FLUSHING — Flushing homeowners will still not be allowed to park recreational vehicles in their driveways for more than 24 hours, per a decision from Flushing City Council.
At the July 12 city council meeting, council members discussed the possibility of sending Zoning Ordinance 53.109(3)(c) back to the Planning Commission for further review. This section of the ordinance prevents homeowners from parking recreational vehicles such as boats, campers, jet skis, snowmobiles or an ATVs/UTVs in their driveways for more than 24 hours before and after a trip.
Under the ordinance, residents are allowed to park recreational vehicles in their side yards or backyards.
Mayor Pro Tem Edward Sullivan, who brought the item up for discussion, said that he’s received several complaints from residents about the ordinance section.
“I’ve had a couple people over the last few months come to me and ask if the ordinance can be looked at,” he said. “They want to see if we can amend it so that they don’t have to take their boat back to storage immediately upon returning from a trip to the lake or something like that. Or if they want to park their jet skis in their front yard for the season so they’re not running back and forth to storage.”
According to Sullivan, some residents have suggested that they should be allowed to park recreational vehicles and/or trailers in their driveways for at least three to seven days. Others have argued that recreational vehicles should be allowed to be parked and stored in driveways for entire seasons.
“I don’t know about the whole season, but three days seems reasonable to allow someone to park something that they’re utilizing every weekend in their driveway,” Sullivan said.
Sullivan made a motion to send the ordinance back to the Planning Commission for review, but council voted 4-3 to keep the ordinance as it is for the time being.
Flushing Mayor Joseph Karlichek, who voted against Sullivan’s motion, said that the ordinance has been useful for the city’s code enforcement and shouldn’t be altered.
“I just don’t know if we should mess with something that shouldn’t be messed with, unless there’s a groundswell (against the ordinance),” he said. “I think the ordinance is a good thing for the city so that we don’t have a cluster of recreational vehicles all over people’s yards and the sidewalks.”
Flushing City Manager Clarence Goodlein also said that it would be difficult to create a seasonal exception for recreational vehicles in the summer and not have a similar provision for winter recreational vehicles like snowmobiles.
“I think the Planning Commission would have to draft an ordinance that handles both the winter and summer or all-year round recreational vehicles,” he said.
Flushing City Attorney Matt McKone said that the current ordinance does contain a subsection in which homeowners can appeal to the Zoning Board of Appeals if they have a hardship case—such as a health-related issue—and can’t move their trailers or recreational vehicles from their driveways within 24 hours.
More information on the ordinance can be viewed at flushingcity.com.