Wednesday Nov 10 2010
New regulations aim to restrict RV street parking
By: Jon Brines, Placer Herald Correspondent
A heated neighbor dispute has turned ugly, and now the city is looking to make the stakes higher. Racetrack Circle resident Linda Brandlein said her neighbor’s 30-foot, fifth-wheel travel trailer is causing a problem. “Every time I backed out of my driveway it blocks my vision,” Brandlein said. “It’s a scary hazard when you come out of your driveway and a car pulls out in the front of you that you did not see and they didn’t see you.” According to the city, the current rule includes a 72-hour parking restriction for boats, trailers and recreational vehicles. Brandlein’s neighbor across the street, John Dickinson, who owns the trailer in question, just came back from a weekend outing with his family and said he isn’t parking the travel trailer year-round. “This is what my family does for fun. It’s not fun to not have it at your house,” Dickinson said. “I can see if it is run down with a flat tire, but as long as your property is presentable, it shouldn’t matter.” Recently, the city council unanimously voted to direct city staff to update the code enforcement rules to prevent the general storage of the vehicles. Rocklin Police Chief Mark Siemens said updating the ordinance is a community standard issue. “There is an intent in the zoning code not to store trailers outside your house,” Siemens said. “We want the intent of the ordinance to be easily enforced. We have to change the language.” Brandlein said the problem has been going on for years. She’s called code enforcement numerous times but she said Dickinson keeps moving it around the neighborhood to skirt the rules. Dickinson admits he’s moved the trailer to avoid the 72-hour maximum, but blames the escalating tensions on his neighbor. “She’s too nosy and she needs to mind her own business,” Dickinson sad. “I try to get it in and out of here when I can.” Brandlein hopes the city will raise fines and stop giving Dickinson warnings. “I think if you hit people in their pocketbook you really get their attention,” Brandlein said. “I don’t like rules better than anybody else, but you have to have them.” Brandlein said she managed to park her boat in the garage to follow the rules and said Dickerson should too. “You have to be respectful to your neighbors,” Brandlein said. “If we parked our cars in front of his house he’d be pitching a fit.” Dickerson admits police had to be called for one episode with code enforcement. He said he was disturbed by code enforcement who knocked on his door at 6:45 a.m. to cite him for another violation. “I was pretty upset. They don’t need to be knocking on my door that early,“ Dickinson said. “Every time my trailer shows up, this lady calls code enforcement.” Dickinson said a chronic back problem from his repo business hinders him from moving the trailer more often. Dickinson said he intends to fight the new rules at city council. “I’ll leave, I’ll move,” Dickinson said. “It’s ridiculous. It’s too many people regulating everything. They are regulating regulations.” City staff is preparing the new ordinance that will be presented to city council for public discussion and a vote before anything changes. A meeting date has not yet been set for the resolution.