Parking ordinances - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-21-2009, 12:07 PM   #1
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The city I live in has an ordinance against parking campers in your own driveway. I found this out the hard way, of course. The ordinance states the camper cannot be in the front of your house- well, that's where my driveway is. It can be parked on the side of the house- however, I do not have enough property on the side of my house to do that. Which means I also cannot get the camper to the backyard- which is also allowed.

I find it absurd that I have the room in my driveway on property I supposedly own, but my little egg is considered a "maintenance violation". It does not interfere with sightlines and none of my neighbors have complained. Just the ordinance police driving buy and deciding to cite me for it.

Anyone been successful fighting city hall on such a thing?
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Old 11-21-2009, 12:26 PM   #2
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Actually, I'm one of those people who like's these kinds of ordinances.. please don't flame me. We too have this ordinance in some areas in Portland and it was put in place to stop (or slow) urban blight. It would be nice if all trailers folks wanted to park in their own driveways were shiny and well-kept, but the fact is, a lot are just pieces of falling apart junk.

I once lived across the street from a rental home. On one side of that house was a motorhome that never moved and on the other a boat that never saw water (except pouring down on it!). Eventually the neighbors covered both with not-well-tied down blue tarps (oh goody, now look was I get to see everyday!). There are no gray areas. You can either park, or not. The ordinance doesn't say... only if well-kept and used for its intended purpose... camping. Some folks would use it as a permanent guest room and never wash the exterior until it was slimy green and black.

I invite anyone who parks a trailer on their property to go to the neighbors and look back at your own house. This is what the neighbors see everyday of the week. I hope you are a good neighbor.

BTW: Liz, what didn't work in one jurisdiction may work in another. All you can do is try.
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Old 11-21-2009, 12:30 PM   #3
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Liz, I soooooooooo agree with Donna! The problem being is though your's fit's well in your driveway and doesn't create a unsightly mess, there are other homeowners that would push the boundaries and move in 2,3,4,5 more unsightly rv's, old cars etc. So I can understand why there are guidelines. We may not like the guidelines but they are there for the protection of homeowners. Can you fight city hall, sure! Would your fight be successful? But if it were to be, understand you may open up a can of worms that in the end wouldn't protect "you" as a homeowner. You might get a neighbor that is a junk yard. (happened to my In-laws neighbor hood, it took years to get rid of the "junk man") with thousands of complaints by all the neighbors. And I mean thousands! The guy opened a automotive business in a subdivision. My in-laws lived across the street, and the guy was crazy, so they tried to stay nuetral. But one neighbor whom complained the most had their lawn ruined (pretty sure it was the crazy guy! he poured gas on the neighbors lawn and basically intimidated them to shut them up) It truly took years to get him out of there. And their home prices were affected by this one house. And this was in an older custom home neighborhood. So I guess what I am trying to say, is be careful what you wish for.................


Could you get your trailer in the back yard if you had a gate to get thru? Or is there shrubs, trees blocking access? Cause since your neighbors don't seem to have an issue with your trailer, maybe they would allow you to put in access to your yard even though it may mean driving on their property.
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Old 11-21-2009, 12:37 PM   #4
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Actually, I'm one of those people who like's these kinds of ordinances.. please don't flame me. We too have this ordinance in some areas in Portland and it was put in place to stop (or slow) urban blight. It would be nice if all trailers folks wanted to park in their own driveways were shiny and well-kept, but the fact is, a lot are just pieces of falling apart junk.

I once lived across the street from a rental home. On one side of that house was a motorhome that never moved and on the other a boat that never saw water (except pouring down on it!). Eventually the neighbors covered both with not-well-tied down blue tarps (oh goody, now look was I get to see everyday!). There are no gray areas. You can either park, or not. The ordinance doesn't say... only if well-kept and used for its intended purpose... camping. Some folks would use it as a permanent guest room and never wash the exterior until it was slimy green and black.

