North Ogden may soften recreational vehicle ordinance

Feb 14 2012 - 12:48am

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NORTH OGDEN -- Residents living on smaller lots are struggling to comply with the city's recreational vehicle ordinance, so the city council is considering changes that would help them.

The ordinance states that RVs cannot be parked in driveways unless they are 21 feet from the sidewalk, or they must be parked in a side yard. They can be parked in front of the house for up to only two days for loading and unloading purposes.

This creates a problem for some residents living on smaller lots.

Councilman Justin Fawson wanted to revisit the issue and the ordinance itself, as he had received complaints about residents not having enough time to load and unload their RVs.

Mayor Richard Harris, who was on the council when the ordinance was passed, said the measure was approved because there were many large RVs in the city, causing safety issues, because people couldn't see around them, as well as aesthetic issues.

Resident Edythe Kuhn approached the council about the issue because her home was built before the ordinance passed 10 years ago.

She said she and her husband have to violate the ordinance every time they use their RV and would like a variance or a change in the ordinance because other people in their neighborhood have the same problems.

"We try to be good, law-abiding citizens, but every time we bring it home, we are at risk of getting a citation," Kuhn said.

Councilwoman Cheryl Stoker said there should be some leeway to the ordinance so residents who have no possibility of complying won't have to worry about being cited every time they use a boat or RV.

Councilmen Wade Bigler and Dave Hulme each referred to the idea of allowing driveway parking and lessening the setback.

Changing the setback to 10 feet instead of 21 feet was suggested.

"It seems more dangerous on the street than in the driveway," Bigler said of RV parking.

He also believes it is better to have RVs parked on private property instead of on the city street, especially the larger RVs, because they can impede the view of drivers.

Hulme agreed and said safety should always be a higher priority than aesthetics.

Bigler moved to send the ordinance back to the planning commission for further review.

The commission will start to review the ordinance Wednesday. A public hearing will be held on the matter after the it makes a recommendation. Building inspector Gary Kerr said he had instructed the code enforcement officer not to cite any residents until the council and planning commission have revisited the issue.

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