Historic neighborhood divided over idled RV

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by Drew Karedes / KHOU 11 News

khou.com

Posted on October 29, 2013 at 11:25 PM

Updated Tuesday, Oct 29 at 11:40 PM

HOUSTON -- A historic community is split in two over one RV parked in a vacant lot. Several neighbors have been complaining to the city, convinced that someone has been illegally living inside of the RV.

According to neighbors, the RV has been idled in the lot at Cleveland and Valentine for about a month. The property is sandwiched between rows of historic homes and modern condos and complexes.

“I didn’t know we were an RV park and a trailer park,” said Kimberly, who rents in the area. “For all the infrastructure they’re putting in place to revitalize this area, this seems like we’re walking backwards.”

The city tells KHOU it has responded to at least three complaints from neighbors.

However, the man who owns the property claims there is nobody actually living inside of the RV.

“They don’t understand. This is not just a neighborhood. This is a historical neighborhood,” said Samuel Smith, pastor of Mt. Horeb Missionary Baptist Church.

Samuel Smith said he gave his long-time friend permission to park the RV there along with a van and trailer.

That man is 95-year-old Crawford W. Kimble; a former pastor, WWII veteran and author. Kimble said he lives at the nearby Crawford W. Kimble Senior Living Center, named after him.

“I’ve had the cops over there and people with organizations checking me out, wanting to know why I’m there,” Kimble said.

Kimble told KHOU he plans to use the RV to travel the country for a book tour.

He explained the many hardships he’s faced in life and his connection with the Houston community often referred to as Freedmen’s town. Kimble said he couldn’t believe that neighbors were waging a battle over this.

“You can tear it down, but it’s still going to be there,” Kimble said.

Crawford claims he has been cited by the city.

He said he will try to figure out somewhere else to park his RV if it means that much to neighbors.

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