I invite anyone who parks a trailer on their property to go to the neighbors and look back at your own house. This is what the neighbors see everyday of the week. I hope you are a good neighbor.

BTW: Liz, what didn't work in one jurisdiction may work in another. All you can do is try.
For the record, it is well mantained- the house, the property and the camper.
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Old 11-21-2009, 12:59 PM   #5
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I don't think Donna was saying you don't care for your home etc, I just think she was saying that some others don't take pride in their homes and stuff and it can become a eyesore for the rest of the neighborhood.

So thats why she as well as myself understand/like city ordinances. That way the city can maintain some sense of control over the hoarders of the world. ( have you watched that program?) Not saying you live like that, I am just saying that if they (the city) "let you" the homeowner who takes pride in their things to do it, they would have to allow the ones who don't, the same privilege. Yes, those of us who take pride in ownership are penilized for those who don't. But at least your city allows it on the side as well as the backyard. Our old subdivision hoa didn't allow them to be parked for more than 4 days in the neighbor hood (period) I actually love it, and that's why I bought there. And frankly it was a great selling point.
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Old 11-21-2009, 01:07 PM   #6
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It can be parked on the side of the house- however, [b]I do not have enough property on the side of my house to do that. Which means I also cannot get the camper to the backyard- which is also allowed.

Anyone been successful fighting city hall on such a thing?
I speculate that you could wind up spending a LOT of money on attorney fees and still loose. This may wind up costing money no matter how you approach it, so I think you must brainstorm an approach that might actually succeed...

There may be more than one way to approach this.
  • Are you on a straight block or a cul-de-sac?
  • Do you have neighbors on both sides?
  • What is behind your property?
  • How much space is there from your house to your property line?
  • How much space is there from your house to your neighbor's house?

My sister had a similar situation. Her driveway led to an attached garage at the side of her house. There wasn't any obstruction behind or above it, so she remodeled the garage with taller doors on BOTH the front and back, so she could drive through it to store her travel trailer in the back yard. This may not work for you...

If there is adequate space between your house and your neighbor's house, you might offer to buy an easement across their property to access your back yard. It might be beneficial for both of you... you could make a deal to create a common easement for both properties so both of you could access each of your yards.

Sometimes when you feel backed into a corner, you gotta think outside the box.
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Old 11-21-2009, 04:07 PM   #7
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Interesting. Frankly, I am a little surprised at these viewpoints from those who are trailer owners themselves.
Thanks for the perspective.

Took the Burro this afternoon to an RV dealership to store it. I just have a property situation without any reasonable options- unless you consider driving through your nieghbors back yard an option--after you remove some of their fence posts and cut down a few trees

But I guess I could move!

Thanks for the comments and suggestions!
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Old 11-21-2009, 04:42 PM   #8
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Hi Liz,

I'm of the opposite opinion. I say let people do whatever they want to, and IF it is a problem (unkempt, fifteen trailers, etc.) THEN issue them a citation. But don't punish the person who wants one, small, well kept camper in their driveway (I mean, how is that different than one more car?).

Note that the eyesores Donna was complaining about *would* have been allowed in your neighborhood, because they were beside the house.

I just don't see punishing the good people because of a few slackers. Seems like people just being too lazy or afraid of drawing a line, so they punish everyone.

I could see perhaps having a rule that anything in your driveway has to be registered and road-worthy. The type of people who have ten rusting clunkers in their driveway aren't going to have them all registered and passing inspection, you can bet.

Of course all of this is why I can't live in a city, but instead live out where I (or my neighbors) can have a neat or messy place, as they see fit. But the more people living in close proximity, the more you need rules, I guess.

Your situation just reminds me of grade school, when we'd all have our recess taken away because the bully did something wrong. I mean come on, how were we going to be able to change that guy's behavior? And why punish us, who were being good? I always felt the teacher should have gone to the trouble to punish just the bully instead.

