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Old 10-12-2002, 06:16 PM   #1
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"THE" Letter !!!

Okay my Airstream Brothers and sisters, I need your help!

Today I got the letter that all RV owners fear and dread.

THE LOCAL ZONING VIOLATION NOTICE!!

After almost two years in my driveway at the back of my property
"someone" filied a complaint. I now have 12 days to relocate it
to an approved area on my property (or elsewhere) or face penalty of LAW.

I'm so mad I'm seeing SILVER!!

The thing that sticks in my craw is that within a 4 block radius, there are at least 5 other blatent violations. I am very tempted
to take photo's and addresses of any and all that I see and report them.

I know I can't fight the ordinance, but feel that I should not be singled out. Enforced for me ... Enforced for all.

I could keep the zoning guy very busy.

Do we have any Lawyers on board? Do I have any recourse?

I will NOT store my trailer offsite.

Has anyone ever raised the roof on their garage before?
Can you even do that?

PLEASE? COMMENTS - QUESTIONS - ADVICE

DMC
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Old 10-12-2002, 06:44 PM   #2
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You gotta tell us a whole lot more about the ordinance and how you were found in violation. What are your options?

We're fighting an ordinance here in Beavercreek Ohio now.
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Old 10-12-2002, 06:50 PM   #3
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I am not a lawyer, nor I have I ever played one on TV.....

Is this a Home Owner Association (HOA) covenant or a City Ordinance (CO). If it is a HOA rule, then you probably don't have much recourse. Please clarify the difference for us. Please give us more details quickly.

In the mean time....If it is a City Ordinance, you can file for a variance. Most CO's state an "occupied trailer on a single famly residence", not a stored trailer rule. You could file for a variance if it is occupied, if they have a procedure for this.

I am also going to move your Thread to "Our Community Forum" for wider coverage. Many people have run into this and could lend a hand with their discoveries and advice.

Quote:
---------------
I am very tempted to take photo's and addresses of any and all that I see and report them.
---------------

In your initial anger and haste to act, don't make things miserable for others.

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Old 10-12-2002, 07:41 PM   #4
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Start With This

I have attached the friendly pamphlet explaining the Village Ordinance.

Will attached Official Letter Soon as well as a map on my situation
as far as "approved area" in my yard.

Do you think that the fact that I use my trailer during the day as an office would help?

More Soon!

DMC
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Old 10-12-2002, 08:03 PM   #5
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"THE" Letter itself.

Always having fun with my Airstream!

HALP!!!!!
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Old 10-12-2002, 08:27 PM   #6
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My Layout.

"Approved places will not work". Too much slope trees etc in my lot. No access to the backyard either. All fenced with chainlink
and 6' liliac bushes.

Has anyone ever raised a garage roof? Can it be done?

Out of site, out of mind?

DMC
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Old 10-12-2002, 08:45 PM   #7
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Okay... here's a thought... check the county and state ordinances governing RVs and Travel Trailers. For example, the State of Ohio defines a travel trailer as 35' or less NOT COUNTING the tongue. Since the ordinance doesn't specify with or without the tongue, maybe you could slide by. Would that put your Caravel under 22'?

Sounds like you're pretty well screwed though. Our proposed ordinance just restricts parking to be outside of side, and rear (15') setbacks (unless a driveway existed there at the time the oridinance is passed) and the RV would have to be on concrete, asphalt, or crushed gravel pad. Of course, they'll deny any future permit requests for driveways in setbacks.

Oh yeah... one of the biggies in the proposed ordinance is no living in the trailer on a residential lot. I don't think it would be a good thing to mention you're conducting business in a residential area.

Raising the roof? Yeah, it can be done... you'll have to have drawings done, get that approved and a building permit though. It won't be cheap. Grading a level spot in the approved areas may be a lot cheaper.

Best wishes,
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Old 10-12-2002, 09:06 PM   #8
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Grading a spot?

In my yard ... grading a spot would require tearing out fences, bushes and tree's, it would also require several cubic tons
of dirt due to the slope in the "approved areas". I could park it right behind the house, (After getting through the fence and bushes), but would require the cutting down of a large oak tree.

I wish the Village would concentrate on our storm sewer overflow problems and leave me and my poor camper alone.

I will start to check the state and county laws.

Thanks ... keep em comming !!

DMC
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Old 10-12-2002, 10:13 PM   #9
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I'm on a HOA board and have a couple of ideas...

In Colorado, if I remember the law/rules correctly, if you have a violation for a period of a year and no one says anything, then you can keep your trailer where it is. Check your state laws.

