The Carlsbad City Council has directed staff to draft a new ordinance that would restrict overnight parking of recreational and oversized vehicles citywide, to cut down on overnight camping on city streets.
Although overnight camping on city streets is already illegal, the City of Carlsbad Police Department has limited tools to address these complaints and dedicates a lot of time responding to the negative effects of overnight parking and camping.
In a workshop on Tuesday, Oct. 16, the Council directed staff to draft an ordinance that would prohibit overnight parking of RVs within the City of Carlsbad between the hours of 2 a.m. and 5 a.m. The ordinance would include exceptions to accommodate the needs of city residents and guests.
“The City of Carlsbad wants to continue to allow residents and tourists the ability to enjoy our great coastal weather and attractions in their recreational and oversized vehicles during the day,” City of Carlsbad Deputy Director of Transportation Bryan Jones said. But he noted that the practice of camping overnight in RVs on city streets results in many problems and complaints.
“Some RV users are negatively affecting our quality of life. We are now following other jurisdictions that have such ordinances,” Jones said. Some other coastal cities restrict overnight parking by RVs and have introduced parking permits to address the problem.
The Council directed staff to include three exceptions in the proposed ordinance to accommodate city residents and visitors who own RVs. Those are as follows:
- Yearly Residential Permit: City of Carlsbad residents who own an RV could apply for a yearly no-fee permit to park their vehicle on a public street at their residence for up to 72 hours. This would allow owners to load and unload vehicles before and after a trip. To reduce negative effects on neighbors, residents would be limited to four such three-day allowances within a 30-day period. Permit holders would be expected to abide by the terms of the permit at the risk of losing them.
- Temporary 72 Hour Permit: Carlsbad residents could apply for a temporary permit to allow a guest to park an RV on a public street at their residence. This no-fee permit would allow a specific RV to park at the residence for up to three consecutive nights.
- Commercial Property Permit: Hotels or motels could allow guests to park RVs next to these inns on public streets if the RV cannot be accommodated in the property’s parking lot. The city would issue each hotel and motel reusable permits that they can give to guests. This exception would apply only while the RV occupants are paying guests of the hotel or motel.
Jones said the vast majority of RV owners are law-abiding, and they recognize that one of the costs of owning an oversize vehicle includes storage, either on one’s private property or in a storage facility. He said the ordinance isn’t meant to discourage RV owners from visiting Carlsbad, and pointed out that South Carlsbad State Beach and private campgrounds have space for residents and tourists in RVs.
Based on today’s direction, city staff will introduce a draft ordinance to the City Council at an upcoming meeting.
Following its introduction, the City Council will consider the ordinance for adoption at the meeting following its introduction. Ordinances go into effect 30 days following adoption. Meeting agendas are posted on the city website and at City Hall the Friday before a Tuesday evening meeting.
–City of Carlsbad
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