CRESTVIEW — An issue that the city has been working on for nearly a year finally has some resolution.
The City Council passed new rules for storing RVs on residential property, replacing an older, more restrictive ordinance after nearly a year of debate. The provision passed by a vote of 4-1 at the March 12 council meeting.
The new ordinance states that one recreational vehicle may be stored on a parcel of residential land, provided it is stored in the rear or side of the property, and is at least three feet from the property line. The ordinance also allows the RV to be used as temporary living quarters. Also, it may be hooked up to utilities but only in certain temporary cases, such as fires or natural disasters.
Debate over rules for storing RVs began in early 2017, when city residents started receiving code violation notices for having RVs on their property. The previous ordinance stated that RVs over 24 feet could not be stored on residential lots or be connected to utility hookups outside of a trailer or RV park.
Public outcry over the ordinance led the council to suspend the code in April 2017 until the council could come to agreement on changes. A revised ordinance allowed for RVs to be stored on residential property, provided they were hidden by some type of screening. The measure failed in November by a 3-2 vote, sending council members back to the drawing board.
The council decided to remove the screening requirement at a workshop in January and put forward the current ordinance.
“You all have done a great job so far. Don’t mess it up now,” Crestview resident Sue Jones said prior to the vote, during the public hearing portion of Monday’s meeting. “We’ve got a good ordinance here that everybody can agree on.”
Councilman Joe Blocker was the only member to vote against the new ordinance. At the first reading on Feb. 12, Blocker said he was concerned the new rules would force people out of their homes.
“Personally, I am not acceptable to part of the verbiage in this ordinance,” Blocker said at the Feb. 12 meeting. “Some of these people have worked their entire working lives to provide a place to get in and out of the weather … now the city comes along passing a law evicting them out of their homes.”
Blocker did not comment on the ordinance during the second reading at Monday’s meeting.