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Blog: The Problems With Carlsbad's Proposed RV Ordinance

The proposed city ordinance doesn't go far enough to safeguard the attractiveness, health and safety of our neighborhoods.

At its January 29 meeting, the city council will vote on a new ordinance that would offer free parking permits for recreational vehicles for up to 144 days a year for a resident, 18 days for an out of town visitor. According to the draft proposal, the new law is intended to respond to "an increase in complaints regarding the parking and /or storage of Oversized Vehicles." As one who's complained about how often they've put my safety at risk by blocking the view of oncoming traffic on side streets, my response to the proposed law is, don't do me any favors.

Eliminating permanent RV parking will definitely be a big improvement. But this proposal will wind up being costly to taxpayers and is weakened by attempting to accommodate motor home owners. It may be better to start over again.

Here are its two major problems.

1. Parking permits will allow a resident to park an oversized vehicle for four periods of up to 72 hours per calendar month, making it possible for an RV to be parked in front of an owner's house every weekend year-round. Out of town guests of residents may be granted permits for up to six periods per year of up to 72 hours each, an additional 18 days, bringing the yearly total to 162 days of allowable curbside parking. City streets may become slightly safer for drivers and less trashy by getting rid of permanent parking, but the visual blight will remain.

2. Among the reasons listed for denying a parking permit for up to one year include a two-strikes provision that penalizes an applicant who has violated the parking time limits two or more times, as well as out-of-town visitors who are "not a guest of the applicant." There's no definition of who qualifies as a "guest." The new law will either increase the burden on compliance code officers or will be left mostly unenforced, creating more of the complaints city leaders want to reduce.

I'm guessing it will be the latter, since permits will be free and the cost of assuring compliance has not been addressed. Stepping up compliance enforcement without a parking permit fee is likely to mean the costs will be borne by city taxpayers.

Although the ordinance is well-intentioned, it's far too lenient to make much of a difference to those who share my complaints about RV parking. Seems to me the hulking eyesores will continue to be as obstructive and detrimental to the attractiveness of the city's neighborhoods as they are now.

Here's the link to the draft proposal to see for yourself: http://tinyurl.com/bd7ry6z

Richard J. Riehl writes from La Costa. Contact him at fogcutter1@yahoo.com

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

richard shapiro January 16, 2013 at 07:08 PM
Mr. Riehl's comments are more of the same invidious and dangerous nonsense that bilges from arrogant imbeciles who very, very unfortunately know how to put their shallow thinking and world into very precise, well formulated, well spelled sentences and paragraphs, fooling of course the top 90 percent of our population who live at the same self-centered tiny level. Packaging is eveything to fool the foolish, and Mr. Riehl's comments proves this yet again to a tee. The proposed overnight RV ban issue in Carlsbad is the same filth that has washed almost across this entire state to date. It's cities who can't face the simple facts and realities of life. The fact is, there are nearly 150,000 homeless in this state. Yet, the biggest country in the country, LA, makes it a misdemeanor to sleep, rest, be anywhere near your car if you are homeless, but it's perfectly legal to sleep on the sidewalk. In Carlsbad, you can sleep on the sidewalk, but you can't have a sleeping bag with you, that's illegal paraphernalia. This state, and country, is so f-ked up it's not even funny. Yet we claim to be the most generous, human, "Christ-like" people on the planet. Oh really? I can't laugh that hard. For the real deal on all of this, please call someone not afraid to face the hard, cold, sometime hdeously ugly facts of life, Richard Shapiro, 760 681-4926, buzz1857@yahoo.com
Teresa January 23, 2013 at 02:13 AM
Thanks for introducing this topic and letting us know, so we could weigh in. I don't see why we can't have a civil debate, even if we disagree. My two cents: If the RVs are vehicles used for leisure activities/vacationing, I think the owners should be storing their RVs in their own driveways, and when they vacation, they should park in a campground or get a visitor pass. If the RVs are sole homes for "urban campers" or "vehicle dwellers" who are living in their RVs on residential streets, I think we should be doing something to address affordable housing issues and work on the root causes of homelessness. As neighbors, we should be educating ourselves about the hidden homeless in our community and helping out the homeless service providers in the area. With regard to the 72-hour ordinance, I think it is fair -- even lenient, if you consider Riverside's 24-hour ordinance.

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