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As Eddy County, N.M.’s planner drove through oil country on a recent day, he passed a makeshift RV park and let out a groan, according to the Current Argus.

The small gathering of trailers he saw near the side of the road wasn’t permitted by the county. In fact, it wasn’t there at all several weeks earlier, the last time Steve McCroskey drove through the area.

Only about one-third of the estimated 180 RV parks in the county have a permit, and new ones are popping up so fast that officials don’t have time to send them all violation notices. There are only two code enforcement officers to cover the county’s 4,200 square miles.

“We don’t have the manpower to cover them all,” McCroskey said as he pointed out several more unlicensed parks amid the droves of oil and gas facilities south of Carlsbad. “If you hear me grumble, that’s why.”

The recent proliferation of RV parks is a byproduct of the lack of affordable housing — just one of the many effects the Permian Basin oil and gas production boom is having on local communities in southeastern New Mexico. Some are positive, providing local residents with greater economic opportunity, while others are persistent problems yet to be solved.

Spend any time in the city of Carlsbad, and it’s obvious there’s an absolute boom in progress.

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