Rockland holds off on RV, lawn sale limits

By Stephen Betts | May 09, 2017

Rockland — The Rockland City Council has delayed for a month the possible adoption of laws to regulate lawn sales and recreational vehicles.

The council voted 3-1 (Councilor Adam Ackor opposed) at its Monday, May 8 meeting to postpone until June 12 a final vote on regulating how long people can live in recreational vehicles.

Councilor Ed Glaser said the city already has quite a few ordinances and he doesn't want to add to them. He suggested the restrictions be put in place only for the residential A and AA zones rather than all residential zones.

Councilor Valli Geiger said she also cannot support the measure as proposed.

Ackor said the proposed ordinance is simply a tool to help the code enforcement officer deal with situations that create problems.

The owner of a property in Rockland would be allowed to live in a recreational vehicle or allow immediate family members to live in them from May 1 through Oct. 31 if the owner resides in a single-family or two-family residence on the lot.

Property owners can also allow visitors or relatives to stay in an RV for up to a week if the vehicle has a self-contained sewage disposal, potable water and electrical service.

Recreational vehicles can be parked and occupied on private property -- where there are no residential structures -- for no more than 48 hours during licensed festivals in the city.

The code officer has in the past pointed out that there are people living in recreational vehicles where minimum housing safety standards are not met and that two people have died in such living conditions over the past several years.

Lawn sale law put on hold

The council also voted 4-0 at the May 8 meeting to postpone until June 12, an ordinance that would regulate non-stop lawn sales.

The decision came after Old County Road resident Lucy Curtis pleaded with councilors not to pass a law that would adversely affect her. The 72-year-old woman said she sells items to supplement her small amount of Social Security benefits.

"I'm not causing a huge problem," she said.

Resident Stephen Carroll, who is running for the vacant city council seat on June 12, pointed out that Curtis lives next door to a commercial operation (Time Warner cable).

He said Rockland was way over the top in terms of regulations.

"We don't need to add to this 'War and Peace' guide of city codes," Carroll said. "What is the damage being done here?"

Under the proposed yard sale ordinance, the sales would be limited to four times a year for no more than three days.

The proposed ordinance would prohibit new items from being sold at yard sales.

The code officer has said there have been instances of people buying items and then bringing them to their homes and selling on an ongoing basis. He said this is creating a commercial retail business in residential zones.

Upon completion of lawn sales, all items must be removed from the yard.

Geiger said she did not consider the law as too onerous.

Glaser asked if there was a way to create waivers to help people like Curtis.

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