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Advocate editorial board opinion: Occupied recreational vehicles need regulation

By By the Advocate Editorial Board
Nov. 17, 2011 at 5:17 a.m.


A city ordinance regulating recreational vehicles now has teeth in it. The original version of the rule passed in 1999 was lacking a means for enforcement.

Inhabited RVs that are not in an approved RV park can now be removed by the city's director of development services and a $500 fine levied, as well as charges for towing and storage, to the RV owner.

So violators of Ordinance No. 2011 will be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor with the above fine as the penalty.

We think the tougher ordinance is a good idea. But some would ask whether landowners who park their RVs on their property would be fined.

"This ordinance does not impact storage," said City Attorney Thomas Gwosdz. "So if you park an RV on your property, it is not a problem."

However, if the RV is occupied, it then becomes a problem.

Gwosdz said there have been complaints about people living in RVs. He said it is not a frequent problem, but it is a consistent one, hence the need for an enforceable rule.

Just like Randy Quaid's character, cousin Edward "Eddie" Johnson, in the movie "Christmas Vacation," people living in RVs can present some serious problems.

Occupied RVs "are not connected to the sanitary sewer system," Gwosdz said. "We don't know where or how it is handled."

The thought of untreated sewer being dumped somewhere is disconcerting and a health problem. We agree with adding enforcement measures to the ordinance.

This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.

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