Recapping Gulf County’s RV Ordinance Change

In 2021, Gulf County Commissioners decided to reinstate a governing RV ordinance again where it had previously been released for several years allowing unlimited usage of RVs on most lot parcels. The image below shows the new Coastal Construction Corridor, and everything in blue is prohibited for RV usage. Everything in beige that’s within the county, and not the city of Port St. Joe or inside any communities with HOA restrictions against RVs will allow for the usage of an RV.


Additionally, here is the full regulation for the usage of RVs within Gulf County..

RV Regulations within the unincorporated areas of Gulf County:

RV’s located within the unincorporated areas of the County outside the Coastal Construction Corridor (Unrestricted Coastal RV Zones) shall be permitted throughout the County in accordance with the terms set forth by the Gulf County current (6/24/13) LDR’s Section 3.02.04 and summarized as follows:

  1. One (1) RV per lot/parcel.
  2. Lot/parcel coverage by RV and accessories is not to exceed 30% impervious area.
  3. Lot/parcel with RV must allow for two (2) parking spaces per lot.  Parking on any right  of way is strictly prohibited for consideration in RV requirements.
  4. All RV’s must meet standard building setbacks.
  5. All RV’s must comply with all existing Gulf County LDR and Comprehensive Plan  guidelines and requirements.

RV’s Regulations specifically within the defined Coastal Construction Corridors / Restrictive Coastal RV Zones: 

RV’s permitted within the defined Coastal Construction Corridors (Restrictive Coastal RV Zones) shall be bound to all regulations stated above and comply with the following additional restrictions:

  1. Recorded property owners of parcel or lot within the Coastal Construction Corridor prior  to adoption of this ordinance shall be grandfathered to continue their existing use of property for Recreational Vehicles with the following conditions met: – Continue to meet all requirements under Section 6(A) and current Gulf County LDR guidelines – Mandatory evacuation of all RV’s within this Restrictive RV Zone within 48 hours of Gulf County Declaration of Local State of Emergency for either wind, storm or flood events.
  2. Grandfathered “use” protection: individual title to the parcel prior to the prohibited use restriction shall terminate for the defined existing owners upon any one of the following:
    -Sale or any transfer of ownership from current individual named title owner(s) (joint tenancy as well as one or both named spouses shall be considered permissible individual ownership; transfer through estate to direct child of permitted user; permitting to a corporate entity or trust shall be strictly prohibited); or
    -Owner’s death shall extinguish the grandfather provision for the parcel (pre-existing lawful spouses excluded); or
    -Owner’s failure to comply with mandatory removal of RV from Corridor within 48 hours of declaration of Local State of Emergency by Gulf County due to a wind, storm or flood threat.   Owner shall be permitted to complete the calendar year under which they received the grandfather exception and thereafter prohibited through proper restriction and regulation defined by this Ordinance.

Exceptional circumstances:  

RV’s located on a lot/parcel within the Corridor that are being stored and not occupied  and that are located on the same lot/parcel as the occupied principal dwelling unit are permitted  under these exceptions year round with proper and continual compliance of County and or State registration, permitting, mandatory evacuations and Section 6(A) guidelines above.

The following additional exceptional RV uses shall apply for residential RV use within  the Coastal Construction Corridor / Restrictive Coastal RV Zones through application to the Gulf County Planning Department for extended occupancy and final approval of the County Commission following consideration of the Planning Development and Review Board (“PDRB”): Construction Periods – The use and occupancy of an RV within the Coastal Construction Corridor during construction or repair of a primary dwelling unit and/or business shall be afforded consideration by the PDRB and approval of the Commission for up to 180 consecutive days and renewable upon re-application thereafter.  Emergency Periods – The use and occupancy of RV’s as a dwelling unit during disaster recovery (fire, weather event, etc.) and family medical emergencies (ie. visiting Gulf County and residing in RV while family member is in care of area hospital) shall be afforded consideration by the PDRB and approval of the Commission for up to 180 consecutive days and renewable upon re-application thereafter.  Hardship Exemptions – The owner of both the same lot/parcel and RV within the defined Restricted Coastal Areas may upon application, seek a hardship exemption other than that defined under 5(i) and (ii) above and specifically Section 6B(1) Restrictive Coastal Areas restrictions for the permitted use and occupancy with the Restricted RV Zone for no greater a period of 180 consecutive days after review by the PDRB and final approval of the Commission upon findings that:  -The named applicant is the same of both the parcel/lot and the proposed occupied RV; and  -A substantial hardship is demonstrated; and   -The exemption will be consistent with the intent and purpose of the Gulf County LDR and   Comprehensive Plan guidelines and requirements as well as the clauses and findings stated   above seeking to balance and preserve public safety, property rights and coastal property   protection; and the application of Section 6B(1) Coastal Construction Corridor restrictions on the   established lot/parcel and RV owner would be significantly outweighed by the demonstrated hardship and deleterious impacts to the applicant; and upon an applicant demonstrating to the County that a hardship is created by the requirements to comply with the ordinance and that relatively little impact will occur from the exemption, then they may be permitted upon proper application, notice, hearing and consideration of the PDRB and final approval of the County Commission to maintain continuous and uninterrupted ownership, use and occupancy for up to 180 consecutive days; and the hardship exemption shall cease and terminate immediately upon the sooner of either the   removal of the hardship or the expiration of the days granted by the County Commission.

See the full ordinance at the Gulf County website by clicking HERE

*Ordinances subject to change. The information herein is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Please confirm all information before purchasing or permitting to build. Contact Gulf County directly by calling (850) 227-9562, or visit their website directly