2008-07-10 / Community
RV owners need permit under new law
The Calabasas City Council has changed its RV parking ordinance- again.
The new ordinance requires RV owners to obtain a permit if they wish to park their oversized vehicles on public streets for up to 72 hours. The ordinance passed 32, with Councilmembers Barry Groveman and James Bozajian voting against it.
A previous version of the law- which was approved after the City Council heard residents speak in opposition to RVs in local neighborhoods- limited the parking to 24 hours. A later revision allowed 72 hours of parking but no permit was required, making enforcement difficult.
"The difficulty you have with the current 72-hour ordinance is that, in order to enforce this ordinance code, you must in effect have an enforcement officer show up to the site (where) the vehicle is parked for three consecutive days to document it's presence," Community Development Director Maureen Tamuri said. "There are hundreds of these vehicles in the city, and you have two code enforcement officers."
Tamuri said the permits would "greatly help" in enforcement.
"The permit process we're envisioning will be very simple," Tamuri said. "You can call or e-mail or fax in a description of vehicle, and we'd identify it as a vehicle which would not be ticketed."
The council decided against a previously approved 24hour restriction after RV enthusiasts voiced their objection.
"I park my RV in a storage facility, and it stays there for a long time," said resident Larry Dubin. "To prepare for a trip I have to charge six batteries, and that typically cannot be done in that period of time. To pack the RV up for the family, to get enough toys in there, to pack the food, 24 hours is simply not long enough."
Bridgette Hirshfield said her family moved to Declaration Avenue in Calabasas in 1972 because it was not in a gated community and not governed by a homeowners association.
"We are RV enthusiasts," Hirshfield said. "We live by the law. We would like to see the existing three-day rule (upheld). To ask us to abide by a 24hour rule is absolutely impossible. You can't load, charge and get an RV ready in 24 hours. To ask a taxpaying citizen to get a permit to park a registered vehicle when we are considerate of our neighbors is absurd."
In past hearings, residents had complained about people moving their vehicles throughout the neighborhood in order to skirt the law.
"The comments that were made at the last hearing were that people were playing hopscotch with their RVs," City Manager Tony Coroalles said. "They park for 72 hours in one space, then they move across the street or down two or three spots and then move back. That was what the community said they did not want to happen."
Harry Preston agreed.
" I can appreciate what you all go through to get prepared," Preston said to the audience, the majority of which opposed the new ordinance. "You all sound like very law-abiding citizens, but in my neighborhood we have some people who aren't."
Preston said a neighbor parks an RV in front of his house and then moves it back and forth across the street every 72 hours.
"We've done some research, and all the surrounding communities here, be it in Agoura all the way up to Ventura and Simi Valley, they all have restrictions on RVs, and they all indicate the 24hour period."
But Councilmember Dennis Washburn was uncomfortable with the shorter time span.
"I think a 24hour limit is awfully tight," said Washburn, recommending the possibility of allowing residents to apply for 48-hour or 72-hour permits as well. "I'd like to see at least more consideration to the circumstances these folks face with what they do. I'm not prepared to act on this ordinance if we can't adjust the time in some matter."
The ordinance was changed to the 72-hour, permit-required period. A second reading and final approval of the law will be in August.