In the nearly 30 years Southgate RV Storage in Michigan has been in business, it has never seen so many break-ins.
As reported by the Southgate News Herald, between Oct. 17 and April 29, 27 police reports were filed about break-ins or attempted break-ins at the lot, where more than 200 recreational vehicles are stored.
In most of the reports, a side door was pried open and damaged and the recreational vehicle was ransacked. Most items that were stolen included TVs, bedding and pillows. A number of customers noted that nothing appeared to be missing, but cited damage and the mess.
“I’ve probably had more problems last year and this spring than we’ve had the whole time we were in business,” said owner Jim McLucas. “I think a lot of it is economics and bad attitudes with people.”
While it is hard to pinpoint when many of the break-ins occurred — some RVs hadn’t been checked in months or years — most of them were during the fall and winter when the lot is full and people generally don’t use their vehicles.
Police Det. Gerald Doede said he has no leads or suspects in the case, and that this has been happening for a long time. “This has been an ongoing problem for probably the last 15 to 20 years,” he said.
McLucas said the company is strengthening security measures. The entire fence around the lot is being reinforced, with only a fraction of it left to be fixed.
Police and McLucas said the thief or thieves have been cutting the fence to enter the lot. Once the fence is finished, security cameras will be installed in strategic locations, McLucas said. So far, more than $15,000 has been spent to fix the fence.
“We’ll see what’s going to happen now, and we’ll take other steps if we have to, but I don’t know what (else) we’re going to do,” McLucas said.
RVs and trailers longer than 14 feet will need a stabilized surface such as concrete when parked on private property, according to a proposed city ordinance in Titusville, Fla.
It is part of an effort by Titusville leaders to regulate recreational vehicle and trailer storage to improve curb appeal and maintain real estate values in the community.
Small-boat owners who park trailers in their back yards will have to pay hundreds of dollars to comply with the ordinance.
“It’s going to affect the guys with the johnboats and small boats,” said Sam Gheen, vice president of Gheen Manufacturing Inc. in Titusville. “There are going to be a lot of people that aren’t going to like that.”
The process of crafting the ordinance has been in the works for years, and in 2009, City Manager Mark Ryan stated “this is a boating and recreational community, and any changes we make will impact a large section of our community.”
In September, there was concern that large vehicles parked in back yards would cause overgrowth underneath that could become home to rodents and other animals. The possibility of vehicles on trailers leaking fluids was another reason behind requiring the stabilized surfaces.
One Titusville resident who makes a living fishing, agrees with the spirit of the ordinance but says the city is going too far with the stabilized-surface requirement.
“These trailers need to get off the road and on to people’s private property,” said Mark Wright, a Mosquito Lagoon fishing guide. “But I don’t think the city has any right to tell them that they can’t park it on the grass.”
The parking surface required for RV and trailer storage must be constructed of material suitable for driveway areas, including pavers, concrete and pervious concrete.
Editor’s Note: The following is a press release from Ted Deits of Eucalyptus at Beaumont Garage Condominiums, Beaumont, Calif., regarding the status of Orange County RV storage and the opportunities that he feels his condominium storage facility affords for individual ownership of fully enclosed storage garages — what he calls “a private storage community.”
Eucalyptus of Beaumont is poised to provide needed owned RV storage for some of the 3,500 RVs that may be evicted from Orange County California.
The El Toro Marine Base (MCAS) was closed in 1999, and the abandoned runways soon morphed into the nation’s largest RV storage lot. In July of 2005, Lennar Corp. purchased the marine base to make way for new housing and the Orange County Great Park. Lennar and its subset, Fivepoint Communities, secured needed construction financing and broke ground on the first of over 10,000 homes and 1 million square feet of commercial development on Jan. 31. The 3,500 stored 3500 RVs are right in the path of the construction.
“Where will all those RVs go?” said Deits. “There is little available storage in the Orange County area suited for large vehicles like RVs, and land is simply too expensive and rare to make economic sense for RV storage. Cities do not like non-revenue (sales tax) generating uses.”
After being turned down by 15 cities in Orange County to develop RV storage, Deits settled in Beaumont. “I was turned down by every city even though they all had ordinances against parking RVs in residential areas,” he said. “None of them would allow the construction of an RV storage lot. Sort of a NIMBY [not in my back yard] attitude.”
