People who file complaints about recreational vehicles parking in residential neighbourhoods will have to live within 250 metres of the alleged violation under a new Township of Langley policy.
The new rule was adopted by council Monday (June 10) during a special closed-door meeting of council.
The change was made in response to a complaint by Township resident Allan Balogh, who wanted the RV parking policy changed to require at least two written complaints from nearby residents before bylaw enforcement officers start issuing tickets.
At his urging, council voted May 6 to have staff look into a two-complaint minimum policy for RV parking and possibly “grandfathering” RV owners who have been storing their vehicles on their own land for years.
A report from the Township Protective Services Division rejected both ideas.
The report by Fire Chief Stephen Gamble cited a legal opinion that grandfathering was not possible under existing laws.
As for using the two-complaint policy created specially for secondary suites to cover RVs as well, that “may confuse the issue even more,” the report said.
Instead, it proposed creating a new enforcement policy just for RVs with the one-kilometre rule.
The policy, which was passed at the Monday meeting, also spells out the procedure for bylaw officers investigating an alleged RV parking breach.
They must first make an effort to speak with the RV owner.
If no action is taken, then they may issue a written warning, to be followed by a violation ticket and fine, and eventual court action if necessary.
The report wraps up by saying “the issue of parking recreational vehicles in a residential zone has been and continues to be a challenge for staff, council and the public.”
It expresses the hope that creating a separate policy for RV parking tickets will provide staff “with clear direction and expectation for enforcement and [RV] owners will be provided comfort knowing that there is a policy adopted by council that directly relates to parking of recreation vehicles in single family residential zones within the Township.”
Some RV owners who store their vehicles on their property have complained the Township bylaw enforcement department is being unfair and unreasonable in the way it enforces the rules against parking RVs in front yards.
In 2011, the Township tightened RV parking rules, only allowing them in front yards if they are at least 1.6 metres from the property line.
As well, parking was only allowed between May 15 and Sept. 15.
From mid-September to mid-May, owners must store their vehicles off their properties, or in the side or rear of their property.
Note: a previous version of this story incorrectly reported the radius at 1 kilometre