Municipal Parking Ordinances Plague RVers
EDITOR’S NOTE: The following story published in the Long Beach (Calif.) Press-Telegram typifies problems shared by RVers across country that face increased restrictions on residential parking for their vehicles. With limited storage in many areas, or the added expense if there is space available, RVs are running out of options.
For Ed Peck, parking his trailer has become a hard load to tow.
If he parks his 30-foot-long Vortex in his driveway, he is subject to property code violation enacted by Lakewood, Calif., officials. If he parks it on the street, he faces his neighbors’ ire.
Peck says he wants to put his trailer in storage but storage units are full and he is on a waiting list at four local facilities.
His good-faith effort has earned him an extension from the city, but Peck worries that he won’t find storage before July 1, when a new law limiting recreational vehicles and trailers on city streets goes into effect.
“The storage facilities that we have around here are full with your class A motorhomes,” said the 10-year resident. “People with trailers can’t win, especially under those circumstances.”
Residents like Peck are scrambling to find storage for their rigs and motorhomes.
Last year, the city council placed ballot measures limiting RVs and trailers belonging to Lakewood residents from city streets, which voters overwhelmingly approved last November.
For more than 30 years, the issue of parking these oversized vehicles has pitted neighbor against neighbor. Opponents say the oversized vehicles cause blight and traffic safety issues. Owners believe it is their right to park them near their property and say storage is expensive and scarce.
To help settle the disputes, the council last year approved a series of recommendations to deal with the issue, including the enforcement of no parking on street sweeping days and an ordinance that bans out-of-town RVs and trailers from city streets.
The council also directed the Planning and Environment Commission to review all of the city’s parking codes in an effort to maximize opportunities for vehicle owners to park on their own property. The commission is expected to make its recommendations and the council will decide on those recommendations by the end of May, said city spokesman Don Waldie.
Councilman Todd Rogers, an RV owner, said the city is sympathetic to the situation and is working with developers to find creative storage solutions.
“I know there are angry folks out there, but No. 1, 70% of Lakewood voters made it clear they wanted the regulation of the on-street parking of RVs,” he said. “We knew that in resolving it, there was going to be people who will be upset either way.
“We’re trying to do all the things we can to mitigate the impact,” he said. “Even if it means that I need to personally find storage spaces or try to create opportunities in Lakewood to store their vehicles, we’ll do that. We’re not blind to that impact and we’ll do everything we can to work that out.”