Campground operators in Jamestown, N.D., want the city to outlaw free overnight camping for recreational vehicles at the Wal-Mart parking lot, city parks and elsewhere, according to an Associated Press report.
Following complaints from area park owners, the Police Committee voted unanimously to recommend that the City Council draft an ordinance to regulate RV parking.
Charlie Tanata, owner of a 60-space campground, addressed the committee about the number of RVs staying in the Wal-Mart parking lot each night. He said the practice hurts business at private campgrounds and that the local mall outlawed overnight parking after hearing complaints from operators.
“We asked Wal-Mart to do the same and they laughed at us,” Tanata said.
John Schafer, Wal-Mart manager, said the company’s policy is to allow overnight RV camping on its parking lots, which has become a point of contention with campground owners nationwide.
“Sam Walton allowed it as a convenience to the public,” Schafer said. “We appreciate the business they bring to us.”
The campers are monitored and encouraged not to spend more than a night or two in the parking lot, Schafer said, and that RVers also are expected to clean up the parking lot before they leave.
“We want to be a good neighbor and do what is right for the people of Jamestown. We’re there for the convenience of our customers,” Schafer said.