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Orange planners take another look at 20-foot RV setback

Planning commission makes no decision, but plans to review RV regulations at its Nov. 7 meeting.


The Orange County Register

Orange Planning Commissioners on Monday held off deciding on an ordinance that would create new restrictions to residential RV parking until a Nov. 7 meeting.

"This is a very difficult and volatile issue in the city," Chairman Phillip Bonina said.

The public hearings are part of a process started by the City Council this summer to modify existing code, and amend new RV laws enacted barely a year ago.

Residents could park RVs on front driveways of homes, with certain exceptions, since the City Council approved an ordinance July 1, 2004. New RV parking restrictions were also enacted in 2004, including eliminating most street parking of RVs and requiring fences to be erected around RVs parked in rear or side yards, with several code violations subsequently reported.

According to a staff report by Brent J. Mullins dated Feb. 18, nearly one-third of the 152 reported violations were made by three complainants. One individual filed 37 reports. "Therefore it does not seem that the RV issue is a top priority for the community as a whole," the report stated.

At the July 26 City Council meeting councilman Jon Dumitru directed staff to present alternatives for prohibiting residential RV parking in front yards. On Aug. 23, the Council directed staff to submit an ordinance to planning commissioners, to revise the 2004 ordinances.

Planning commissioner Denis Bilodeau said he didn't support the cumbersome ordinance that would make for a code enforcement nightmare.

"What we're doing here is infringing on people's private property rights, which is a very serious thing," Bilodeau said.

Commissioner Ben Pruett disagreed.

"This is a tough issue because people look at it from different viewpoints." He said the code exists to protect public safety, health and welfare, and he said he supports a 20-foot setback.

Residents from two groups with opposing points of view, Keep Orange Clean and It's Our City Too, expressed their opinions in the public hearing.

With commissioners Oz Enderby and Robert Imboden absent from the meeting, and commissioners Ben Pruett and Denis Bilodeau on opposite sides of the fence, Chairman Philip Bonina recommended delaying the controversial decision until all five commissioners are present.

On the Keep Orange Clean side, resident Jeff Mulford said he supports city councilmembers Dumitru, Teresa Smith and Carolyn Cavecche in their support of restricting RV parking in the first 20 feet of the front property line.

"Do you want RVs parked in driveways or don't you?" said Mulford. "I don't want to look at that  it's the quality of life."

As one of the residents supporting It's Our City Too, Dave Neubrand said, he wants to let the 2004 ordinances stand. "Where's it going to stop?" he said.

The public hearing portion of this issue was officially closed, and planning commissioners plan to discuss the issue on Nov. 7.

Potential RV storage

In a separate public hearing, commissioners adopted a resolution recommending approval by the city council of an ordinance allowing conditional use permits to build RV storage facilities in certain residentially-zoned areas.

The ordinance, which amends Section 17.14 of the Orange Municipal Code, could have an effect on leasing Southern California Edison easements in the city, currently zoned residential, for RV storage facilities, according to a city report.

The Edison easement being considered for RV storage is property along an east-west direction south of Taft Avenue, between Tustin and Glassell Streets, according to Alice Angus, Community Development Director.

For details. see www.ocregister.com/orange.



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