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Coming soon to a Community near YOU?

May 8, 2011 by Rex Vogel · 27 Comments  
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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

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.

“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.

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

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

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.

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

To read More Anti-RV Bylaws, click here.

GOD IS GREAT, BEER IS GOOD, and PEOPLE ARE CRAZY!

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

—Robert Frost

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If you enjoy these articles and want to read more on RV travels and lifestyle, visit my website: Vogel Talks RVing.

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Comments

27 Responses to “Coming soon to a Community near YOU?”

  1. B.J. McCord on May 8th, 2011 4:42 pm

    Liberals would restrict breathing if they could, and probably will anyway.

  2. David Armbrust on May 8th, 2011 4:55 pm

    Many years ago I was complaining to my father about something or other and he advised the following; he said, ” the world is out of balance, there are more horses asses than horses”. As I look back I believe he was dialed in on many of our failures to get along with one another.

  3. August Jones on May 8th, 2011 5:03 pm

    In my early days with the Good Sam Club I was supplied with literature which helped to fight these kind of unreasonable restrictions in the courts. Precedent cases were furnished which helped very much. You have to get your neighbors and other RVers to help you appear before city councils.

  4. Tom Smith on May 8th, 2011 5:03 pm

    These things usually come about when Bubba down the street or across town has three RV’s parked in front of his house. Two of which are in bad repair and should have been sent to the junk yard years ago. The city uses the existing ordinance to get Bubba to clean up his yard. Bubba’s attorney claims negligence on the city’s part because they have not applied the law uniformly. So now the City begins applying the law in what seems to be an arbitrary fashion to the homeowners.

    The homeowners need to petition the city to modify the law so that continue to park their RV’s and at the same time rewrite the law to prevent the Bubba’s of the world from trashing the neighborhood

  5. Fred Brandeberry on May 8th, 2011 5:37 pm

    Hi Guys & Gals:
    We understand FMCA has a team ready to help locals with RV related zoning regulation issues.

    As a full-timer we occasionally find a restriction at a camping friends or relatives residence.

    It is good to be pro-active and ask before you arrive. There are many alternatives, Campsites nearby, IE less costly city and county parks etc.

    Happy Camping,
    Fred b.

  6. Bernie on May 8th, 2011 6:08 pm

    Seems like the town fathers are in the storage business??? Either that or they are giving a cut to them for enforcing stupid laws. Every community has a least one person who is always complaining. Worse, many have really bad yards with junk all over the place… let them spend their energy enforcing that.
    If I am taking care of my yard, keeping it neat and clean and have an RV parked beyond the front line of the house – ain’t no way I am gonna store it and pay money to do so!

  7. butterbean carpenter on May 8th, 2011 6:10 pm

    Howdy Rex,
    I have 42.3 ACRES to park my 2 cars, 2 trucks, 1 station-wagon, 1 van, 1 travel
    trailer, 1 farm tractor, 2 horse trailers,1 16′ flatbed, 2 utility trailers, 2 bassboats,
    a 17′ sailboat and a 34′ motorhome on.. I want anyone to tell me to move ANY OF THEM. !!!!!!!! These HOAs are just a lawyers piggy bank… THEY SURE AREN’T NEIGHBORHOODS !!!!!!!!

    As far as parking at a relative’s house, my experience is; the cops follow ANYONE WHO TURNS OFF OF A MAIN ARTERY into a residential area.. Even when you are trying to get turned around to go the right direction… I stopped in front of y daughter’s house, unhitched to go get a flat on my tow-car fixed and when I returned I had a 12″X16″ YELLOW PLASTIC ‘MOVE-IT’ SIGN plastered to the wall of my Airstream… STUCK TIGHT!!! I drove to the police station and ask
    them to remove it as I was leaving their town RIGHT NOW !!!!

  8. butterbean carpenter on May 8th, 2011 6:19 pm

    Howdy Rex,
    I have 42.3 ACRES to park my 2 cars, 2 trucks, 1 station-wagon, 1 van, 1 travel
    trailer, 1 farm tractor, 2 horse trailers,1 16′ flatbed, 2 utility trailers, 2 bassboats,
    a 17′ sailboat and a 34′ motorhome on.. I want anyone to tell me to move ANY OF THEM. !!!!!!!! These HOAs are just a lawyers piggy bank… THEY SURE AREN’T NEIGHBORHOODS !!!!!!!!

