Solana Beach approves stricter regulations about parking RVs on streets

Solana Beach will have stricter regulations for parking recreational vehicles on city streets, after a 3-1 vote by the City Council on May 13.

In response to complaints regarding RVs parked on public property, the council approved a modified ordinance to further restrict parking.

Council members first addressed the issue March 11, directing city staff to revise the city’s ordinance. At the April 8 meeting, however, council members deemed the changes too restrictive and sent back the new rules for further revisions.

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.

After reviewing and revising a draft ordinance, the council ultimately approved an ordinance that strengthens 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 five days a month for their own RV or a guest’s RV. RVs must be parked within 300 feet of the resident’s property on the same street that abuts the front property line.

In addition, RVs must not be parked in public parking lots between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. They must also be parked at least 50 feet from an intersection.

Vehicles less than 22 feet long and 7 feet high are exempt from the new rules.

Residents with vehicles that require permits may obtain them by applying online. The city must respond within eight hours of receipt of an application.

Staff is also researching software programs that would allow self-issue permits.

Admitting she’s “gone back and forth” on the issue, Councilwoman Ginger Marshall voted against the modified ordinance.

Recently, she saw a bus-turned-RV parked in front of her neighbor’s house. The “unattractive” vehicle made her realize she could stand the sight for 24 hours, but not for a week.

“It just reminded me of a bad episode of ‘Breaking Bad,’” she said with a laugh. “My feeling is that RVs belong in RV parks. That’s why we have RV parks.”

The proposed ordinance had originally said permits would be issued for up to seven days a month, but the council agreed to reduce that number to five days a month after listening to Marshall’s concerns.

Voting in favor of the modified ordinance, other council members viewed the new rules as a way to track those in violation of the city’s ordinance.

“The intent here is to reduce the issues that are had today,” said Deputy Mayor David Zito.

“I’d encourage us to do something. We can always amend the ordinance later if it isn’t accomplishing its desired objectives.”

Mayor Lesa Heebner was absent from the meeting.