Deits continued, “Certainly the cost of RV storage will increase dramatically, especially in the Orange County areas. It is already occurring as the word of this calamity gets out. Sales at Eucalyptus at Beaumont have increased four-fold in the last two months. We are running out of garages and this is before any of the RVs have even been asked to move. Once the RV owners get their eviction notices, it will be every man for himself.”
He said the prospects for building any new RV storage projects are very unlikely as Orange County land is too expensive, and for small developers construction financing is non-existent in this challenged economy. “I built Eucalyptus at Beaumont to allow for the individual ownership of enclosed RV storage,” Deits said. “I saw this coming in 2003 when I conceived the idea. People are going to have to control their storage costs if they are going to continue to enjoy the RV lifestyle. Owning your storage has always made sense, now more than ever.”
Deits is the developer of Eucalyptus at Beaumont, a condominium storage concept that allows for individual ownership of fully enclosed storage garages.
Ted Lamb has new plans for his shuttered car dealership in Prescott, Ariz.
The owner of Lamb Chevrolet, Cadillac and Nissan, said he’s turning it into RV storage space, The Daily Courier reported.
Construction began this past week and Lamb said the plan is to come online with about 150 spaces around June 1.
“My anticipation is that we will attract quite a few of the people that are now storing their RVs in Chino Valley or Paulden or Dewey, to store them a little closer to their home,” he said. “I mean there is no paved RV storage to my knowledge of any consequence in Prescott. It’s filling a void.”
RV owners will get a secure place to park, clean and wash their vehicles, according to Lamb, who said he intends to add covered spaces within the first 180 days.
Lamb said he is still setting his prices.
Affinity RV does not offer storage and Galpin Ford & RV offers it in outside Prescott.
Lamb said he first opened the dealership at 828 Gail Gardner Way in November 1966, where he sold Chevrolet, Oldsmobile, Cadillac, Nissan and Subaru.
He eventually took the bulk of his dealership to his Prescott Lakes Parkway lot and kept Subaru as a stand-alone franchise at Gail Gardner Way.
But Lamb chose to terminate his Subaru lease in spring 2008 after determining that it wouldn’t work as a stand-alone franchise.
Tim’s Toyota then bought the franchise about a month after that.
The Rocky View County Council has rejected by an 8-1 vote an application for an outdoor RV and watercraft storage facility, located about three miles northwest of Cochrane, Alberta, a western suburb of Calgary.
Despite its location next to the Wildcat Hills gas plant and close proximity to a major recreation area, the council on Nov. 2 deemed the 25-acre agricultural plot unsuitable for industrial storage, The Rocky View Weekly reported.
“Unfortunately, these interests don’t coincide with some of the interests for the area,” said Division 9 Councillor Paul McLean. “What we are dealing with is a gateway area, and while I considered this application, I believe this is premature.”
The applicants, Kyle and Leanne Juneau, proposed a 12-acre development at full build-out, with the first phase accommodating 160 RVs and watercraft.
The applicants argued that due to the poor agriculture land, farming in the area wouldn’t be feasible. In addition, they said the area was badly in need of storage sites to accommodate the many recreational vehicles in Cochrane and at the Ghost Lake cottage development.
“All facilities in the area are currently full,” said Kyle Juneau. “If we could give people from this area a chance to legally park their RVs, that would be a good thing.”
Juneau also argued that a minor business corridor already exists in the area between the gas plant and Ghost Lake.
Several neighbous disagreed and spoke against the proposal citing increased crime, traffic and loss of agricultural land.
“This land was purchased in a farm and ranch district and it should stay that way,” said area resident Grant McNabb. “The residents of Grand Valley … don’t want a minor business corridor stretching from Cochrane to the new city of Cochrane Lakes.”
Dorothy Edge, an area rancher, was also opposed to the redesignation.
“It’s cattle country out there. They have been farming since the 1860s,” said Edge. “It shouldn’t be approved, leave it alone.”
Division 6 Councillor Greg Boehlke cast the lone vote in favor of the rezoning, saying the land is ideally located with access to a provincial highway.
Division 2 Councillor Kim Magnuson disagreed.
“Farmers and ranchers are feeling a great amount of pressure,” said Magnuson. “I see this as just the beginning of a slippery slope.”