    As far as parking at a relative’s house, my experience is; the cops follow ANYONE WHO TURNS OFF OF A MAIN ARTERY into a residential area.. Even when you are trying to get turned around to go the right direction… I stopped in front of my daughter’s house, unhitched to go get a flat on my tow-car fixed and when I returned I had a 12″X16″ YELLOW PLASTIC ‘MOVE-IT’ SIGN plastered to the wall of my Airstream… STUCK TIGHT!!! I drove to the police station and ask
    them to remove it as I was leaving their town RIGHT NOW !!!! The police just laughed at me, until I told them I would have the trailer buffed and waxed($1,100)
    and present it to the city council to pay… Someone called a bodyshop and they removed the ’sticker/’ , RIGHT THEN…

    Smooth roads & balmy breezes!!!!!!!!!

  9. R. Gary Cousineau on May 8th, 2011 6:28 pm

    We lost our property rights when President Regan circumvented the constitution allowing foreigners to buy American property which our forefathers forbid to protect us from the rich descendants of the rich people our ancestors fled from taking over by uniting and buying everything and then renting or selling it for outrageous prices.

    Insiders that knew what was going on bought up every cheap piece of property they could get their hands on and became overnight millionaires when the foreigners started buying up that property with billions of worthless dollars they had no idea the value of, thanks to President Nixon taking us off the gold standard.

    We were set up and now the average guy that before could live in a RV or a tent while he gradually built his house has to become a slave to the bank if he wants to own his own house.

    We took forty million former Soviets that armed and trained the people that killed sixty thousand Americans into our country after the fall of the Soviet Union and set them up with homeless Viet Nam vets dying on the streets.

    Everything could turn out like Soviet Premiere Khruchev said it would at the UN during the Cuban missile crisis.
    Pounding his shoe on the table he shouted “we will bury you and you will pay to breed your own executioners”! Comments? rgaryc@hotmail.com

  10. Larry Owens on May 8th, 2011 7:24 pm

    Geesch!

    This R. Gary Cousineau has more issues than the N.Y. Times.

    First it was Reagan, then it was Nixon, then it was the “insiders” then it was the foreigners. Finally we end with the greedy bankers, former Soviets, and last but not least we end with homeless Viet Nam veterans and Nikita banging his shoe on the podium.

    Funny, I REMEMBER all the names and labels and status of victims he rails about. I just CAN’T remember any of the bylines he refers to in speaking about them. Could it be that he is just actively free-basing or maybe he is just awaking from a long slumber and tuned into MSNBC?

    Darrow…for the Prosecution

  11. catchesthewind on May 8th, 2011 7:46 pm

    The first thing I would do is to get a copy of the municipal charter and see if the municipality has the authority to regulate and second do a search to check the consistency of enforcement. Hope this helps.

  12. Paul LeSage on May 8th, 2011 8:23 pm

    If you can afford to own and operate an RV then you should also be able to afford to put it in a storage lot. I wouldn’t park ours (a 40′ 2005 Class A Fleetwood Excursion in great shape) in our neighborhood and I don’[t want anyone else storing one there either. Pull it up, fill it up and hit the road. No long term parking in resdential neighborhoods. I love our coach, but it doesn’t belong parked in our yard. Pretty as it is, no one should have to look at it every day.

    If I had 43 acres…different issue.

  13. Francis on May 8th, 2011 8:28 pm

    A bad law is a bad law – who knows what the political leanings of the incompetent municipal entities that passed them? I am so sick of this polarizing nonsense. Larry, Gary, BJ, et al – GFY!!

