‘Premium’ section of Point Mallard Campground to soon be for short term rentals only

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DECATUR, Ala. (WAFF) - The Decatur City council approved a resolution on short term rentals at the Point Mallard Campground Tuesday night.

Decatur City council members all approved for a section of Point Mallard Campground to be turned into short term rental space only.
Decatur City council members all approved for a section of Point Mallard Campground to be turned into short term rental space only. (Source: WAFF)

The majority of the people who live in section A at Point Mallard Campground live their full time.

There are 52 sites at that lot and many of them pay monthly rent for their spot all year long.

However, this does violate a FEMA flood plain regulation that says you can’t stay there for more than 180 days.

Tuesday night the Decatur city council voted yes to turning section A into all short term rentals only.

Some urged city leaders to reconsider, but the resolution passed unanimously

Lot A is considered the most sought after portion of Point Mallard Park Campground.

Now that the resolution passed, only short term campers will be able to park their RVs there. Meaning two weeks at a time.

Some long term camp residents say this move will cost the city greatly.

“May June and July, August, 90 percent occupancy. But the rest of the time it’s going to be empty," someone in public comment said.

Several people argued that the short term rentals will stay booked in the summer months but..

“This winter it’s going to look like a ghost town at point mallard campground.”

Johnny Wininger lives in lot A with his wife. He says now he has to find another place to live this winter.

“When I first came there, the section they are proposing to put us in, which is the C section was closed for the whole winter because it stayed flooded,” Wininger said.

Council president Paige Bibee says the entire campground is in a flood zone.

“I have the maps. It is in a flood zone just like B and C, now B and C are lower, but A does flood. And I’ve seen it with my own eyes,” Bibbee said.

Councilman Charles Kirby says he’s been hearing requests for more short term rentals at the park for a long time

“That angers a lot of residents in the area. That they’re paying property taxes and the campers in their eyes are not,” he explained.

“I have some empathy for the people that have been out there for a while because we’ve been letting them,” Kirby said.

The park manager did say she will work with the long term renters to help move them to other lots if they choose.

Another item that passed, monthly increases for campsites will go from $561 to $649 a month.

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