More Anti-RV Bylaws

Why should RV owners need a permit to park their RV?

Will this RV catch the eye of a bylaw officer? Image courtesy

This mind-boggling report appeared in The Desert Sun: The Palm Desert (California) Architectural Review Committee approved parking for a recreational vehicle at an Ironwood Street home. Stanley Smith was given the green light to park his 12-foot-tall RV on the side yard of his home. The permit will require him to keep the vehicle six feet from his property line, work with city staff on adding vegetation to screen the vehicle, and keep a front gate closed.

City officials noted the gate has often been seen open, leaving the vehicle clearly visible.

The vehicle had been parked at the home for some time. The commission weighed in after the city’s Code Compliance Division received an anonymous complaint about the RV and learned Smith had no permit.

The City of Palm Desert is set to pass further restrictions on how and where RVs can be parked at private residences within the city.

If a proposed ordinance is approved, RVs would be allowed to park on side and back yards with no set-back requirements, the paper reported. However, the RVs would have to be 100 percent screened by landscaping in place by the time the vehicle first arrived at the home. Plus, RVs will still not be allowed on street-facing side yards or front yards, and the RV owner must notify neighbors on all sides of the property.

An RV peeking over a fence. Image courtesy Palm Beach Post

Consider all the hoops Mr. Smith must jump through to own something he bought with his own money. First, he apparently must apply for a permit. That launches a process in which an unelected and unaccountable city official can come onto his property and chalk off an area where he is allowed to park his motorhome. Then Smith has to work with bureaucrats to determine what type of “vegetation” must be planted and the location to ensure that Smith’s narrow-minded, nit-picking, desperately-in-need-of-a-life neighbors aren’t offended by Smith’s choice of recreational vehicle. And, apparently, he has to work with bureaucrats to determine how long and during what times he may allow a gate to be opened on his property.

There must be good times in Wellington, Florida, Maple Ridge, British Columbia, and Palm Desert, California when this is the issue of the day. Guess the economy must be humming along, thank you very much.

What other communities do

Lantana, Florida: No screening is required. RVs must be parked on a paved surface anywhere on the resident’s lot.

Sioux City, Iowa: The current city ordinance allows RVs, campers, boats and trailers to be parked only on an owner’s driveway in the rear yard.

Boynton Beach, Florida: No screening required. RVs can be stored in a carport, driveway, or back yard, not closer than five feet from the lot-line or in the side yard not projecting beyond the front roof line.

Palos Verdes, California: Last November, the City Council instituted a size envelope, requiring all residents to park RVs and other vehicles more than 22 feet long, 8 feet wide, and 7 feet high in their side or back yards and screen them from view from the street.

An RV hiding in the bushes. Image courtesy Palm Beach Post

Royal Palm Beach, Florida: No screening is required. RVs can be stored on the driveway or side of property. Boats parked on the sides of corner lots must be on pavement.

Barrie, Ontario: It is permissible to park an RV, boat, etc. on your property providing it fits within your driveway, is not located on the grass, and no one can live in it.

Flagler Beach, Florida: City commissioners say they support allowing residents to park recreational vehicles on their property—but can’t agree where exactly they can be positioned. At issue for the commissioners are the details of the proposed ordinance, such as pinpointing how many days visitors can stay in an RV, parking in the setbacks, and whether the vehicle must be operable and registered.

When someone buys a home, especially in an area without a Home Owner’s Association (HOA), one would reasonably expect to be able to do what they wish with their own property. Reasonable means being able to park the RV we worked long and hard for, in our own yard.

In light of so many new restrictions on RV parking at folks’ homes, kudos go out to the folks in Port Colborne, Ontario for loosening their RV parking restrictions!  We really need to hear more of this kind of news!  After all, the RV industry is the “barometer” of our economy.  If it doesn’t succeed, what happens to rest of the country?

Blessed be the Flexible for they shall not get bent out of shape.

Worth Pondering…
When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.

—Hunter S. Thompson

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