moody (aka 22st ST) at 9:30AM sharp.

Yes, SOME parts of the Government may indeed be broken. But for the most part, Galveston County government works extraordinarily well. It is up to each and every citizen to assist in identifying those broken parts, determine how they got broke, who broke them and to fix them. Eventually I hope the picture of what is broken comes into focus and Galveston County government once again becomes the exceedingly smooth running, efficient and honest institution upon which we all depend.

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