CRESTVIEW—The Crestview City Council heard the voices of their constituents Monday evening and suspended enforcement of a city code concerning recreational vehicles.

The code, Section 102-538, prohibited camping trailers over 24 feet in length from being stored on residential property and outlawed any trailer from having utility services connected.

Eighteen members of the public spoke at the meeting, all of whom stated the ordinance should be modified. City Council agreed with speakers by voting 5-0 in favor of suspending the code for 90 days, during which time the Growth Management Department will craft a replacement or modification. If a replacement is not created in the allotted time, an additional 60-day period will be granted.

Several of the speakers were RV owners who expressed concern over keeping their vehicle in lots, where they could be subjected to thefts, or not connected to power. Not connecting these vehicles to power can lead to black mold and interior damage due to Florida’s humidity.

“This code needs to be updated because you can hardly find an RV under 24 feet,” Michele Dennis, an RV owner, said. “As an American, I expected to live free on my property.”

Other speakers weren’t RV owners but were considering a purchase or believed the code was an overstep of municipal power. Multiple individuals threatened to leave the city if the code wasn’t adjusted.

“I can appreciate what everyone ... has said,” Councilman Doug Faircloth said. Faircloth’s wife purchased a horse trailer with living amenities several years ago. He stressed people’s right to keep the vehicles, which are a large investment to many, on their property and further protect that investment by connecting it to power.

Faircloth was unaware of the unenforced ordinance that was created in 1999, as were many other city officials. The code was brought to attention at the March 13 City Council meeting when Andrew Rencich informed the council he received a warning notice about an RV parked on his property.

Several other residents were given notices ordering removal of vehicles from their property or face a $250 to $500 fine per day of violation. The complainant the notices stemmed from used a fake address and contact number, according to several speakers.

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“I’ve been an RV-er for a long time,” Councilman Joe Blocker said. “My recommendation is, starting yesterday, to put a moratorium on this ordinance.”

A moratorium would require a separate agenda item during a different meeting, according to Growth Management Director Teresa Gaillard. Meaning, more notices could be given and fines imposed before a solution reached. She suggested a procedural digression, which functions the same as a moratorium but only required an immediate consensus.

The council agreed.

No resident is reported to have received fines for storing an RV on their property, only being served notices. All future actions concerning the code are suspended with the procedural digression in place. This means that notices will not turn into fines and no more warnings will be given.

The Growth Management Department will now have the opportunity to update, revise or eliminate the code through the proper legal channels without leaving residents subject to fines during that period.

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