This past week council voted 4 -2 (with 1 absence) to adopt amendments to the City Code of Ordinances regarding parking regulations on public right of ways for recreational vehicles and trailers. This amendment will not be in effect until August 1, 2019.
The new ordinance reads as follows:
Now, for those of you who have followed this blog since last year, you may remember this first coming up at a Planning and Zoning Commission meeting back in Dec. 2018 in response to over 120 calls over the last few years to the City and Police Department regarding complaints on parked recreational vehicles and trailers on public residential streets (none of which were commercial). Since then, I've seen this amendment discussed at 2 more P and Z meetings, 3 city council work sessions, and 2 council meetings. During our 30 day public comment period the city received a total of 55 submissions, with 30 in favor of the proposed changes and 25 opposed. I also had numerous residents speak to me directly about the issue.
After attending all the P and Z meetings regarding this amendment, carefully reviewing the language myself, and taking into consideration all of the comments we've received, I decided to vote in favor the proposed parking amendment for the following three reasons;
At it's heart, the purpose of this amendment is to increase public safety. Cars leaving driveways, and cyclists enjoying our beautiful town, and children playing in their neighborhoods can all be hidden from the sight of passing motorists by a trailer parked on a public right of way. Additionally, first responders, police, fire fighters, as well as public services (like trash pick-up), maybe inhibited or all together blocked from an emergency due to the small residential streets being crowded by recreational vehicles.
Code Enforcement Policy
The City of Sierra Vista has a very reasonable, complaint-based code enforcement policy. If residents report long term RV or trailer parking on a residential public roadway, the code enforcement officers will now be able to investigate and cite those found parking more than 5 cumulative days within a 30 day period, however if no complaint is lodged there will be no enforcement of this amendment. Furthermore, the code enforcement officers typically will not simply cite the owners, but instead will reach out to them to get more information on why the RV or trailer has been parked in the street, and what/when the plan is to move it in order to reach compliance without penalty.
Input from the Public
Ultimately, I want my vote to reflect the opinion of the people I represent. And of all the public input the council received, the majority were in favor of the amendment.
If you have any questions regarding the new parking amendment or my decision to vote for it, you can reach me at email@example.com.