The city of Longmont says rising home costs have been leading to a new problem: homes on wheels.
The city says over the last eight years it has consistently seen more people living in RV’s and other vehicles parked on city streets.
Residents in the city have raised concerns over the campers saying they’re a nuisance and safety hazard as owners are throwing electrical wires from the RV’s across sidewalks and even using fences as clotheslines.
On Tuesday, the city council heard public comment on a new ordinance that would change rules surrounding how long campers could stay in a single spot.
Currently, the city’s ordinance says a camper must move every 24-hours, but there is a loophole that doesn’t specify how far the vehicle must move.
“We’ve had vehicles that are completely inoperable [and] the owner of the vehicle would literally just push it by hand a few inches…and thereby skirt the ordinance,” said Assistant City Manager Shawn Lewis.
The new ordinance would include a clause that requires vehicles to move at least 600 feet -- or approximately one city block -- if they hope to avoid a ticket.
The ordinance does have a concession, though, as RV’s and campers would be allowed to stay in a single spot for up to 72 hours before the owner needs to move it.
At Tuesday’s meeting several people raised concerns saying the two-day time extension would effectively nullify the distance change as people would still be able to make a single spot their home for up to three days.
That change would make Longmont one of the most tolerant of vehicles on streets as Boulder has a 24-hour clause for RV’s, and Lakewood and Centennial both have 48-hour restrictions.
Tuesday’s hearing was the first for the ordinance, which will have a second hearing on Aug. 22. There has been no indication on when a vote on the ordinance might come.