Greeley (Colo.) City Council members made a lot of RV owners happy when they voted recently to reject a set of proposed RV parking rule changes.
However, the council agreed to continue looking for ways to balance the wishes of RV owners as well as residents such as Jerry Truesdell, 66, who said he thinks RVs are ugly and doesn’t want them parked in his neighborhood.
Council members have spent months trying to figure out what to do about a city rule that restricts where RVs can be parked.
Weeks ago, the council gave initial approval to a proposed set of changes that many RV owners said were even more restrictive than the original law.
At the hearing Tuesday (May 20), the level of passion and organization among Greeley RV owners was crystal clear.
About 200 people showed up to hear the council’s discussion. Some, including retired Greeley police officer Dick Palmisano, 67, presented arguments against the proposed changes.
Palmisano said the motorhome he parks on the side of his house is perfectly legal under current rules. But under new rules the council considered, Palmisano would have had to build a storage shed or park the motorhome off-site because it’s so big.
The rules the council considered would have required RVs larger than 27 feet long and 13 feet high to be stored in an enclosed structure.
Others, such as Greeley resident Dick Spitler, 48, had objections to the parking proposal that were not RV-related. Part of the proposal would have expanded city rules related to work-truck parking.
But a majority of council members agreed the work-truck issue and the proposed RV parking changes were not what the council was hoping for when it began scrutinizing the rules.
RV owners asked the city to reconsider the parking rules in the fall when the city issued a slew of parking violations after years of sporadic enforcement that was mostly complaint-driven.
Councilman Carlos Leal got a round of applause and cheers from the audience when he made a motion for the council to deny the proposed changes. Council members Debbie Pilch, Don Feldhaus, Carrol Martin and Mayor Jerry Wones backed the motion.
But the council agreed to keep looking for a solution to the parking quandary because they believed what’s on the books today was unacceptable. Several RV owners suggested the city consider forming a task force to come up with proposals for adjusting the ordinance. Council members said they would consider that at a later date.
But councilmen Ed Phillipsen and Harry Felderman said they were concerned that, by turning down the proposed changes, the city would be starting from scratch again.
The two said they would prefer to continue the discussion rather than deny the proposed changes and start fresh.
But other council members said the hours city staff, residents and the council have invested were not a waste because the information would help guide future decisions.
In the meantime, the council told city staff to not write tickets to owners of RVs parked illegally under current laws but aren’t posing a safety hazard.
Most council members said that in the end there should be some rules for parking RVs, just not the ones the City Council has seen so far.
“This ordinance is a terrible, awful ordinance, and it deserves to die,” Wones said of the proposed changes.