Coming soon to a Community near YOU?

Rarely a week goes without a media story about some community somewhere in the United States or Canada imposing restrictive rules, regulations, ordinances, and general hassles on owners of recreational vehicles.

Parking restrictions on RVs

Rusty Powers stands with his son-in-law, Anthony Lyles, by his RV, that is in violation of a city bylaw because it is too big and will have to be moved elsewhere. Image courtesy Maple Ridge News

Here’s a typical article that appeared in The Palm Beach (Florida) Post News: For years Wellington has enforced its laws so that a recreational vehicle or boat must be parked on the side or rear of a lot and behind a 6-foot wall, fence, or landscaping—the maximum height village rules allow.

But, perplexingly, village rules also say that the vehicle must not be “clearly visible” to drivers or neighbors.

“If it’s 15 feet high but behind a six-foot fence, then I’m sorry, but my sight says it’s clearly visible,” resident Donna Weaver said.

Are RV Parking Restrictions out of Control?

In British Columbia, Leeann Costa lives on a quarter of an acre and stores her 12-metre (39-foot)-long recreational vehicle at the side of her house. Last month she received a letter from the Maple Ridge bylaw department and learned she must remove her RV by April 20, reported Maple Ridge News.

“We’ve lived here for 25 years. We’ve had an RV ever since we lived here,” said Costa.

A newly enforced bylaw regulating the parking of RVs coming to a community near you... Image courtesy

“All of a sudden because somebody complained, we’ve got to get rid of our RV. We’re not the only ones who got dinged on this road, all of my neighbors did.”

Instead of the current bylaw that restricts vehicle length to 7.5 metres, the rules should consider the amount of property there is for a RV, she said. As long as you’re not interfering with anyone else, then it should be OK to have any size RV on your property, Costa added.

After reading this news article, I was left to wonder if the good people of Maple Ridge would be less offended if Leeann was sun tanning in the buff in her front yard than they are in being able to glimpse her RV.

According to Maple Ridge bylaws director Liz Holitzky, the bylaw has been place since 1985 and limits RV size for storage to 7.5 metres, or 24.6 feet.

Rusty Powers who parks a 10-metre (32.8-foot) -long recreational vehicle at the side of his house has also caught the attention of the bylaws department, which told him it would be sending a letter requiring him to move it.

What do you own property for if you can’t park your own rig? As long as you’re not interfering with your neighbors, you should be able to park any kind of RV on your property, he says.

Long-time resident Eric Phillips wonders what’s behind the “flurry of enforcement” in his neighborhood. He’s lived in the community for 30 years and said there’s always somebody with a messy yard.

If you don’t like the law in British Columbia’s Maple Ridge district that limits the size of recreational vehicles on lots, you can put your name a list. Jacques Blackstone set up a website to fight against the bylaw.

Once he’s heard from as many people as possible, Blackstone will include the forms as part of his presentation to district council to change the rules.

“I’m not complying because I don’t agree with the bylaw,” said Blackstone, who received his last removal order in mid-March.

What other communities do

  • Juno Beach, Florida: RVs must be completely screened on three sides in side or rear yards. Screening can be a building, wall, fence or landscaping.
  • Itasca, Illinois: Residents are permitted to park their recreational vehicles in their driveways from May 1 to October 1. Outside of that window, RV owners can be fined $25 and more for each subsequent violation.
  • Palm Beach Gardens, Florida: Must be stored on side or rear of property and screened from direct view by a six-foot wall or fence and “dense hedge” at least six feet tall within two years of planting. In general, there are no maximum heights for the hedge.

Tomorrow: More Anti-RV Bylaws


Worth Pondering…
In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: It goes on.

—Robert Frost

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