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RV, trailer parking will be limited on Middletown streets; council adjusts proposed length of time

By Dan Miller

danmiller@pressandjournal.com

717-944-4628
Posted 8/8/19

Middletown Borough Council approved a new ordinance Wednesday regulating the parking of recreational vehicles, trailers and certain kinds of boats and trucks.

However, council made one change from …

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RV, trailer parking will be limited on Middletown streets; council adjusts proposed length of time

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Middletown Borough Council Aug. 7 gave final approval to a new ordinance regulating the parking of recreational vehicles, trailers and certain kinds of boats and trucks.

However, council made one change from the version of the ordinance that had been approved for advertisement July 2.

In the final version, RVs can be parked on a public street for up to 72 hours in any seven-day period, for loading or unloading the vehicle.

The ordinance as advertised had a 24-hour limit.

Council increased the time after Councilor Dawn Knull asked whether 24 hours is realistic when family members from outside Middletown visit relatives while using an RV.

She said that in many cases those visitors stay for a weekend, and would be forced to move their RV off the street after just one day, Knull said.

“We didn’t think about that,” Council President Angela Lloyd said.

Council also heard from two borough residents who said that 24 hours can be too short of a time when preparing a large RV for a trip.

“I think that’s a very valid point,” said Public Works Director Greg Wilsbach, who had proposed the ordinance.

Council then voted 6-0 to amend the ordinance to change the time limit from 24 hours to 72.

Tom Gray, who lives in the 200 block of Spruce Street, also said the 24-hour time-frame is not long enough, especially when getting a large RV ready for a trip.

“It takes 24 hours from the minute I plug in until the refrigerator reads 32 degrees in the freezer, and then I load it,” said Gray, who has a 36-foot motor home. Gray said he does not park his RV on the street when it is not in use.

He said he pays to store his recreational vehicle at a location in Londonderry Township.

The time change led to one resident expressing concern on the Press & Journal Facebook page that the borough would allow people to camp on the street for up to three days.

In response, Council Vice President Mike Woodworth clarified on Facebook that the intent is not to “permit camping on our streets” but to permit someone traveling in an RV and coming to visit someone in the borough, to be able to stay at that person’s house for longer than 24 hours.

Knull in her comments during the Aug. 7 meeting also said her intent was not to allow visitors in an RV to stay in it for up to 72 hours on the street, only that they be allowed to park the RV on the street for up to three days if necessary, while they are lodging elsewhere with family or friends.

Councilor Ian Reddinger, the only councilor to vote against advertising the ordinance July 2, was not at Wednesday’s meeting.

The rest of the now-approved ordinance remained the same.

Vehicles that would be prohibited from parking on streets for extended periods include:

• Any vehicle with three or more axles, including but not limited to single-unit trucks, truck tractors, truck tractors  with semi-trailer combinations and semi-trailers.

• Boats of Class 2 or 3 that are 26 feet or more in length, as classified by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, and boats wider than 10 feet.

• Utility trailers more than 20 feet in length or 10 feet wide.

The ordinance provides an exemption for trucks making a delivery, or for being used as a moving van. The proposal also exempts vehicles used by utility and construction companies that are “lawfully engaged in work on or about the roadway or property adjacent to the roadway.”