By Chuck Woodbury
When I am not traveling I keep my motorhome parked by the side of my house on a level gravel surface created especially for it. It’s behind a solid wooden fence, which conceals all but the top of it from passersby on the sidewalk and street. I love having the RV there, to escape to when I want some quiet time or to write.
The reason I bring this up is a TV segment aired in Palm Beach, Florida, the other day about RVers who store their RVs in a similar fashion now being told they can’t keep them there anymore.
John Baker of North Palm Beach keeps his RV in his back yard. He received a letter recently telling him it was not in compliance with a village ordinance. At 11 feet tall, it’s too high. The maximum height allowed is 10 feet.
The ordinance says the RV needs to be completely concealed on all sides, even though fences can only be eight feet tall. Baker has a solid fence surrounding the RV, but you can still see the top of the vehicle from the street. “I don’t know (how I’m supposed to comply with this),” Baker said. “Move it. That’s what they want.”
He took his concerns to a village council meeting. Another 15 RVers were on hand.
Village manager Andy Lukasik said there had been an ordinance about RV storage on the books for almost 50 years, but it was only occasionally enforced. He said they began enforcing it after receiving complaints from other residents.
The village council ended the discussion by saying it would take Baker’s concerns, and those of other RVers, under advisement. For now, Baker’s RV is parked illegally.
When I hear something like this I wonder if the same thing could happen to me. It would be a big deal. RV storage is hard to find in the Seattle area, and it costs $150 to $200 or so to keep it in a place if you can find one. I might have to store it 10 or 20 miles away.
As more and more low-income people move into old, beat up RVs to live, and then park them on residential streets, the chatter in city governments is increasingly louder about placing RV parking restrictions in place. I can envision something like what has happened to John Baker happening to me. I would not be a happy camper.