Reeve Rolly Ashdown said that although he doesn’t want to discourage people, this proposal was premature.
“In the future, there is probably going to be an opportunity,” said Ashdown. “I just don’t believe it is the right thing for today.”
Residents usually turn to their state government for hunting tags or boat licenses.
But to store RVs, motorcycles or boats?
Idaho just paid $2.7 million to buy Affordable Self-Storage in the sprawling suburbs southwest of Boise’s downtown with bays big enough for a motorhome – for just $226 a month, KHQ-TV, Spokane, Wash., reported.
In a bid to boost investment returns, the agency that oversees Idaho’s endowment lands to benefit public schools added the 400-plus unit warehouse storage facility in August to its stable of properties that already includes offices, parking garages and grazing land.
George Bacon, Lands Department director, says the purchase was part of efforts to build diversity into Idaho’s land portfolio.
Still, some are concerned about Idaho going into competition with the private sector and taking properties off the tax rolls.
“Initial sales have been really strong with Phase 1 and Phase 2 selling in within 48 hours. We are now in our final sales push to sell out the remaining garages,” said Ted Deits, developer of the facility.
“Prideful owners of RVs appreciate the opportunity to own their storage garage, particularly when the cost to own is less than comparable rental garages,” said Deits. ” Couple that with the endless list of amenities that come with your garage and you have a win-win situation. Eucalyptus at Beaumont won a prestigious award for the ‘Best Specialty Storage’ in the nation. That speaks volumes about the quality and features of our one off project. Once we are sold out, there will not be another for years, since construction financing had all but dried up, leaving a significant gap in this market segment.”
For more information, contact Deits at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at (714) 280-4201 or visit www.rvstorage.biz.
Arizona Senate President Bob Burns said he will make sure a bill that could unleash thousands of recreational vehicles onto the streets of Sun City and Sun City West will not make it out of the Senate, according to yourwestvalley.com, Sun City.
Burns of Peoria attended a legislative meeting at the Property Owners and Residents Association (PORA) Friday morning (March 26) along with Arizona State Sen. Jack Harper of Surprise and Reps. Judy Burges of Skull Valley and Debbie Lesko of Glendale. All are Republicans.
Burns said HB 2153, which is in the Senate Judiciary Committee, will not pass if he has any say in the matter.
“Unless it is significantly changed, I do not intend to move it forward,” he said. “I can certainly stop it in the Rules Committee.”
The bill has been kicked around for several years and comes as a response to several homeowners’ associations in Mesa, whose residents want to be able to park their RVs, campers and trailers along their city streets, said Bill Hansen, chairman of the government affairs committee for PORA.
The problem for the Sun Cities, Hansen said, is the bill would mean the county would have control currently held by the documents in both communities. Further, the 3,000 homeowners associations in the state would be able to make their own rules about the vehicles and it would be up to the county supervisors to enforce those rules — a cumbersome and needless reality, he said.
“There’s a (document) that we all sign when we buy a home in Sun City and Sun City West … this is a contract that says you can do certain things and you can’t do other things … among those, you can’t park an RV for more than three days. What the proposed law does is nullify that local contract,” he said. “It says we’re going to move this down to the county level. The county can put their own regulations in.”
“Here we have something that’s worked for half a century in Sun City and three decades in Sun City West, so why are we doing this? That’s the agreement we made that people signed when they bought their home, and we want to preserve the sanctity of the contract we made with the people.”
Hansen said there are about 4,000 RVs parked in a storage lot for Sun City residents that could potentially end up on streets in the two communities.
But the four legislators said they will continue to vote against the bill.
“I voted ‘no’ against it last year … but then it returned and I voted ‘no’ against it again. Now we’ve heard the good news from (Burns) that it looks like it will die,” Lesko said among applause from about 20 residents in attendance.
Hansen said the opposition for the bill from the four legislators is good news for residents of the Sun Cities.
“I’m elated to hear (Burns) say that,” he said. “The residents (in Sun City West) sent 650 e-mails last week opposing this … that gives a pretty strong indication how (residents) feel about it.”
Even though an old bus-turned-motorhome has been peacefully collecting dust in a dirt lot for almost a year, it’s kicking up a small cloud of controversy in Sun City, Calif.
The motorhome’s presence, albeit motionless, has upset some people enough to spark a lawsuit, according to the Riverside Press-Enterprise.
