The City of Oakley announced it will host a work session regarding RV/Boat Parking and Driveways on May 22 during the Oakley City Council Meeting.
The work session is anticipated to start anytime after 7:30 pm depending on the City Council Meeting length–but will not start before.
Council Meeting on RV/Boat Parking and Driveways
A City Council work session regarding regulations relating to RV/Boat Parking and Driveways will now be held on Tuesday evening, May 22nd at City Hall. This is the same evening as a regular City Council Meeting that will start at 6:30pm; however, this work session will start close to but not before 7:30pm. The purpose of the work session is to briefly review the issues at hand, allow the City Council ask questions of City staff, and then open up a public discussion where each of you can provide comments and offer suggestions. If you would like to speak in person, you will want to fill out a blue speaker card that is on a little table as you walk into the City Council Chambers. (You will want to submit the card to the City Clerk before the start of the work session). You can also fill out the card online at this link: http://www.emailmeform.com/builder/form/2CNX43Dec07bwlb. The online card also allows you to check a box if you would rather not speak but still have your comments included in the record. Feel free to email any suggestions or comments ahead of the meeting to [email protected].
What the City did not put in its announcement was what exactly the work session will cover and the direction the City Council is headed with it.
According to the march 13 City Council meeting’s 90-minute work session, the Council made several recommendations regarding illegal second driveways, however, they then inserted RV/Boats into the discussion.
- Increase tools to allow staff to place liens on people’s homes who illegally create second driveways and choose not to fix it—preventing residents from refinancing or selling their home until its fixed.
- Amend the municipal code to begin a fine process for illegally parking on second-driveways. It will be updated to say people may park in approved driveways (main driveway).
- Limit recreational parking of boats, RV’s trailers to only 1-per household.
- Vehicles parked that create a blind intersection or “sight triangle violation” may be towed.
- Oakley council encouraged staff to create an educational campaign to make residents aware of what is legal and what is not.
Here is a partial recap of the meeting, a full recap can be viewed here
Councilman Kevin Romick explained the councils 2006 decision to allow RV and boats to be parked by highlighting how it was a much smaller community then and people moved out here to enjoy the delta, but noted people are coming here from communities that don’t allow boats or like to see them.
“As we continue to mature and grow as a community, there are going to be those people who come here from areas that don’t allow boats, like the community’s around us, that don’t like to see boats and RV’s in the driveway. I think we are going to have to re-look at that whole proposition again,” said Romick. “As our community grows its going to be imperative for us to make that choice and I think move away from allowing that use of driveways and I think once we do that, we eliminate some of the need to have larger driveways and larger accesses.”
Councilwoman Sue Higgins asked if they could write a Cease and Desist letter to everyone in violation of using the ADA ramps letting them know they are in violation of state and federal law. She also asked if the city could sue a resident first for breaking the law.
Vice Mayor Claire Alaura stated they needed to address the idea of parking RV’s and boats in front of home because it’s a changing city and they were becoming the dumping ground for other cities.
Parking of RV’s and Boats (2 hr 25 min mark)
Councilman Doug Hardcastle recused himself from this portion of the discussion due to a conflict (business). The council then discussed the issue.
Mayor Randy Pope asked if current use of parked RV’s and Boats would be grandfathered in. City staff said that in their opinion, it’s a use allowed under the current code. If you change the code, there was no permit that authorized them or way to track it.
Romick suggested that if people did want to park an RV or boat, it can only be on their legally permitted main driveway and limit it to one (boat or RV). Romick, Higgins and Pope all agreed to direct staff to work on code that would allow for one recreational vehicle park in a driveway—Alaura wanted all boats and RV’s banned.
Extra Driveway Width (2 hr 43 min)
The City of Oakley has a 50% rule where if you have a 2-car garage, it can be 20 feet. A 3-car garage can be 30-ft. Recently added was you could add another 10 ft if you have a pie shaped lot. City staff has drafted an amendment to address this by allowing 10 ft if its adjacent to the garage side—this will come back before the council at a future meeting.
The council agreed that an unconnected second driveway was “bad” but to add width to existing driveway is “good”.
Pope asked what do we do about the people that have already done this?
Alaura cited they should receive a notice of gradual zoning as a good tool—recording a lien.
“We may not get them to turn it around, but later,” said Alaura.
Higgins said the residents need to know that it is illegal, and they could be sued.
“It should mean that anybody in Oakley could sue them because they are doing something illegal,” said Higgins. “It’s a civil suit. Their neighbors could sue them because it’s a safety hazard. You can chose to address it or wait and have the lien.”
Pope suggested that they notify the resident of the violation and they have to remedy it, but the enforcement of it is a notification of the lien.
“You thumb your nose at us, fine, we are recording on your lien on your Title, anytime you try and sell, refinance then you gotta do it and there is no if and or butts,” said Pope. “That is our hammer.”
Montgomery warned the council that when they begin to educate the community, the community will show up angry. He estimates that some of these items can come back before the council in a couple of meetings and outreach could begin.
“It would be a lot easier to turn our heads because of the crap we get frankly, but this is the best for the long term of the community,” said Montgomery. “It’s the safest and legal way to do it.”
Hardcastle suggested that the number one priority should be to first address the homes that have created a safety issue before anything else.
Current Issues (sight triangle) at 2 hr 58 min mark
Pope wanted to know if the city already had code on record stating people could not create a blind intersection by parking your vehicle. Staff said they have it on two fronts—vehicles or obstacles.
Pope suggested that the city draft a municipal code that would allow staff to cite people for illegally parking on second driveways on their own property if it’s within the sight triangle saying the municipal code can address this.
“I am working on two separate things, the lien for building the structure of the illegal driveway, we are going to make you tear it up when you refinance or sell your home (tear up first 5-ft in a public right of way),” said Pope. “In the meantime, we don’t want you parking your car. So we have enforcement mechanism if you are creating a blind intersection. I want an enforcement mechanism if you are not creating a blind intersection.”
Staff suggested adding language that says you can only park your car on an approved driveway or concrete adjacent to your driveway—if you are, it’s an administrative citation regardless of how you got it parked there (a code violation/parking ticket).
Montgomery confirmed that the direction the council was headed was that we will tell property owners we will place a lien on the home for the illegal driveway, but we also don’t want you parking on it as well.
Pope explained this will prevent people from continuing to drive up curbs and they no longer can only enforce this by catching people in the act, now it addresses the parking. Staff said typically, its 10-30 days for correction. Montgomery added that citations range from $100 to $500 dollars.
To view the council meeting, click here.