City officials seek public comment on RV parking and storage rules
To some, that recreational vehicle in front of the house is not only an escape pod when vacation rolls around but a spare room for visiting relatives. They view it lovingly, proudly.
But to the guy down the street, it’s an eyesore that blocks his view of the mountains, takes up half the street and ought to be towed away and pounded apart with a sledge hammer.
Recreational vehicles generate a significant number of calls to the city every year, according to Community Development Compliance Officer Alan Biddle. The complaints range from where they are parked to complaints people are living in them.
But he said the city’s ordinances on the subject are so scattered and, often, so old, that many times no one knows where to refer the callers, let alone what to do. And many owners don’t know the rules either.
“One (question) they voice over and over is, ‘How long can you park it on the street?'” he said. “Code says seven days, but some say they shouldn’t be able to at all – while others want all summer.”
He said a glitch in a recent ordinance change technically requires the RV be parked back farther than the front wall of the house – not possible at many houses.
Those and other problems prompted Biddle and Community Development Director Walt Sullivan to take a long look at Carson’s ordinances and try figure out how the law should treat RVs.
They’ve scheduled a public hearing to get comments, suggestions and complaints for 5 p.m. Tuesday at the Community Center.
“We want public input,” said Biddle. “I know there’s a happy medium, but as Carson City has grown, some of the ordinances haven’t kept pace. I mean some of these ordinances were put in place when Winnebago was first coming on the scene.”
Biddle said the problem is balancing where the RV owner’s rights end and the rights of others begin.
“There are problems,” he said. “A lot of people in the summer come into Carson City and park in parking lots, on streets, and live in them. We have ordinances that prevent that but we don’t want to prohibit uncle Ned and aunt Nancy from visiting.”
He said he hopes this is the first step in pulling all the ordinances involving RVs together into one code so that everybody knows the rules.
“Right now that isn’t the case,” said Biddle.
Contact Geoff Dornan at email@example.com or 687-8750.