  14. Bandboss on May 8th, 2011 8:51 pm

    Placentia, CA — Park your motorhome pretty much anywhere: driveway, side yard, behind the house and it’s no problem. But park your travel trailer or 5th wheel on your property and it must be behind the front setback and fully screened from the street, behind a max 6-foot wall.
    When we bought our house 5 yrs ago, there was a separate paved driveway for “RV parking”. We parked our Airstream there for two years until the city realized it had no engine (the qualifier for permission to park in the driveway). After a citation, we ended up moving it to off-property storage and now must pay nearly $200 a month for the privilege of owning the trailer.
    At the other house we own in town, our tent camper was parked at the extreme end of the driveway, fifty feet from the street, in front of the detached garage. Sure enough, after it had been parked there for TWENTY YEARS, we received a citation and an order to move it.
    So we moved it to the new house in the RV driveway.
    We figure the clock is ticking…

  15. Julie Rea on May 8th, 2011 9:21 pm

    If all sorts of cars and pickups, and in all types of conditions, can be parked in front of houses, in driveways and along the street, then why can’t motorhomes be parked at your home? If not blocking the sidewalk, or any walkway, and not on the street, what’s the problem? Some of the vehicles parked in front of homes look like they should be in a wrecking yard. But yet, they are allowed to park in the home owners driveway.

  16. Peggy on May 9th, 2011 1:03 am

    I lived in a ‘brick, etc.’ home in Palm Beach Gardens for 20 Years… Yes, that’s true that a person cannot park a boat; RV; and/or a vehicle with a business painted on the door, etc in many communities as many of them are ‘gated communities’ and just never allowed the space for ‘extra’ parking of vehicles…

    Yes, then you have the HOA’s, etc that set up certain ‘rules’ – like no Xmas Wreath would be allowed on your condo door – no ‘flag pole’ displaying your flag, etc, etc…

    For 10 years I traveled thoughout the country and was amazed to see an area in Lake Havasu City where attached to the homes were a regular garage and then a bigger or higher garage where your RV would be able to be parked… I thought that was great…

    Wellington is just another town/area in Palm Beach County; same as Juno; and many others who want everything ‘not seen’…

    Common sense tells me that a 6′ fence with a hedge above it just won’t cut it… A person can still see the upper portion of a RV or of a boat that’s stored on its’ trailer…

    Have any of you seen when there has been a ‘frost’ or ‘freezing’ temperatures in Palm Beach Gardens area were all the bushes; hedges; flowers; trees; were damaged and died by the weather…? What do these ‘people of authority’ do then when your hedge above your 6′ fence has died…?

    BTW, I’m now a full-time RVer and love it…

  17. Geoffrey Pruett on May 9th, 2011 11:03 am

    If there is a listing of RV restrictions how about a list of those places that could be downloaded along with a form to email to the local Chamber of Commerce on why this community will be missing your business along with that of anyone who will listen that you meet in your travels. This is sure to be picked up by local newspapers for comments in the editorial section. Sometimes the best cure for stupidity is a mirror.

  18. Hockeyguy on May 10th, 2011 8:11 am

    I live on a small court type street. When we moved in eight years ago one neighbour had an older unit parked in his driveway for at least a year. This was in direct contravention of our signed agreements of purchase for our homes. He eventually got rid of it. I own a unit and have never parked it at home. It just would not work out for me. I have two neighbours who bought smaller units last year and started to keep them in their driveways. They started parking them there since late April this year. Now another neighbour is also parking in front too.
    Though I am an owner I have mixed feelings . If it is for a week or two I don’t see any issue but if it is the whole season I think that it is not the right thing to do. Sooner or later they run out of parking spots and begin to use the road.
    I lived in a townhouse complex for my first home and when someone moves in with only two parking spaces but suddenly has five vehicles it does cause problems for everyone.
    If you have the space for parking I have no issue but someone always seems to take it beyond a reasonable level.
    I guess I just think that you have to look at the whole picture to make it work properly.

  19. DONALD JACOBSON on May 13th, 2011 8:30 pm

    THERE IS A LAW ABOUT HOA’S. ITS THE GRANDFATHER LAW THAT IF THEY NOTIFY YOU IN THE FRIST 4 YEARS OF THE VIOLATION THEY DONT HAVE A LEG TO STAND ON. I WENT THORUGHT THIS AFTER 15 YEARS THY TRYED TO GET ME ON THE BY LAWS.SORRY GRANDFATHERED IN. CHECK IT OUT DJ

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