Two-hour time limit for RV parking within Cottonwood HeightsJun 29, 2023 03:00PM ● By Cassie Goff
RVs cannot be parked on grass within Cottonwood Heights. They must be parked on a concrete surface. (Photo courtesy of Pixabay)
“I’d like to propose our city revise current policy and prohibit any long-term parking or storage of controlled vehicles within the front setbacks of residential zones,” wrote an anonymous Cottonwood Heights resident for the city councils’ consideration.
In response to the request, the Cottonwood Heights City Council asked Community and Economic Development Director Mike Johnson to review the city’s current codes and policies regarding the storage of RVs within neighborhoods.
“Basically, you can’t park these vehicles on the street for more than two hours,” Johnson said.
The section of the Cottonwood Heights Municipal Code that addresses the parking and storage of RVs is Chapter 11.20: Stopping, Standing and Parking. It also addresses the parking and storage of other controlled vehicles within the city’s boundaries.
Within the Code, controlled vehicles are defined as agricultural vehicles, commercial vehicles with an excess of 1-ton capacity, recreation vehicles (RVs), trailers for towing equipment, travel trailers, and trucks with an excess of 1-ton capacity.
“Controlled vehicles have to be parked on a paved surface. They can be stored in the front, side or rear-yard areas,” Johnson explained on June 20. “If they are stored in the front yard, they must be operable and legally licensed and registered.”
“So…two side-by-sides, four-wheelers, or jet-skis, on one trailer is one controlled vehicle?” Councilmember Scott Bracken asked for clarification.
Johnson’s answer was affirmative. He also clarified that commercial vehicles, like work trucks, are required to be in active use by the owner.
For any lot smaller than 0.5 acres, a maximum of three controlled vehicles are allowed to be stored on the lot. For larger homes, additional parking allocations increase along with the lot size.
Controlled vehicles cannot obscure or block intersections or overhang into any portion of the public right-of-way, which includes sidewalks.
“We have people in compliance with this all over the city,” said Cottonwood Heights Police Department Chief Robby Russo. “The ordinance is sufficient and keeps vehicles off the sidewalk. Lawfully-registered vehicles are parking on solid surfaces, so we don’t have things getting into the soils. It’s only ever an issue when people park over the sidewalk or on the grass.”
“Those standards have worked pretty well at mitigating any potential issues,” Johnson said.
Councilmember Ellen Birrell mentioned how the storage of controlled vehicles is difficult for residents living on corner lots and the increase of residents wanting to incorporate RV pads onto their properties.
“This could be addressed with form-based code,” Birrell said.
“We will move on without direction to change the code yet, but we can continue to talk as we’d like as a council,” Mayor Mike Weichers concluded the conversation. λ