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Published: Tuesday, 1/15/2013

Home storage rules of recreation vehicles could change in Sylvania

BY KELLY McLENDON
BLADE STAFF WRITER

How recreational vehicles are stored at Sylvania homes drew attention last week at the city council's Zoning and Annexation committee.

Some council members said the existing code is not adhered to very well by some residents. The current code allows a recreational vehicle or utility trailer to be parked or maintained in a residential district “for a period of time not to exceed (72) seventy-two hours, unless housed within a garage.”

But some committee members expressed concerns about the size of recreational vehicles and the length of time they are being stored.

“I'm not advocating one side or another...travel trailers are significantly bigger than 19 feet now,” council member Mark Luetke said, adding that the old code limits would exclude any type of modern trailer.

But council member Katie  Cappellini thought a stricter size limit should be established.

“I can't imagine looking out of my kitchen window...” she said, adding that she wouldn't want to see anything “longer than a canoe or a kayak,” stored.

But Mr. Luetke urged committee members to consider other criteria for establishing an amendment to the code. He said some residents, especially those who are elderly, may have emotional attachment to the travel trailers they store on their property. He gave an example of such a couple.

“They didn't have any ability to put it any place else. I don't know whether its for us to say that a particular size is inappropriate,” he said.

Several committee members questioned the size of a modern travel trailer and boat, stating that they are much larger than what they were in the 1960s and the 1970s.

Committee members also debated concerns about how close a recreational vehicle could be stored to the property line. Mayor Stough also contributed to the discussion, citing safety concerns.

“It may effect the safety of the neighbors. An RV or a boat could be flammable. I'd be nervous if it was close to my house...” he said. “I think maybe there's a safety component here.”

The inability to maintain a property near a stored structure, such as mowing the grass, was also brought up.

In the end, committee members elected to send the issue to city law director Jim Moan. Mr. Moan will be tasked with creating a proposal about the issue. The estimated time to create such a proposal is one month.

Contact Kelly McLendon at: kmclendon@theblade.com or 419-206-0356 or on Twitter at @MyTownSylvania.



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