Residents upset over possible RV park to house influx of oil workers

EDDY COUNTY, N.M. (KRQE) – The oil industry is on the rise again in southeast New Mexico, and that means another housing shortage in places like Carlsbad. However, one proposal to house some of those workers has one neighborhood upset.

A plan for a plot of land is stirring up controversy just outside of Carlsbad. A company is trying to build an RV park on what is now a seven acre alfalfa field to house the influx of oil workers. Neighbors aren’t sold on the idea.

“My main concerns are maintaining the lifestyles we have out here. This is a dead end street and so there is one way in and one way out. I am very concerned about the extra traffic,” said Jill Crandall, La Huerta resident.

After months of public hearings, a decision on allowing an RV park in the La Huerta neighborhood is still in the works.

“Eddy County does not have zoning and that’s where the issue has come in where we don’t have much control,” said Stella Davis, Eddy County Commissioner.

No zoning means no regulations on what can go on the property. Now Eddy County is looking to pass a 19-page ordinance outlining restrictions on building.

One rule states a project has to be in the best interest of the public. The developer knows people will have different opinions on that.

“They cannot tell you to base your property and base your development off of the actions of others,” said Cody Northcutt, developer.

In the face of public protest, Eddy County put a temporary hold on building on the lot.

“Kids play in the neighborhood, they ride their bikes around this neighborhood and I don’t want that increased traffic,” Crandall explained.

Some people are worried this ordinance will put too many restrictions on developments in general — and not just on these worker camps. The next Eddy County Commission meeting on these regulations is September 19.

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