Orange Park a step closer to getting motorhomes, boats, trailers out of front yards

By Wesley LeBlanc
Posted 7/10/19

ORANGE PARK – Trailers, motorhomes and boats may soon will be banned from being parked in front of a house, following a recent joint meeting between Orange Park Town Council and the Planning and …

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Orange Park a step closer to getting motorhomes, boats, trailers out of front yards

Posted

ORANGE PARK – Trailers, motorhomes and boats may soon will be banned from being parked in front of a house, following a recent joint meeting between Orange Park Town Council and the Planning and Zoning Board.

“Just to have it out there, the current land development regulations are that trailers, travel trailers, pick up coaches, motorhomes, camping trailers, boats, boat trailers and racing recreational cars are allowed in residential zones, but they must comply with the yard setback requirements of the town in whatever district you live in,” Town Manager Sarah Campbell said.

Each district mandates setbacks where vehicles and trailers can be parked, although those rules could be affected by the planning and zoning board, chairman Pete Johnston said. The town council discussed a number of changes at its July 2 meeting.

Council Member Ron Raymond said he wanted a regulation that would protect neighborhoods in a more-attractive way.

“Most of [the examples of parked vehicles shown during the meeting] are legal, but all of them are abhorrent as far as I’m concerned,” Raymond said.

Raymond wants regulations that keeps Orange Park neighborhoods attractive. He said cars be parked in garages and on driveways, but additional vehicles like motorhomes, boats and trailers be parked out of sight.

Council member Alan Watt suggested banning vehicles from being parked in backyards where he says in some cases, they’re still visible. While Raymond and Watt agreed on most points, Raymond said he didn’t care if motorhomes, boats and trailers are parked in backyards.

Johnston doesn’t want the town to regulate the number of vehicles, boats and trailers a person can own, but that he wants to see the town create clearer regulations that can be easily enforced.

Orange Park Police Department Chief Gary Goble, who is responsible for overseeing code enforcement, agreed with Johnston.

“I’m concerned with being able to prove whether or not it is or isn’t legal,” Goble said. “I don’t care what we decide to do. [I just care] that we can enforce it and prove it.”

Despite differing opinions, the council took town attorney Sam Garrison’s suggestion to ban motorhomes, boats and trailers from being parked at the front of a house.

“A blanket-ban in the front of the house will solve the majority of problems and give [code enforcement] some clarity and consistency,” Garrison said.

The regulation also prohibits vehicles, trailers or boats from being parked on the grass at the front of a home.

A formal vote wasn’t needed, but the council agreed to start with a 90-day grace period. Residents then will have an opportunity to get into compliance before facing code enforcement violations. The council said it soon plans to vote on the proposed ordinance.

Last January, the planning and zoning board began developing an ordinance to where commercial trailers can be parked. That ordinance originally was brought to the town council on May 21. The second reading is scheduled for July 16.

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