FAYETTEVILLE — A new law puts restrictions on how long large vehicles can be parked on city streets.
The City Council on Tuesday voted to prohibit overnight parking of trucks, tractors and trailers with a capacity of over one ton, including motorhomes, recreational vehicles (RVs), fifth wheel trailers and camper trailers. The rule states large vehicles cannot be parked on any city street between midnight and 6 a.m.
The idea was proposed by Police Chief Mike Reynolds, who said a change was needed to address an issue facing some residents in Fayetteville. Reynolds said his department receives about a half dozen complaints each year about large vehicles – mostly RVs – that are parked on city streets for an extended period of time.
Reynolds said most recently, an older resident who was upset that a 40-foot motorhome was parked directly in front of her home instead of in front of the home of the owner of the vehicle. After investigating the incident, police determined the RV owner was only parking in front of his neighbor’s home “out of spite.”
Reynolds said without specific enough language in city code, there’s nothing the officers could do about the situation.
Aside from causing problems for neighbors, Reynolds said large vehicles can also cause traffic and pedestrian safety hazards, especially if emergency vehicles aren’t able to safely navigate the road.
Jonathan Curth, the city’s development services director, said city planners also field complaints from residents about large vehicles parked on streets throughout the year.
“There’s limited capacity in the traffic code to address this,” Curth said.
Councilmember Sloan Scroggin asked Reynolds if the new law would result in officers actively looking for violations. Reynolds said no, enforcement of the ordinance would be complaint-driven.
“We’d sure try to reason with the folks to try warn them and try to educate them on the law before we moved to anything like a ticketing situation,” Reynolds said.
Councilmember Teresa Turk asked whether the law would apply to other large vehicles like school buses that have been converted into RVs. Reynolds said once converted into an RV, any vehicle would fall within the new ordinance, but his department has never received a complaint about a school bus.
Turk questioned whether school buses should be added to the ordinance in case one that hasn’t yet been converted is causing a safety hazard. Reynolds said if problems arise, he’d ask the council for an amendment to broaden the list of prohibited vehicles.
Other council members said they were alright with the proposed language.
“I feel comfortable enough with the way it’s written that we don’t need to include anything more,” said Councilmember Sarah Bunch. “I like the idea that we’re focusing on what we actually have a problem with and if we need to rewrite it, or expound on it we can do that in the future.”
Resident Kyle Smith spoke during public comment, and said the ordinance should be amended to only apply to streets that are too narrow to allow for an RV since there are some places where roads are wide enough to accommodate large vehicles while still allowing traffic to safely pass through. Resident Sarah Moore asked why the law was needed if there were only a half dozen complaints annually.
Scroggin said it’s still legal for RV owners to park in their driveways on their own property, so he would support the change.
Reynolds said he plans to bring forward another amendment in the coming months to address some issues concerning large vehicles parked in alleyways.
During the final decision, the council voted 7-0 to pass the measure. Councilmember D’Andre Jones left the meeting before the vote.