Proposed RV limits anger citizens

Safety, fairness are top concerns

Outraged citizens voiced their concerns at a town board meeting Wednesday over two proposed laws that would change parking laws and limit living in RVs.

One proposal would limit living in an RV to 60 calendar days total, with the 30 days as the limit for a single stay. The other would restrict parking RVs, trailers, and other non-passenger vehicles on the street or sidewalk for more than 48 hours.

After all the concerns were aired, the board of trustees decided not to vote on the proposals until the March 12 board meeting. They cited the absence of the mayor and two other board members.

Several residents said limiting habitation in RVs inside town limits was unfair to those who could not afford permanent housing.

"I would hate for this ordinance to seem like a class war," said Sunny Gail.

The new law was drafted after town hall received complaints about residents living in RVs. The draft ordinance cites health and safety reasons for prohibiting permanent habitation in RVs.

Town Trustee Queenie Barz said she was concerned the fire department would be unable to find people living in RVs and help them during an emergency. But she said living in an RV would be permissible in her eyes if the sewage was not being dumped on the ground and the RV was registered with the fire department and marshal's office.

"It's hard for me to see us telling people they can't live where they can afford," she said.

Resident Tom Nunn spoke up at the meeting because he has been living in his motorhome while renovating his house. The new ordinance would allow residents to live in an RV for up to a year while renovating but would require a permit.

But Nunn has been living in his RV for more than a year.

"Isn't this changing the rules in the middle of game?" he asked the board.

The potential parking ordinance states that its purpose is to prevent trailers and RVs from blocking the path of snowplows and public safety vehicles.

But Fire Chief Tony Aspromonte and other longtime town residents spoke out against it.

"I have had snowmobile trailer parked out in front of my house for 20 years, and no one has ever complained," he said.

As long as Mancos has gravel streets, there is no distinct right of way, he added.

Gina Roberts pointed out some houses on Grand Avenue do not have access to parking in the back and on-street parking is the only option unless vehicles are moved on to lawns.

"It's become a matter of principle. My RV will sit there. I'll have people stay there. I'll gladly take the ticket. I'll gladly pay it. But I'll also ask the town to prove to me the right way," she said.

Mayor Pro Tem Perry Lewis seemed to side with the crowd at the end of the public hearing.

"I think we are overreaching a bit," he said