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Old 08-17-2003, 06:54 AM   #1
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City Ordinance revisited

Utility service to this property may be disconnected, a criminal complaint may be filed and fines up to $2000.-/day.
Talk about selective enforcement!
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Old 08-17-2003, 06:55 AM   #2
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100% complaint driven enforcement!!!!
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Old 08-17-2003, 07:13 AM   #3
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So is this how Austin is going to cover the budget shortfall? $2000 a day! That should keep the trash trucks running.

Thnk goodness I seem to have tolerant neighbors since the wording (but not necessarily the intent) of the covenants is that I can't bring my trailer onto my lot or park in the street.
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Old 08-17-2003, 07:37 AM   #4
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Impound, never. Turn off the gas, turn off the electric, fine them until they have to sell everything to pay it. Tyranny rocks!!! I love opressing the peons!!!

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Old 08-17-2003, 07:48 AM   #5
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If someone did something like that in our neighborhood, I'd hate to tell you what would happen. The rest of the neighbors would never speak to them again, and they would feel very uncomfortable living here.

You see, around these parts we respect each others property rights. My neighbor runs a commercial body shop, right next to us in a residential neighborhood. When he shuts down in the evening you would never know it was there. The neighbors respect that it is his property, and it is how he makes his living. Sure, we would like to see the body shop go. But he has to put up with our horses. Another retired neighbor, runs an excavating business out of his residence. Another sells one or two used cars a month. All of us violate or stretch the zoning codes in one way or another. New folks in the neighborhood soon realize, that when neighbors bond together for a common good, everyone is happy and less tense.

In case your wondering, I live in an upscale neighborhood in the midst of million dollar houses. Most houses in the neighbor hood go for $300-500K.

I would find out who the wussies are that turned you in and go have a word with them. $5 says the pricks would call the cops on you if came knocking on their door.

You should have put her name on the sign.
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Old 08-17-2003, 08:18 AM   #6
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alternatives...

Peter, that's a real shame... those signs look suspiciously like Airstream twin-bed pieces.... hmmm....

FWIW, I'm the guy who does code compliance in our community, and I also do it primarily on a complaint-driven basis. As I see it, you have three choices:

1.) Comply with the ordinance, and store your coach elsewhere:

2.) Appeal the citation to the courts. This should be an option on the citation or notice, and it should tell you how to go about this. I would recommend contacting an attorney and taking this route. Since your MH is apparently parked in the driveway, and driveways are designated specifically for the unlimited use of operable licensed motor vehicles, AND since your MH is an operable licensed motor vehicle, it seems to me that you may be able to get the part of that code section invalidated by the court. You should at least have a good shot at it. That argument wouldn't work for boats or trailers, I would add.

and 3.) Call your city Councilman and ask that he/she sponsor ordinance language that would change the ordinance. Our ordinance defines 'junk vehicles' very narrowly as non-op or non-licensed vehicles. Tell your Councilman that you support ordinances that have to do with health and safety, but that you have chosen not to live in an area with a homeowner's association, and that you think that this ordinance is overly restrictive and violates your right to use your property as you see fit. In other words, the ordinance is regulating the aesthetics of your property, not health or safety issues, and your right to use your property outweighs the need of your neighbors to have to see how you're using it. You might also add that the non-commercial storing of a boat or RV in an area zoned R1/R2 is an appropriate use of the property, and doesn't violate zoning laws.

If you're willing to go to the mat with this issue, I'd give you an 85% chance of having the ordinance repealed or modified.

Best of luck.

Roger
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Old 08-17-2003, 08:37 AM   #7
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Thanx for all the replies
We know who did it. My signs have stirred up a lot activity around the neighborhood and one neighbor saw her walking with a camera taking pictures. She lives several blocks away and is turning on all the neighbors because she had her RV parked illegally.
I already contacted a city council member and I am building a fence around my driveway (6' solid wood fence per city code) and then we are going to paint the fence like the Airstream.
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Old 08-17-2003, 08:53 AM   #8
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Roger,
this is the city ordinance. Whats your take under these circumstances?

(3) Except for an antique vehicle or recreational vehicle, a motor vehicle with a capacity of one ton or greater is prohibited.
(7) Up to two vehicles that are either antique or recreational vehicles may be stored on the premises, if the storage area is not a health hazard and is either in an enclosed building or screened from public view with a solid wood or masonry fence at least six feet high.
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Old 08-17-2003, 09:35 AM   #9
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Originally posted by PeterH-79MH
Roger,
this is the city ordinance. Whats your take under these circumstances?

(3) Except for an antique vehicle or recreational vehicle, a motor vehicle with a capacity of one ton or greater is prohibited.
(7) Up to two vehicles that are either antique or recreational vehicles may be stored on the premises, if the storage area is not a health hazard and is either in an enclosed building or screened from public view with a solid wood or masonry fence at least six feet high.
Check the code on the fence. Might have a problem putting up a fence past the front facia of the home. Might be legal in the side yard but not the front.
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Old 08-17-2003, 09:37 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by PeterH-79MH
Roger,
this is the city ordinance. Whats your take under these circumstances?

(3) Except for an antique vehicle or recreational vehicle, a motor vehicle with a capacity of one ton or greater is prohibited.
(7) Up to two vehicles that are either antique or recreational vehicles may be stored on the premises, if the storage area is not a health hazard and is either in an enclosed building or screened from public view with a solid wood or masonry fence at least six feet high.
#3 is nasty. A F350 or a 3500 is prohibited....what a crock.
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Old 08-17-2003, 10:13 AM   #11
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I never understand people who get busted for something like this and then turn everyone else in. Misery loves company I guess.

