Residents complained that Greenwood went too far with proposed rules about where they can park their boats or campers, and the city is considering backing off the regulations.
Boat owners and recreational vehicle enthusiasts objected to some of the rules, and the Greenwood City Council approved changes that would let people park an RV, boat or trailer in front of their home, as long as it’s in a driveway or on a concrete pad.
Council members plan to discuss the proposed changes at their next meeting in two weeks, when the proposal comes up for final approval.
Greenwood has been considering barring residents from parking boats, trailers, campers and recreational vehicles in front of their houses for more than two days. The restrictions are aimed at improving the city’s appearance and boosting property values.
Residents also have complained about having to look out the window and have their view blocked by large boats or RVs, council member Linda Gibson said.
Homeowners associations could continue to impose stricter rules if they chose, council member Brent Corey said. The proposed rules, however, would apply to everyone in the city, including residents who live in older neighborhoods without homeowner associations.
Council members voted unanimously Wednesday to approve changes, such as allowing people to park the vehicles in front of their homes as long as they’re on a driveway or a concrete pad and don’t block the sidewalk. Changes also would require people to register the vehicles and display the proper plates and allow them to have boats or RVs up to 40 feet long.
Corey and council member Mike Campbell said the changed rules still would address issues such as people parking campers on their front lawns but would not penalize people who want to park boats on corner lots or invest in landscaped concrete pads.
Four residents spoke at this week’s meeting to object to the original proposals, which they said would have infringed on their property rights. Valle Vista resident Hank Jacoby said the rules wouldn’t have allowed him to park his RV anywhere on his corner lot, and he would have been forced to spend thousands of dollars a year to keep it in storage.
“I’ve been a citizen here for 12 years and kept up my property, kept my lawn mowed and kept it looking nice,” he said. “I’m a veteran who served for 26 years and get a little defensive when it comes to losing rights and freedoms as a property owner.”
Resident Frances Kessler said there would be widespread public outrage if people across the city were forced to put their boats or RVs in storage.
Not everyone who can afford a boat also can afford to pay for monthly storage, she said. Local storage lots also could fill up and run out of space if people couldn’t keep them at home because of too restrictive rules.
“You’re going to make it more difficult for the average Joe Blow to take his family out for the weekend to have fun with his boat or RV,” he said. “They’d had these boy toys for years and won’t like not being able to park them in their own driveways.”