The Redmond, Wash., City Council approved RV parking restrictions last week that led the East Side Journal, a suburban Seattle newspaper, to declare, “Snowbirds are on notice: Keep the nests hidden.”
Passage of the ordinance was triggered by complaints about RVs obstructing neighborhood views and sidewalks. The measure requires owners to stow their RVs behind or to the side of their homes, and in such a way as to make a minimal visual impact on the neighborhood.
Current RV owners have two years to comply with the new regulations, but new owners need to do so immediately.
According to Washington Department of Licensing figures, 234 motorhomes, 260 travel trailers and 81 campers are registered within the zip code 98052, which includes almost all of Redmond and some parts of unincorporated King County to the north. Those numbers do not include vehicles such as boat trailers, which also are affected by the ordinance.
The intention of the ordinance is not to ban RVs outright or banish them from sight, but rather to set certain designated places on residential property where they can be stored, said Sarah Stiteler, a senior planner with the city who drew up the regulations. “If those places do not work, it needs to be stored elsewhere,” she said.
The ordinance contains a number of guidelines for storing RVs, including:
• Vehicles should be operable, clean and in a well-kept state.
• RVs parked on residential properties must be on the side or back of the residence, and must be screened from view with fencing or trees if they are not parked perpendicular to the street or nearest right-of-way.
• Vehicles should not intrude into rights-of-way or access easements such as sidewalks, or obstruct visibility from adjacent driveways.
• Vehicles cannot be parked on waterfronts, slopes greater than 15%, in designated open spaces or recreational areas, sensitive areas, buffers or flood areas.
There was no debate by the council prior to passage of the ordinance because, as Council President Richard Cole said, there was little opposition to it.
“It’s not as restrictive as Bellevue’s (another Seattle suburb). That was not its intention,’” Cole said.