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Old 08-17-2003, 10:35 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by PeterH-79MH
Roger,
this is the city ordinance. Whats your take under these circumstances?

(3) Except for an antique vehicle or recreational vehicle, a motor vehicle with a capacity of one ton or greater is prohibited.
(7) Up to two vehicles that are either antique or recreational vehicles may be stored on the premises, if the storage area is not a health hazard and is either in an enclosed building or screened from public view with a solid wood or masonry fence at least six feet high.
My take is that you're not in violation as long as the MH is 'parked' on the driveway, fenced or not. Recreational Vehicles are permitted, and if you drive it regularly, then it's not being 'stored'. It probably depends on how 'stored' is defined in your state and/or muni code. Check with your attorney to be sure...

Roger
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Old 08-17-2003, 10:46 AM   #13
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Bummer!!

Peter:

The lawyer route is worth a shot. There may be an "almost" or "newbie" grad at the school willing to take it on.
It may be worth a shot contacting the law department to see if someone needs the "practice".

Any chance to access your neighbor's side yard and build a fence?

Sometimes it pays to lay low for a while; in the meantime your nemesis may "disappear".
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Old 08-17-2003, 11:33 AM   #14
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City or Subdivision

Peter:

Just a thought, is it the city zoning regs or the subdivision covenants that caught you, or both?

In some places the city is easier to deal with than the subdivision or Home Owners Association regs.
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Old 08-23-2003, 05:03 PM   #15
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.... It probably depends on how 'stored' is defined in your state and/or muni code. Check with your attorney to be sure...

Roger
Roger, the stored definition was a good one, kind of. It threw them for loop and they had to go to their legal department to figure it out.
IF the RV would be my primary vehicle (per insurance proof) they could not do anything about it. It all comes down to another part of the city ordinance which states: 1 vehicle per licensed drivers, others may be stored in garage or behind fence. To make the Airstream my primary vehicle would not be worth it, because it would double or triple my insurance.
Forget the fact that every other house on my street is violating that code!!
Anyway, I am best friends now with the supervisor of the code enforcement department
Sooo, I just went on a diet (100 degrees) and finished most of the fence.
As it turns out, everything has a aluminum lining. Now I have a very nice and private "storage" place for the Airstream.
Amazing what we (I) will do for these beasts.
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Old 08-23-2003, 06:02 PM   #16
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Good timing for a reminder on this issue. Monique and I really want to keep Jellybean III at our new house in Jackson, MS. I will make sure our Realtor gets me all the goods on local codes. Monique wants to stay away from the restrictive covenant communities (after living in 2 of them). We won't make an offer until I check the local (current) codes and restrive covenents.

A related issue is that local ordinances can change AFTER you buy the property. In my opinion, I would argue an unlawfaul taking of property rights has occured and threaten to sue the city or county.

Having your MH at a storage facility REALLY stinks! My latest new neighbor was a lawn service company with a beat up trailer. Just the thought of them coming and going every day next to my MH gives me the shakes!
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Old 08-23-2003, 07:19 PM   #17
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Well I certainly sympathize with your situation. As per one of my earlier posts - I didn't just get fined - but had my AS towed and vandalized. Subsequently I traded them all in on a new 25' footer that I can park in my driveway. Zoning ordinances here stipulate that it must be merely be parked perpedicular to the road. None the less - the person who turned me in sold their house a few weeks ago and I heard through the grapevine she was complaining about all my other vehicles as well.... I wish I would of had the same gumption as you with the sign... Good luck with it all...

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Old 08-23-2003, 07:27 PM   #18
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Quote:
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...A related issue is that local ordinances can change AFTER you buy the property. In my opinion, I would argue an unlawfaul taking of property rights has occured and threaten to sue the city or county.

Having your MH at a storage facility REALLY stinks! My latest new neighbor was a lawn service company with a beat up trailer. Just the thought of them coming and going every day next to my MH gives me the shakes!
yup, I tried the grandfather clause, too. It may work if you never leave the property, BUT once you leave and return you are governed by the code.
Going the legal route is not worth to me. Doesn't take long to spend the 500.- for the fence on a lawyer.
It's important to us to keep the Airstream at the house and not just have visiting rights.
It serves as a great guest house and the generator powers my computers when the lights go out.
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Old 08-23-2003, 08:31 PM   #19
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As it turns out, everything has a aluminum lining. Now I have a very nice and private "storage" place for the Airstream.
Amazing what we (I) will do for these beasts.
Peter, I'm pleased that you were able to get it resolved. Enjoy your new fence! Hopefully it will keep you from having to see the jerk who started the whole thing for you!

Roger
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Old 08-24-2003, 07:17 AM   #20
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After I bought my baby, I was told I couldn't park it more than 3 days on the street. I don't have space for it on my property, so I had to store her outdoors at $45.00 a month. I surely do miss her and because I can't see her everyday, I've decided to move. My house is expensive, big (with little land though), and in a great area. I was told by my realtor friend that in this city, land is hard to come by. I will need to downsize to a smaller home, and try to get at least 1/4 acre (10K sq. ft.) So be it for my A/S MH! Since one can move every 2 years and not pay capital gains on anything under $250K, I am putting my house on the market in Jan. 2004, God willing. Am looking forward to being able to tinker anytime I want, and use her for guests too! I keep hearing the song from Deliverance in my head though. My boys asked me not to move too far out in the boonies and be isolated.
My point in all this is that my neighbors seemed to converge on me and the MH when I got it on the pretext that it was beautiful, and in the same breath basically told me to get rid of it from "THEIR" streets. I hope the new buyer of my place is someone that will make them grit their teeth and make 'em wish I never left!
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