A standing-room-only crowd of about 150 Hurst, Tex., residents packed the City Council chambers earlier this week to protest a proposed tightening of the city’s rules on where oversized vehicles can park, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
After more than two hours of listening to residents complain, Mayor Bill Souder promised the council would not take action until staff members further studied how the proposed changes would affect people.
“We called a public hearing to receive citizen input, and I believe we got it,” Souder said.
The proposed amendment would prohibit residents from parking their RVs, boats, travel trailers and motorhomes in the 10-foot city-owned easement that lies between the curb and the homeowner’s property line.
That possibility has some longtime residents such as Jim McMullen threatening to make some drastic changes. McMullen, who owns an RV and has lived in Hurst for 37 years, said he’d move if the ordinance passed.
“I’ve got over $100,000 worth of equipment,” McMullen told the council. “I’m not a happy camper.”
Hurst officials said the ordinance was written to address safety concerns because the vehicles block visibility and sidewalks, forcing children and pedestrians into the street.
Not true, many RV owners said.
“How many times has a child been hurt because they walked up a street where an oversized vehicle was parked?” RV owner Bill Allred asked.
Other residents accused the council of taking a follow-the-leader approach to the issue because several surrounding cities have recently adopted similar restrictions.
Charles Rovell, a 24-year Hurst resident, was the only speaker to support the proposed changes. Rovell said the restrictions would be a good start to resolving any safety issues.
“I’m the only person here that doesn’t own an RV,” Rovell said. “We need to let people that aren’t represented here tonight have a say in this.”