Perry considers banning RVs from side yards

chwright@macon.comMarch 31, 2013 

PERRY -- Resident Ron Wilder begged Perry City Council to grandfather his recreational vehicle into a coming ordinance.

Council will vote on a measure Tuesday that would extend requirements to keep recreational vehicles out of the front yard to also prohibit them on the side yard of corner lots.

“There’s no benefit to having this ordinance change anyway,” Wilder said. “If there must be change in the ordinance, grandfather those people in.”

Mike Beecham, Community Development director, said the change to the ordinance is in line with other sections of the measure and others that cater to keeping the aesthetics of the city. The city also prohibits satellites being visible from the street.

The ordinance under consideration for amendment addresses storage and parking for trailers, commercial vehicles and RVs. As written now, it prohibits the vehicles from the front yard.

Beecham said the side of houses on a corner lot are also technically the front yards.

He said Wilder is the only resident to call about the proposed amendment.

Wilder said he drove around for two hours and found 15 cases that would violate the proposed amendment. He quickly printed fliers and invited those RV owners to speak out.

Resident Tim Collins was the only one to respond to that invitation, joining Wilder at the last council meeting to speak during a public hearing.

“It’s not a piece of junk,” Collins said of his RV. “It’s well kept. The grass is cut all around it. It just bothers me that I may have to either cut down ornamental trees” planted years ago or pay for storage of the vehicle in between trips.

Beecham said this week a grandfather in the ordinance would only let any existing vehicles remain.

“Something is grandfathered in until it is removed from the property,” Beecham said. “By their very nature, RVs periodically leave the property.”

In essence, Wilder’s vehicle won’t be covered because he takes it out for trips. Neither will Collins’, as he already admitted to council he takes family trips.

“We took an 80-day trip last year,” Collins said. “Sometimes, we’re gone for days.”

Wilder claimed the changes came about as a direct attack on his RV. He said he had been informed he was in violation of the existing ordinance.

“When I did research on it, I found out I had been reinforcing the ordinance incorrectly,” Beecham said. “I took it to the planning commission. They directed me to change the ordinance.”

To contact writer Christina M. Wright, call 256-9685.

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