I would definitely not move the trailer until other violations are cleared. In my view you can't pick and choose who you enforce and who you don't. We come across that all the time and find that we need to keep on top of the covenents.

Don't know if the above will help, but its a shot. Covenents can do harm to a community by pitting neighbor against neighbor. You should contact the Good Sam Club, they have a publication on this very subject and has lots of ideas on how to get these rules changed.

I live in one of those neighborhoods. Our says no more than 30 days per year, but I knew that going in so I live with it. I keep my trailers in a barn on a sheep ranch - its seems to work OK.
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Old 10-13-2002, 02:36 AM   #10
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"THE" Letter!!!

I can give you take from a different perspective. I purposely purchased a home in a community that doesn't have any RV parking ordinace other than on-street parking of any vehicles is virtually prohibited throughout the town. The down side is that not all RV owners work to keep up their rigs, and it is that small group that can ruin the situation for everyone. I suspect that may happen in the community where I live. Two RV owners (not Airstreamers) in my neighborhood could ruin the situation for everyone due to the appearance of their properties.

There are several RV owner's in my neighborhood, and all but two gneuinely try to keep their rigs and tow vehicles in tip top condition - - and have provided concrete or asphalt parking pads for thier RVs. The two that are not as particular are posing such an obvious detriment to the neighborhood that I would not be surprised to see a move to restrict the parking of RVs in residential areas as well as non-currently licensed automobiles and trucks.

Have you considered applying to the zoning comission or the governing body for a variance? In one community where I lived, variances for storage of RVs on residential property were routinely granted if the abutting property owners were willing to sign affidavits approving their neighbors planned storage.

Do you know the others in your neighborhood who also have non-conforming RV storage? If not, have you thought about contacting them to see if they have received similar letters? As the old addage goes, there is strength in numbers, and if a number of letter recipients asked to address the governing board about the issue, you might at least be able to get a little of the background of the ordinance and see if there is an interest in amending it if there is enough "grass-roots" interest.
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Old 10-13-2002, 10:52 AM   #11
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Intent of the LAW?

I don't have a problem with compling to the ordinance(besides the time and money involved) My issue is with selective enforcement of the zoning code.

I did this morning take pictures within a 5 block radius of me and documented 11 other "violations" Big Boats, Tarp covered utility trailers, and a crap load of "unscreened" S.O.B. popups. All in my opinion much "fuglyer" (a conjunction, you figure it out) than my AS that can not be seen when driving by until your right in front
of it.

Again I think, enforced for me enforced for all.

I'm gonna have a fun Monday!

Keep the thoughts, idea's and experiences comming!

Thanks!

DMC
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Old 10-14-2002, 04:27 PM   #12
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Here's the update

I spoke to the village zoning guy. I said that letters went out to
50+ VIOLATORs around our little town.

The ordinace is going to be enforced unilaterially.

He said that there was less than a snowballs chance in hell
that they would grant any variances.

I did seach and found a neighboring town with even strickter ordinances than our. INSIDE STORAGE ONLY!

I have contacted several contractors today. So far it looks like I will RAISE THE ROOF on my 2.5 car garage.

WELL after 35 years in the elements and with a fresh polish job,
maybe my camper would be happier with inside storage??.....
maybe I should add climate control ??.. I see $$$$$$$ leaving me.

again, still

DMC
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Old 10-14-2002, 06:13 PM   #13
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how about this

what if your trailer was stored "inside" but not in your garage?

what does your area say about "temporary structures" you could put it inside one of these: http://www.kingcanopy.com/

then no one would know what you had inside, building inspector for instance, comes to mind.

i have a king canopy it is too small for my trailer, but i do put my truck under it in the summer to keep the sun off of it. i also have taken it on extended stays as it is the same length as my awning and makes quite the pavillion!

i belive they are coming down in price i paid $175.00 for mine at sam's two years ago. they are around $100.00 now. they come with one side and you can get the other 3 sides with a door for about another $100.00.

so you could end up with a temporary garage for 2 to 300.00 bucks. and still have a tent for special events, weddings etc.

if your area does not allow such things, go ahead and do it any way. it will take them a year or more to catch on, or until some one notices it. that way, you will have time to prepare your garage for your trailer without being fined for noncompliance or having to move your trailer off your property.

give it a shot, what do you have to loose? at least it will keep the building inspection people guessing!

john
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Old 10-14-2002, 07:02 PM   #14
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Temp Garage?

Not a bad idea John, But I fear the Chicago winter would bring it down on my camper!

Time will tell the rest of this tale!

DMC
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