Solana Beach to tighten regulations on RV parking

Solana Beach will soon have stricter regulations for parking recreational vehicles on city streets.

In response to complaints regarding RVs parked on public property, the Solana Beach City Council on April 8 reviewed a draft ordinance that would further restrict parking.

“I don’t personally like to over-regulate when not necessary, but the problem we have with our current ordinance is that it’s proven to be non-enforceable,” said Deputy Mayor David Zito.

City code allows campers and motor homes to be parked on public streets and in public parking lots for up to 24 consecutive hours. Boats, boat trailers and camp trailers are limited to two hours.

To address growing complaints, the council first discussed the issue March 11. At that time, council members directed city staff to explore options for further regulating RV parking.

Staff returned with a draft ordinance April 8, which the council reviewed and revised.

Once approved, the revised ordinance would strengthen regulations so that recreational vehicles without a city-issued permit would be limited to no more than eight hours of parking on any public street or public right-of-way in a 24-hour period.

According to the draft ordinance, residents may apply for a free recreational vehicle permit for a maximum of seven days a month for their own RV or a guest’s RV.

RVs must be parked on the same block of the owner’s residence — or 300 linear feet on either side of the residence — and at least 50 feet from an intersection. In addition, RVs must not be parked in public parking lots between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.

The council reviewed the draft ordinance for about 40 minutes, making several revisions.

Staff initially suggested limiting parking to just four hours on public streets and public right-of-ways, but Councilman Mike Nichols thought that was too restrictive. Staff also suggested issuing permits for four days, but Nichols thought the permits should be extended by at least three days. Last, he asked that the permit process be as fast and easy as possible.

His colleagues agreed with most of his suggestions.

“The idea here is to catch the abusers,” Zito said. “I think we can easily do longer days and still be able to catch the people that are basically using the street as their personal storage location.”

Over the past year, the city has received several complaints that RVs are parked in public space, disrupting public views and making it difficult to see around corners when turning or when entering a road from a driveway, according to the staff report.

Before council discussion, Councilwoman Ginger Marshall was reluctant to pass such an ordinance. She questioned how many RVs have been in violation of the city’s code and how many tickets have been issued. She said it appeared that most of the complaints have come from a particular group about a particular camper.

Although interim City Manager David Ott did not have the data on how many different vehicles have been ticketed, he did note that the city has received complaints about more than one vehicle.

“Although not as persistent or as focused, there’ve been other issues in other areas of the city,” Ott said. “Some have, after the warning, have moved them. Others have received tickets.”

The revised ordinance will be brought back to the council for adoption at a future meeting.