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City to revisit trailer parking; Meeting focuses on RV, boat limits

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Greenwood will take another look at rules about where to park boats and recreational vehicles that some residents have criticized as a restriction on their freedom and others have praised as a way to protect property values.

The Greenwood City Council has been considering new restrictions on where people can park their boats and campers, similar to those that many homeowners associations already have. But the council decided to table the proposal and have a special meeting on it.

Council members said they needed more time to review proposed restrictions that would keep residents from parking boats, trailers, campers and recreational vehicles in front of their houses for any more than two days at a time. Those rules are aimed at improving the city’s appearance and boosting property values, council member Ron Bates said.

The council is considering whether boats, campers and recreational vehicles can be parked on driveways or concrete pads, or whether they should be restricted to the back half of driveways. They also are looking at limiting the length of vehicles that can be parked outside homes, which would require residents to move their campers or recreational vehicles into storage.

At a glance

Greenwood is considering new restrictions for parking boats, campers, travel trailers, recreational vehicles and commercial vehicles outside homes. Greenwood City Council members are debating issues such as whether vehicles up to 40 feet long can be parked on a driveway or concrete pad. Here’s a look at what was originally proposed:

No more than one commercial vehicle parked in front of a home.

Ban commercial vehicles used for hauling explosives, gas, chemicals or liquefied petroleum products from being parked in residential areas.

Require that mobile homes be parked or stored only in mobile home parks, sales lots or trailer storage areas.

Limit homeowners to keeping no more than one camper, travel trailer or recreational vehicle parked on a property, provided it does not exceed 32 feet in length or 8 feet in width.

Require that campers, travel trailers, recreational vehicles and boats be parked or stored at a house for no more than 48 hours unless located behind the front yard building line of the home.

People cannot live or sleep for more than 15 days in campers, travel trailers, or recreational vehicles parked at homes.

Recreational vehicles and motor homes can’t be parked on the street for more than 48 hours, and towed campers or travel trailers can’t be parked on the street at all unless hitched to a vehicle and then for no more than 48 hours.

No more than one boat or boat trailer is allowed per home, provided the boat is no longer than 24 feet and no wider than 8 feet.

Boats and boat trailers cannot be parked on the street or within 10 feet of the street.

Homeowners can have no more than one utility or hauling trailer per home and cannot park it at a house for more than 48 hours unless it’s located behind the front yard building line.

Six residents spoke Monday about the suggested regulations. Four said the city should try to protect property values, while two said they wanted the freedom to park their boats or RVs wherever they chose.

Bates said he proposed the out-of-sight-parking rules to protect property values in older neighborhoods that didn’t have active homeowners associations. Council members had wanted to change the proposal so that the vehicles could be allowed as long as they were parked on a driveway or concrete pad.

If approved, Greenwood’s regulations would supersede less stringent homeowners association rules that dictate where boats and RVs can be parked, council member Brent Corey said. Newer subdivisions with active homeowners associations could choose to pursue more stringent rules, but Greenwood’s new regulations would serve as the base or default, he said.

The council unanimously approved tabling the proposal until it has a special meeting to consider amendments, such as that people be allowed to park only one boat, RV or trailer on a property.

Council members are trying to decide whether to allow boats, campers and recreational vehicles to be parked on the front of driveways and whether they could be up to 40 feet long. They also are considering how those vehicles should be parked on corner lots if they aren’t allowed in front of homes.

At the previous council meeting, residents questioned whether new boat and RV regulations would be fair to all property owners, because some could be forced to spend hundreds of dollars to put their vehicles

in storage.

Resident Carolyn Sweet said that RVs weren’t the only thing that could drag down property values. She said residents should recognize that the economy and other factors drag down property values as well.

On Monday, other residents said driveways weren’t storage yards, that huge RVs parked in front of houses drag down property values by as much as 25 percent and that the city could relieve people of the burden of tattling to the homeowners association about neighbors and spare the associations the cost of suing.

Resident Harry DePledge said that Greenwood should restrict boat and RV owners from parking their vehicles in the front of their homes, or property values would suffer. He said he feared residents would park the vehicles wherever they wanted, including on the street.

DePledge said the city should try to preserve property values. He was concerned that property values have fallen along certain stretches of Main Street where the property hasn’t been kept up, he said.

The council will consider what to do at a special meeting but hasn’t scheduled it yet.

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