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Liberty City Council discusses RV ordinance

Liberty City Council spent roughly 45 minutes Tuesday night discussing the city’s ordinances regarding recreational vehicle. That includes occupancy, storage, designated areas and other issues. Interim City Manager Larry Shaw told council he has seen a number of issues related to the use of RVs in the city come before city staff. Mr. Shaw asked council for input on possibly revising the city’s RV ordinance to something more enforceable. Liberty Public Works Director Tom Warner reminded council the city’s current RV ordinance relates mostly to RV Parks within the city and what vehicles can be set up there. The only other current restriction is that RV’s can only be located to the side or back of a city residence- not in front- and that no one can be living in them for more than 14 in a 12 month period. Mr. Warner said that occupancy restriction in particular was difficult if not impossible to fully enforce. Tom Warner showed Liberty council members photo after photo taken by city staff of RVs parked directly in front of homes, parked at commercial businesses and located at “grandfathered” RV parks that existed prior to any city ordinances. Mr. Warner said city staff believes many of these vehicles are permanently occupied but have been unable to prove that in many cases. He added all of these RV’s had one thing in common- none were in compliance with current city ordinances. Additionally, it was pointed out that city residents often appear before council to be granted exceptions to the RV ordinance. Those requests are often granted. Liberty Mayor Carl Pickett said he felt if the city did not adopt stricter ordinances, the city could be overrun with RVs. He said the RV situation was not just an aesthetic problem, but a health and safety problem as well. Council member Paul Glazener said if they have ordinances in place about where RVs can be located on a resident’s property the city should fully enforce those restrictions. Council member Libby Simonson admitted to originating the complaints to city staff about at least one of the RV’s in the photo presentation. Mrs. Simonson said the RV problem was just part of a citywide clean up of unsightly residential areas in Liberty that needed to be addressed. As for making people angry, Interim Liberty City Manager Larry Shaw cautioned council about moving too quickly on RV enforcement. City Council member Dennis Beasley said he wanted more information on how other cities were handling this problem before moving forward. Liberty Mayor Pro Tem Diane Huddleston said she had no problem with RV’s in the city if the if the were “done right”, meaning out of sight of the public. Council member “Chipper” Smith asked for clarification on some current restrictions and how to enforce them. Council Member David Arnold was not present Tuesday. This was a discussion item only, meaning council took no action on the RV issue. 

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