RV Zoning

tel jensen

hey folks.

planning commissioner in a small-ish town (~6000 pop) here. zoning for RVs is on the agenda for our meeting this week. any thoughts?

some things we're considering: treat RVs as housing or recreation or both depending on zone or location? allow in one or more residential zones? commercial? industrial? create an overlay within one or more existing zones? distinguish between short stay (less than ~30 days? 90 days?) and long-term use?

like many places, we've got a serious shortage of affordable housing. an RV park that's been around for a long time provides some. there was a big to-do when another RV park was approved in a commercial zone by a hearings examiner recently. the other property owners in the vicinity objected very... strenuously. said an RV park wasn't really a commercial use. I can see their point if it ends up being used primarily for long-term living as the existing park is, though I disagree that it's inappropriate to mix housing with commercial uses. but I digress.

we're also trying to sort out whether to treat RVs as, well, recreational vehicles or if we should recognize that they're not really being used for that in many cases. if they're vehicles, the department of transportation inspects and licenses them. if they're housing, the city inspects and issues occupancy permits. we've definitely got areas where a more traditional recreation campground with RV spots would make sense. and we've got landowners who want to build RV parks where there isn't really any recreational opportunity and they would likely be used for housing.

another confounding thing to consider is tiny homes. we adopted the International Residential Code tiny homes appendix a few years back, but we don't address tiny homes anywhere in our zoning code.

anyhow, curious to hear some thoughts, as city staff and the commission have been kind of stumped for a while now.

Comments

2 comments

  • Comment author
    Strong Towns Staff

    tel jensen

    This is a really interesting question. If you don't mind I'm going to repost this question in the Strong Towns Facebook group to see if folks there have any insights. It's also a question I'd like to Chuck to respond to in his next Q&A podcast, but I know you're pressed for time with the meeting come up this week.

    - John Pattison

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  • Comment author
    tel jensen

    thanks, John. I have no objection to a repost on Facebook and I would love to hear that podcast.

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