FMCA has held five international conventions at the Georgia National Fairgrounds & Agricenter (GNFA) in Perry, but a current law would make it impractical to hold a sixth confab in the Peach State.
The legislation, enacted in August 2005, prohibits out-of-state dealers from selling a new RV in Georgia unless they have a franchise dealership agreement to do so.
In late April 2007, the General Assembly passed HB 117, which would have allowed certain franchise agreement exemptions for rallies or conventions involving more than 2,500 RVs. Attendance at FMCA conventions typically exceeds 3,000 motorhomes, so HB 117 would have paved the way for out-of-state RV dealers to sell at these events.
Governor Sonny Perdue, on May 30, vetoed HB 117. According to a press release issued by his office, the RV franchise agreement provision did not prompt his action. The governor stated:
“HB 117 would subject dealerships of motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles and utility vehicles to franchise regulation: dealers that are not franchisees would be prohibited from selling such vehicles in Georgia. One provision would limit franchise opportunities to established places of business. This result provides a new barrier to entry into the marketplace that I cannot support. Regrettably, another provision cleaning up language from the recreational vehicle franchise law introduced as HB 297 was tacked on to this bill. While I support the intent behind HB 297, I veto HB 117.”
In June, Rep. John Heard, sponsor of HB 117, told FMCA he planned to meet with House leaders to determine whether to seek a veto override. The next legislative session begins in January 2008. “If all this fails, then yes, we will reproduce the bill and run it again,” Rep. Heard said.
Out-of-state dealer sales are vital to the success of FMCA conventions. The practice was permitted at the association’s conventions at the GNFA in 1996, 1999, and 2002 and March 2005.
At FMCA’s most recent convention at the GNFA, in March 2007, the current law prohibiting out-of-state sales was in place. Jerry Yeatts, FMCA’s director of conventions and commercial services, said FMCA had signed the convention contract with the Agricenter in June 2005, prior to that law taking effect.
The law caused several cancellations by out-of-state dealers, Mr. Yeatts said. “But FMCA continued to work up to the date of the convention with legislators, the GNFA leadership, as well as legal counsel in an effort to continue to have a convention uninterrupted, while pending corrective legislation was in process.”
Overnight Parking In Penticton, BC
A longstanding zoning bylaw that prohibits overnight parking of RVs in store parking lots has come to the forefront in Penticton, British Columbia, Canada.
RV owners and Penticton residents Gordon and Jo-Ann Herle asked city council to reconsider the bylaw, and to remove the “overnight parking prohibited” sign in the Wal-Mart parking lot. The bylaw is not welcoming for RVers who enter the city, they said.
City staff has decided to gather feedback from shopping centers and store management before it examines the matter further.
In an August 9 article carried in the Penticton Herald, council member Joanne Grimaldi said the bylaw might be outdated. “I feel that times have changed and we should be changing with them, and it’s time, probably, to revise our policy and certainly work with the shopping centers if they’re agreeable to having camping of this type on their property,” she said.
Councilman Rory McIvor told the Herald there needs to be consistency with regard to overnight parking. “Part of the research on this must include asking the shopping centers if they’re willing to allow their lots to be used overnight,” he said.
Mayor Jack Kimberly said the city is responsible for regulating parking spots on all city developments. “I would just direct staff with regard to this issue to make those inquiries to the shopping management and see if there’s a willingness to take that interest forward,” he said.
The City of Penticton is part of the Okanagan Valley, and is located along provincial highway 97, about 244 miles east of Vancouver.
Update e-mail address, stay informed
FMCA, on occasion, may send e-mails to members alerting them to laws and regulations affecting the rights of motorhome owners.
An e-mail could contain information about a public hearing, a petition drive, or a new ordinance taking effect in your community. Its purpose may be to rally members in support of a motorhome-friendly law.
To receive timely e-mail updates, it’s important that we have your current e-mail address on file at FMCA’s national office. To provide or update your e-mail address use one of the following methods:
- Go to www.fmca.com/membership/updateinfo.
- Send an e-mail to email@example.com.
- Call the Membership Services Department at (800) 543-3622.
Many times FMCA has contacted members via postal mail about legislation affecting the use and enjoyment of their motorhomes. But through e-mail, we can communicate quickly with thousands of members in just a few seconds. That means members are more likely to receive the information in time to alert their political representatives, organize a common-interest group, or take other appropriate action.
If you have not yet provided your e-mail address, or if you need to update it, please do so today.
Glendora, California, parking
Glendora, California, is revising the city’s ordinance regulating RV parking and storage in residential areas.
According to the city’s Planning and Redevelopment Department, the ordinance under consideration would:
- Prohibit parking in the front yard setback.
- Require RVs to be parked at least 3 feet from side and rear property lines.
- Require the RV to be parked on a paved surface.
- Require the area around the RV to be landscaped and screened.
- Limit street parking (for loading, unloading, etc.) to 72 consecutive hours and 12 such periods per calendar year. Enforcement would be complaint-driven.
- Institute an administrative review process to ensure compliance with on-site RV storage location and adequate screening. There would not be a fee for the administrative review application.
In June 2005 city council appointed a six-citizen ad hoc committee to investigate how other cities comparable to Glendora address residential RV parking and storage issues.
In preparing the ordinance revisions, city staff relied on information from the committee reports, a community preservation group, the police department, and planning staff.
Ultimately, the planning commission will present a version to city council.
Approximately 102 FMCA members reside in Glendora, a city of about 53,000 located 27 miles east of Los Angeles.
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. Remember to visit our Web site for regular updates: www.fmca.com/motorhomerights.