Recreational vehicles—barring some exceptions—are no longer allowed in Chesterfield neighborhoods.
The city council approved an ordinance Monday night that prohibits permanent parking of RVs on any residential lot or within 500 feet of any residential lot. To allow for visitors or loading and unloading, RVs can be parked on a paved surface on residential property twice a month for three days at a time. They can also be parked on the street twice a month for one day at a time.
Council members have discussed the ordinance in planning and public works committee meetings since September, when Fariba Zabetian presented to the committee a petition from residents asking that parking oversized vehicles be banned in neighborhoods. Zabetian said she was concerned that a parked RV in Ward Two lowered the sale price of homes in the area, according to minutes from the meeting.
“It’s in the mission of the City of Chesterfield that one of our duties is to protect property values, and that’s what this RV ordinance does,” Ward One Councilman Matt Segal said Monday night.
The ordinance went through several drafts before it went to council. In January, the committee heard a version that would have allowed RVs to be parked for only two days in a driveway. The decision to change it to three days was made after acting mayor Barry Flachsbart and Ward Four Councilman Bob Nation called for an extension to allow for weekend visitors.
Aside from RVs, the ordinance applies to boats, motor homes, jet skis and travel trailers. Lots larger than two acres are exempt from the ordinance; the exemption was added so that horse trailers and other similar equipment could still be parked on larger residential lots, particularly in Ward Four.
At the planning and public works Jan. 6 meeting, Ward Four Councilwoman Connie Fults said she’s heard of cases where an RV was parked on a private road behind a home, but neighbors behind the home still had to look out on it. The decision is about balancing rights: restricting RV parking may step on RV owners’ toes, but their neighbors have rights too, she said.
“Who shouts the loudest is not the issue,” she said.
Segal echoed those thoughts Monday night, saying as a boat owner he always viewed storage of the boat as part of the cost of owning it.
“While there might be an upset RV owner, if you take into account the four or five residents that look at the RV, those people will be happy,” he said.
The ordinance passed 5-2. Third Ward Councilman Randy Logan was absent. Both Nation and Flachsbart voted against the ordinance after expressing concerns that the ordinance felt too much like “big government.”
“I believe it violates the principle that better government is less government,” Flachsbart said.
City council also voted unanimously Monday night to:
- Install a stop sign at RHL Drive and Commons Frontage Road in the Chesterfield Commons development. Plans call for an in Chesterfield Commons West in the fall.
- Continue to allow signs advertising open houses from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays. The ordinance in place only allows for directional signs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Tuesday and from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays. Council had previously approved a request from the Home Builders Association to allow the signs on Saturdays and extended that approval for another year.