In Savage, up to three recreational vehicles are allowed to be parked and stored at a residential property, as long as they have a current license and are operable.
But the city wanted to evaluate the current ordinance, particularly the number of RV’s allowed to be parked and stored in residential areas.
After soliciting input from the community, Code Enforcement Coordinator Mitch Johnson went in front of the city council on May 8 during a work session to make the case for amending the ordinance.
A total of 292 total surveys were submitted. About 37% of respondents said there is a problem with the storage of RVs in their neighborhood, and 43% said they feel their property values are lowered when they are stored outdoors.
According to the survey results, 14 people said the city code should remain the same, 14 people said they think that seasonal restrictions should remain in place and eight people said the number of allowable RVs should be reduced.
In February, staff checked out 3,091 residential properties across 19 different neighborhoods, and found that 91% of the properties had no RVs, while 7.6% had one, 1% had two, less than 1% had three and none of the properties had four or more, which would be a violation of the current ordinance.
“Staff recognizes that this data was collected during the winter months and that the numbers could possibly increase during the summer months when additional recreational vehicles are brought out of off-site seasonal storage locations and returned to residential properties,” Johnson said.
As part of the recommendation provided to the city council, Johnson said research was done on 10 other cities in the south metro. Four of those cities don’t have a specific number of allowable RVs and five have a maximum of two RVs. One city allows three RVs, but only one can be a camper and two can be utility trailers.
One of the major recommendations Johnson proposed to the city council is to keep the maximum number of recreational vehicles at three, but reconsider it in August. It is also proposed to keep the maximum of RVs to two per driveway.
“Staff believes that additional observations recorded during the summer months are required, to compare the data with the information that was collected during the winter months, in order to make the best informed decision,” Johnson said.
Another proposed change is to remove language related to seasonal recreational use. Johnson said the recommendation is because “many recreational vehicles are used year-round, such as ice fishing houses, campers, all-terrain vehicles and boats. In addition, the current city code does not define seasonal use.”
The administration also proposed adding clarifying language saying parking for RVs in the side or rear yard must be in compliance with city code regarding the maintenance of vegetation.
It was unanimously recommended by the Planning Commission to go forward with the proposed amendments.