Danedri Thompson
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Recreational vehicle owners may be allowed to park and store their RVs in Gardner driveways in the near future.
During an Oct. 6 work session, council members appeared to reach a consensus that would change city code to allow the storage of RVs and trailers in driveways. Current code allows Gardner residents to park RVs in driveways in front of their homes for 48 hours or less. The existing codes allow residents to store RVs and trailers in side yards or in back yards only.
Community Development Director Mike Hall said staff examined RV codes in eight other cities.
“Most cities restrict storage in some way,” Hall told the council. “Most do not permit storage in front driveways.”
Lenexa’s codes are the most restrictive, requiring extensive screening for permanent storage of RVs. Olathe code allows RV storage in front drives only if side or back yard storage is restrictive.
Council member Heath Freeman said he was pleased that Gardner’s restrictions aren’t overly restrictive compared to other cities.
“Our restrictions weren’t so far out of whack that we need to rewrite them from scratch,” he said.
Though city staff recommended greater restrictions, including the possibility of requiring greater setbacks for storage and screening, council president Kristina Harrison said she would like to see restrictions eased.
“I’m in the camp that if I wanted something like that dictated to me, I’d live in a home owners association where they dictated it to me,” she said. “I’m assuming all of those people pay property tax on those vehicles and their homes. For us to say they can’t park them in their driveways makes no sense to me.”
Council members Steve Shute and Tory Roberts agreed.
“I’d rather have my neighbor park their RV in the driveway than in their side yard where I am trying to fight around it and mow,” Roberts said.
Several members expressed concerns about RVs parked in driveways and blocking sidewalks.
Freeman said that’s a safety issue, not an aesthetics concern.
“When you have RVs or trailers that cover the sidewalks that moves children and everyone else into the roads,” he said.
Council members may consider changes to codes that would prohibit or limit cars or RVs parking in driveways over the sidewalk. They will likely consider easing some of the current restrictions on RV storage at a later meeting.