City supervisors pass new RV codes after last-minute changes

After a year and a half of public meetings and competing outrage by residents, Carson City finally has a new set of rules governing motor homes, camp trailers and cargo haulers.

"There's no way we're going to make everyone happy," Carson City Mayor Marv Teixeira said before city supervisors unanimously passed the new ordinance Thursday. "Let's fish or cut bait."

City staffers made some last-minute changes to the proposed ordinance before the supervisors meeting, easing certain restrictions that recreational-vehicle owners complained were too harsh.

While several Carson City RV owners complained that any new codes would hamper their rights to own and use the mobile dwellings that cost thousands of dollars to buy and maintain, those at Thursday's supervisors meeting seemed satisfied the code was a workable compromise.

Limits on the time an RV can be parked on city streets were expanded from an earlier proposal of 72 hours to 120 hours per month during the summer, not including time spent loading or unloading the vehicle. Supervisors also removed altogether a limit on time spent loading or unloading the vehicles.

During the winter months from Nov. 1 through March 31, street-side RV parking will be limited to 72 hours per month.

The new set of RV parking rules, which also aims to curb the problems of RVs blocking vision of the street, will be administered by Carson City's fledgling health department.

The older set of ordinances were spread throughout city code and enforced by several city departments.

City workers will not roam the streets of Carson looking for noncompliant motor homes, officials said. The rules will only be enforced in response to written complaints.

It was complaints from residents about RVs blocking the view of streets from neighboring driveways and lowering property values that began the code revision in 2003.

One of the first complaintants, Carson City resident Ron Percival told the board "I think the city needs to be a little assertive here to protect the rights of residents."

The new code will also limit the time someone can park in a commercial parking lot while shopping to 12 hours. It will also force large box stores that allow overnight RV stays to meet certain RV-friendly criteria, like extended parking spaces made for motor homes. It will also limit the time an RV can be parked in such a commercial lot to 72 hours.

Travelers may not even be able to do that if a bill introduced in the Nevada State Legislature last week passes.

The state Senate's Government Affairs Committee introduced a bill mandating Nevada cities and counties outlaw overnight parking in commercial lots.

- Contact reporter Cory McConnell at or 881-1217.


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