At issue is whether the motorhome, stamped with a few faded black-and-white cartoons of horn players and pianos, should be allowed to stay in Corbett Park, an RV storage lot owned by the Sun City Civic Association that sits next to an empty field on Shadel Road.
Association leaders contend the motorhome must go because they suspect it’s being used as a “band bus.”
But owner Armand Blais, the 54-year-old Sun City resident sometimes known as the “man with the red trombone,” isn’t planning on moving his beloved vehicle because he contends he hasn’t broken any Corbett Park rules. Whether the 1967 converted Crown bus is a commercial vehicle has become a sticking point in the dispute. The park rules do not make mention of commercial vehicles.
Blais said at $150 a year the storage rate is hard to beat. The last space he rented in Orange County cost him $150 a month, he said.
Blais contends that the association’s repeated efforts to oust his camper constitute harassment, and in March he filed a restraining order against association board president Tom Thurman.
“I have been not only stalked but harassed since October … to the point that my wife and I have had to move to a different home,” Blais told a Riverside County Superior Court judge in June, according to a court transcript. “And they keep calling my vehicle a band bus, Your Honor, and it’s registered by the state of California as a private motorhome. What I choose to do with my private motorhome — there are no rules under the Corbett Park rules and they’ve been threatening to tow my vehicle…”
In July a letter from the association’s attorney, Peter Racobs, demanded that Blais waive any claims against the association and that his RV immediately leave Corbett Park. After the bus didn’t budge, Racobs filed a motion that, if granted by the court, would force Blais to pay the $14,600 in attorney’s fees the association has spent on this case. The Sun City Civic Association is funded mainly by dues paid by homeowners living within a 55-and-older community known as Sun City’s “Core.”
Racobs did not return phone calls seeking comment. Thurman declined to comment on the situation.
On several occasions, Blais said he’s tried to explain to the association board that his RV may have “Armand Blais’ Orchestra” painted in red cursive on the back, but it’s a hobby not a commercial vehicle. Blais said he’s dreamt about making a living from playing his trombone in an 18-piece swing orchestra, but that hasn’t exactly happened yet.
The New Hampshire native earns his paycheck as what he calls an “advanced planner,” helping people plan out their future burial arrangements at the Miller-Jones Mortuary in Sun City.
He added that he has not taken the behemoth with the “SWNGN” license plate for an outing since November, when he and his wife camped out before volunteering to help set up Menifee’s tree-lighting ceremony.
Since then, Blais’ assortment of drums, amplifiers and other sound equipment, as well as a giant pair of 5-foot high heels used as stage decoration, have sat in silence.
Though he doesn’t like to admit it, Blais said the dispute has caused him to shy away from his musical motorhome. For one thing, he’s afraid if he takes it out for a spin, one of his legal opponents might change the locks while he’s away.
Blais admits that should he lose the dispute, he stands to lose more than $14,000. But he refuses to budge on principle.
“I survived a six-way bypass in March 2005. I didn’t survive that surgery so that people can dictate to me what I can and cannot do with my passion. That ain’t gonna happen,” he said.
The dispute, ongoing since December 2008, will be aired again before a Riverside County Superior Court judge on Friday.
Until then, Blais said, he plans to leave the RV where it’s parked, all the while hoping it can stay for the long haul.
There won’t be a business incubator at the Port of Bremerton in Bremerton, Wash., any time soon, but how about an RV storage facility for the port?
Port leaders, eager to find something that makes a little money for the port, are putting out feelers for just that, according to the Kitsap Sun.
It would be in the port’s Olympic View Industrial Park across Highway 3 from Bremerton National Airport. Three pieces of land in the park would be candidates, some large, some smaller.
The port wouldn’t get into the recreational vehicle storage business directly, but instead would enter into a business arrangement with a private party. The private party would lease land from the port and manage the facility for the port, according to information just posted on the port’s website.
Port leaders already have had talks with an RV businessman and have come away believing there are not enough RV storage facilities in the area, according to Tim Thomson, director of real estate and industrial park development for the port.
And with the port’s other business endeavors — the airport, industrial park and marinas — not breaking even, leaders hope this would at least be a step in the right direction.
“And frankly, it’s a way to generate some revenue for the port,” Thomson said, adding it wouldn’t take much money to set up.