RV owners get temporary reprieve

Until May 2 now to find storage spaces

Deb and Dan Brooks can keep their RV parked at home for a little while longer.

Deb and Dan Brooks can keep their RV parked at home for a little while longer.

RV owners are getting a break from the bylaws for a few weeks following a turnout Tuesday at Maple Ridge council.

Removal orders have been suspended until May 2, when council reviews the 20-year-old bylaw that limits to 7.5 metres the size of recreational vehicles that can be stored on residential lots.

“The RV crowd was quite happy about that, to get the reprieve they got,” said Hammond resident Eric Phillips.

“They need to use some common sense when they’re doing enforcement, not just going hog wild in the community.”

According to bylaws director Liz Holitzky, the district isn’t doing any pro-active enforcement, just responding to complaints from neighbours.

The number of those complaints increase as more compliance letters are issued and neighbours start complaining about each other.

She added many complaints previously may not have been followed up.

Holitzky joined the district as bylaws director last year.

But residents aren’t pointing fingers at each other and RV owner Deb Brookes still feels the clampdown is part of a concerted effort because it’s all happening in one month after years of non-enforcement.

Council seemed to be surprised by the number of people who showed up in support, estimating between 40 and 50 people showed up.

Councillors also seemed surprised at the number of complaints on the topic, Brookes added.

“It was quite a stance, I think.”

Council also invited RV owners back to its second meeting May 2, when it will review the bylaw and a staff report on the topic.

Holitzky said previously that 7.5 metres is the standard length of RV allowed in the Lower Mainland.

Vehicles larger than that have to be stored elsewhere, but Phillips points out there are limited locations for that and none in Maple Ridge.

Phillips says RV owners should be allowed to park any kind of vehicle on their lot providing it doesn’t obstruct the driveway or sidewalk.

Brookes felt the same way, adding that more than one complaint against a neighbour should be required to spur bylaws to investigate.