By Alex Bridges -- firstname.lastname@example.org
Recreational vehicle users in Strasburg may rest easier under a revised version of proposed parking rules.
The Strasburg Town Council at a work session Monday heard many people protest changes to the zoning ordinance that would limit the parking of camper trailers, boats and other recreational vehicles on residential property. Opponents of the proposal claimed the regulation would infringe on their rights to park vehicles on their private property.
Council recommended officials tweak the proposed rules and allow recreational vehicles on driveways located not just in the side but also the front yard, according to Town Manager Judson Rex. Council plans to revisit the proposal for a possible vote at a future meeting.
"I think everybody was in favor of the changes, which are not real stringent, but it seemed to be a good compromise for everybody," Rex said Tuesday.
Town officials argued the proposed ordinance sought to address a growing amount of complaints from residents about the number of recreational vehicles some residents store on their property. At least one speaker commented in support of the ordinance as proposed.
Town ordinance already forbids the parking of recreational vehicles in the front yard of a home. The code restricts such vehicles to side and rear lots. The proposal would, if approved, allow the town to include recreational vehicles when calculating the coverage of a lot. The ordinance would restrict lot coverage by impervious surfaces, including recreational vehicles, to 25-30 percent, depending on the zone.
Council members debated the proposed change. By the end of the discussion, council had agreed to modify the ordinance as proposed.
Also at the meeting, council discussed changing the way the town pursues delinquent utility bills for rental properties. Currently the town can seek to collect delinquent bills only from the renters, such as by submitting unpaid balances to the Internal Revenue Service. As Rex explained the Virginia General Assembly at its session earlier this year passed legislation which allows localities to collect unpaid utility bills from landlords and liens on properties. Council told town staff to move forward on implementing the regulation as prescribed by the state.