RV parking rules draw reaction | NevadaAppeal.com

RV parking rules draw reaction

Jill Lufrano

Carson City residents reacted this week after officials said the city was considering altering restrictions on parking for recreational vehicles and trailers.

Many said the vacation vehicles need to stay out of sight and off city streets.

A resident of the westside downtown historic district said his view of a 30-foot motor home parked on Mountain Street across from his house is like “looking at garbage.” Instead of storing it, the owner of the RV moves it from one sidewalk to the next around his property during the year.

“It’s like someone leaving their trash out, as far as I’m concerned,” said Bob McFadden. “It’s not a bad-looking motor home, it just shouldn’t be there. I bought a $750,000 house, and I’m looking at garbage here.

“It needs to be discussed, and there needs to be some rules in place,” McFadden said.

Planning staff is reviewing current restrictions that require RVs and unoccupied motor homes to be parked behind the front yard setbacks of homes. The city meant to remove the restrictions that slipped quietly through in an ordinance rewrite that went into effect 18 months ago, officials said last week.

The ordinance poses an enforcement nightmare, said Director of Community Development Walt Sullivan. Mayor Ray Masayko said the issue slipped through without proper public input, but needs to be discussed in a public meeting if enough interest surfaces.

Now, the city is working to possibly revise the ordinance and group it with similar rules in a better place in the city code for enforcement, Sullivan said Tuesday. He will discuss the issue at the Planning Commission meeting in January and may bring it forward again in February.

“We’re not touching that code,” Sullivan said. “We want to revise it possibly.”

Currently, city rules allow fifth-wheel campers to be parked on the street for up to 72 hours. Motorized RVs are allowed to be parked on streets for a maximum of seven days, Sullivan said.

“We want to take a look at the time frames and see if they’re appropriate,” he said.

Resident Brad Michaels said he would like to see restrictions placed on “toy haulers,” trailers parked outside homes that are used to haul ATVs, boats and Waverunners.

His neighbor has parked a trailer on the street for the past seven years, using it for storage. Other vehicles stored in the area have been ticketed but not the trailer, he said.

For Bob McKenzie on Kitchen Drive in Carson, several RVs parked in the area pose safety hazards in the spring and fall.

“It’s just a matter of time (before) someone’s gonna get killed,” McKenzie said.

Douglas County and Reno jurisdictions have similar restrictions on parking RVs and trailers.

If a property owner in Douglas has less than an acre, the RV or motor home has to be parked in the rear or side yard behind a 6-foot fence, said code enforcement officer Kirk Streeter. His department handled 277 reported violations last year, he said.

“As far as enforcement, we just respond to complaints,” Streeter said.

Owners are given a notification and 10 days to move the vehicle before officers reinspect. If the owner doesn’t comply, he or she can be taken to court, Streeter said.

In Reno, restrictions prohibit vehicles from being parked on any highway or alley for storage for more than 48 hours. The penalty for violating the rules is $25 minimum.

Lyon County doesn’t restrict the parking and storing RVs and trailers, said Rick Zierenberg, county code enforcement officer.

Lyon, however, only allows residents to have two unregistered vehicles on their property. Also, residents can’t live in an RV on a property unless they are building a house and have a permit to do so, Zierenberg said.

Contact Jill Lufrano at jlufrano@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1217.