Okay, got that off my chest! I think Frederick has some good ideas. I particularly like the two-garage-door one! Tricky and effective!
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Old 11-21-2009, 04:56 PM   #9
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Some of these laws can become somewhat snobby.

I know of some locations where a pickup truck, no matter how new, shiny and expensive can not be parked in the street, driveway, or in sight.

America, land of the free, home of the brave.
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Old 11-21-2009, 06:51 PM   #10
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LizP you live in a snobby town.
That trailer is beautiful, I know my neighbor looked at it every day for years and never complained even when it was filthy.
It's possible to get 8" 4 bolt wheels for it and maybe sneak it into the garage. I know that's a pain to change the wheels just to park it and I would hate to do it myself. But I also would rather have it near me so I could work on it whenever I wanted. If I was in your place I probably would bite the bullet and change the wheels. ( measure first to see if it would work)

Maybe you could come up with something with the neighbor like was mentioned before.

Where there's a will there's a way. Keep thinking about it.
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Old 11-21-2009, 07:26 PM   #11
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In the city of Grand Prairie its not the homeowners that have a problem, it's the realestate agents. They believe that home resale prices suffer anywhere someone parks a RV at their home.

Their complaint caused me to be cited for parking my Casita in my back yard behind a six foot fence.

I told the manager of the city inspection department that he would have to come to my property and explain why is was cited. He came and showed me a copy of a city ordinace that I wasn't cited for. I told him that he would have to give me a citation that referenced the correct ordinance or I wouldn't do anything. It took three days for him to come back with a citation and a copy of the correct ordinance.

As a result I no longer park my Casita, out of sight, behind my fence, but parked beside my driveway in full view of all my neighbors and anyone driving by. Go figure.

Also, I told the manager of the inspection department that his subordinates should be more proactive in enforcing the code. He responded by saying he did not know what 'proactive' meant. I told him that when I drive the 6 miles of city streets from my house to his office I counted 25 ordinance violations. I ask why they don't cite these homeowners. His response was they only give citations when someone files a complaint. He told me it was the real estate agent that was trying to sell a house four lots away from mine. Go figure.
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Old 11-21-2009, 08:28 PM   #12
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I would park the trailer in the garage then buy a 1994 impala, sandblast it , dent every fender, paint the wheels 4 different colors and park it in the driveway.
When the complaints started I would simply ask...
" Which one would you rather I put in the garage?? "

Have you considered installing a garage door on the back of your garage to access the backyard?
Or you could buy a cover and swear it's a van![lol]

I know a guy who stacked his fireplace wood in the shape of a VW, then placed his custom car cover over it, just to illustrate the irony of not allowing an unregistered car to be parked on private property.

I served 13 years on our village board and had to deal with abandoned and disabled vehicles on several occasions , in that town , you could have farm equipment , trailers campers , etc behind your garage , but not a perfectly good unregistered car....Go figure!

It is wise to remember that you cannot vote to diminish your neighbor's liberties without ultimately sacrificing your own.
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Old 11-21-2009, 08:37 PM   #13
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You've got some classic ideas there, Floyd
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Old 11-21-2009, 09:03 PM   #14
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I'm with you, Liz, I don't think anyone should dictate what kind of vehicle you park in your own driveway. My sister lived in a subdivision once that required a garage for every car. That makes some sense... except they didn't require that you actually parked the car in the garage! So my sister and her hubby built a nice garage and turned it into a storeroom. Crazy.

Our city has a stupid ordnance that requires garbage and recycling bins be stored out of sight except on pickup days. Out of sight doesn't just mean when viewed from the front- they have to be covered from view on both sides as well. As a result, I no longer provide a green waste can for the yard guys as I have no place to store it out of sight (garbage and recycling are in the garage and have to be moved when I want to get the trailer out.) Mine used to sit very neatly by the garage door and not a soul ever complained.

When I see ridiculous laws like these enforced then I figure the municipality does not need any more money so vote no on anything that might either buy more enforcement or generate more tax money.
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