Some good news for Minnesota state park patrons, some busy times for committees and planning commissions in California.
Minnesota state park permits
Starting in 2007, motorhome owners won’t have to pay a secondary vehicle permit fee for their towed vehicles when visiting Minnesota state parks.
Currently, motorhome owners who tow a vehicle must purchase camping permits for the motorhome as well as their towed vehicle. An annual use permit costs $25, and a permit for a second vehicle, $18. A state park permit valid for one day costs $7 per vehicle.
Senate File 2973, approved by the Minnesota State Legislature on May 21, requires state parks to provide a temporary permit for towed vehicles. The temporary permit will be issued with the normal use permit and allows the towed vehicle to be driven in state parks until the use permit expires.
The new law, which takes effect January 1, 2007, also reduces the one-day park permit from $7 to $5.
All vehicles entering a Minnesota state park must display a valid permit, which must be affixed to the lower right-hand corner of the windshield. Annual and day permits can be purchased at a park; or call the DNR Information Center at (888) 646-6367.
The permits are valid for unlimited visits to all 72 Minnesota state parks and recreation areas.
Covina, California, residential parking
At its May 23 meeting, the Covina Planning Commission formed an ad hoc committee to discuss amending the city municipal code as it relates to RV parking and storage in residential neighborhoods.
The committee is composed of five persons representing RV owners who want to relax restrictions on RV parking and five persons who want the city to take a more strict approach.
According to Jeff Kugel, the city’s assistant director of community development, the committee had met six times by mid-July and was preparing to send recommendations to the planning commission. The commission will then formulate an ordinance and forward it to city council for consideration.
The entire process should take two to three months, Mr. Kugel said.
In March this year, the planning commission drafted an ordinance that included the following RV parking restrictions:
- No parking between the front lot line and the front building line of any residential lot. For corner lots that face streets or rights-of-way, both the front and side yards would apply to this rule.
- RVs must be parked or stored so that at least 3 feet of open access is preserved in all side yards on the lot.
- No overnight parking on residential streets, and no parking for longer than 30 minutes between 2:00 a.m. and 4:00 a.m., except in the case of disaster.
- No residing in RVs in residential zones, except in the case of disaster.
- No connecting the RV to water, electric, or other utilities when parked in a residential zone.
- RVs must be parked or stored perpendicular to the front lot line.
- No RV may be parked under a detached canopy, tent, tarp, or similar structure. An RV may be parked inside a permitted garage and under permitted permanent carports.
- No RV may be parked or stored upon or above grass, dirt, gravel, loose rock, or any other unpaved surface.
The proposal drew considerable support as well as opposition, which ultimately led to the ad hoc committee formation.
San Diego on-street parking
San Diego continues to lean toward a fee-based, per-use permit program to curtail long-term RV parking on city streets.
The Oversized, Non-Motorized and Recreational Vehicle Ordinance, first proposed in April 2005, pertains to any vehicle that exceeds 22 feet in length and 7 feet in height.
In May the city’s Parking Advisory Board approved a pilot program based on a version of the ordinance drafted last year. The program would require RV owners to complete an initial registration form, and then pay a $3 fee that permits them to park on the street in front of their residences for one night. Limits: up to 72 overnight stays per year and a maximum of three consecutive overnight stays.
City council will decide where the pilot program will operate “” in the entire city, for example, or in one community.
Existing ordinances prohibit parking any vehicle on the street for more than 72 hours, but some city residents claim these laws are not enforced.
The Parking Advisory Board’s proposal is not currently scheduled for any meetings, so it’s not known when city council will consider the recommendations.
Torrance, California, on-street parking
Torrance City Council reorganized on July 11, based on results of the June 6 General Municipal Election. The newly formed council directed the city manager to bring the proposed RV parking ordinance back to the council as soon as possible.
In late March, council asked the Community Planning & Design Committee to include the following stipulations in an ordinance regulating on-street parking:
- a fee offset charged;
- a 72-hour rule to load and unload;
- a residential permit system excluding non-residents;
- no grandfathering but providing a grace period;
- visitor exemptions;
- exemptions if used as primary vehicle;
- the city exploring alternative locations for RV storage, with management placed in the hand of others.
Legislative Updates is a periodic column compiled by FMCA’s Governmental and Legislative Affairs Committee “” Max Durbin, chairman “” and Todd Moning, FMCA.com Web editor. Contact the committee through FMCA’s Membership Department, (800) 543-3622; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.