Campers fear relocation after council votes on Point Mallard Campground changes

A Decatur ordinance could limit campground spaces to two-week periods.

Vote could force campers to move

DECATUR, Ala. (WAFF) - A majority of people in section A at the Point Mallard Campground live there full time.

City council is looking at an ordinance to change that.

Park Officials tell WAFF the council wants to turn this section into short-term reservations.

”The campground issue has come up cyclically, it’s come up before. And every time we look into it, we’re told there’s plenty of space for short-term, but the long term balances the cost,” Decatur City Councilman Charles Kirby said.

Kirby says he doesn’t think the city has provided enough information regarding why this specific space needs to be short-term rentals.

”We travel all the time, but we wanted a home base. We love it. We love the people out here, the campground, the bike trails around,” Vicki Roberts said.

Vicki and Leonard Roberts have lived in Section A at the campgrounds for a few years. They say there are other spaces in the park that can be used for short-term camping.

”They want us to move to loop C, that floods every winter. They close it every winter, except with construction. It doesn’t flood in the summer, that’s the ideal camping spots if they want short term rentals,” Roberts continued.

Councilman Kirby says long-term stays at the campground aren’t supposed to be happening.

According to the FEMA flood plain regulations, you can only stay at the campsite a maximum of 180 days.

Kirby says no one is enforcing the rule.

”I don’t think anyone ever understood along the way it was going to be in the position of competing with landlords. That’s not why it should be there, it should be there as a tourist entity,” Kirby said.

“I feel bad for the people who’s been there for the last year, and now have to move. They were mislead into believing that was okay,” he continued.

The Decatur City Council is set to discuss and vote on this ordinance in Tuesday’s meeting.

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