A new push by City Attorney Chuck Odgers has some recreational vehicle (RV) owners wondering what to do.
According to Odgers, the city is responding to multiple complaints made by home owners about RV’s on property they are not zoned to be on. After revisiting the city’s zoning ordinances, Odger’s discovered a little over a dozen local RV owners who are living on property that they are not zoned to be on.
Not wanting to force people off of property that they have lived on for years, Odgers credited City Councilwoman Jolene Gardner for coming up with an alternative for those affected by the closer look into zoning. Those 14 people that received letters from the city about their RV zoning can go to City Hall and apply for a “special use” permit, Odgers said. Those that do will have to pay the fees associated with the permit, which can be in excess of $500 in some situations, as well as meet all of the city’s power, water and sewer requirements, and proper setbacks for their property. And while the permit might be expensive, it’s a bargain compared to not complying the city attorney explained.
“Under the ordinance, the fine could be $100 a day for the first 30 days, after that time, the city may choose to prosecute under the misdemeanor law. In which case the judge could rule that they be moved, though that isn’t the way I’m looking to handle this,” Odgers said.
Once paid for and all the necessary components are met, the special use permit will then be submitted to the building department, who will take it in front of the planning commission. If the commission approves of the permit, it will then be brought in front of the city council for one final approval. Once the owner of the property acquires the permit, they have a set period of time to meet these compliance requirements. If they fail to do so, it could mean looking at moving to a mobile home park or face legal action.
Odgers said that the complaints his office received ranged in the appearance of some older RV’s on property to safety concerns, prompting the city to check the water and power compliance as part of the process.
“This is because of complaints that we received. We are not trying to displace anyone, especially those that have lived where they have for years, but we want to follow up on these issues people have brought to us,” the attorney said.
Those that have an RV on their property but are not using it as their primary housing are safe from this process, as it pertains mainly to those living out of their vehicle.
For more information regarding the updated RV zoning, call 775-289-2430.