What's News in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin

RV Ordinance Update
In response to ongoing concerns regarding the parking and storage of recreational vehicles (RVs) in the Village, all interested residents are invited to participate in a working session, being held by the Plan Commission, to discuss proposed changes to the portion of the Village Zoning Ordinance governing these vehicles. The working session will be held on Thursday, November 6 at 5:00 p.m. in the Village Hall Auditorium, located at 9915 39th Avenue. As a result of the session, the staff will prepare proposed revisions to the Ordinance that will be presented at a subsequent public hearing.

PROJECT BACKGROUND
The ordinance that currently governs the parking and storage of recreational vehicles in the Village was originally put into effect by Kenosha County in 1983. At the time, Pleasant Prairie was a town and was governed by the Kenosha County Zoning Ordinance. In 1996, additional language was added by the Village to require a five-foot setback from side and rear property lines and to require that RVs be screened from view. In 2005, the Village added that the screen should be a six-foot high, wooden fence.

During the spring of 2007, a number of residents requested that the ordinance be revised to reflect the current-day use of recreational vehicles in the Village. In response, on March 19, 2007, the Village Board adopted a resolution allowing Village staff to review the ordinance and propose changes. At the March 19 Village Board meeting, several citizens spoke in favor of re-evaluating the ordinance. The citizens commented on a number of issues. A recap of the comments follows.
• Because most RVs are now taller than nine feet, screening one with a 6-foot high fence does not totally screen the vehicle.
• RVs should be in working condition and have currently registered license plates.
• Storing RVs off-site is costly and introduces added security concerns.
• If you have a corner lot or a road in the front and rear of your property, then it is difficult, if not impossible, to store your RV on your property legally.
• The ordinance should be based on how far away the RV is from the street when parked.
• Most newer subdivisions have covenants that are much more stringent than the Village Zoning Ordinance and do not allow RVs to be parked or stored on the property.
• During summer months, when RVs are used more frequently, parking them in a driveway to allow for loading and unloading is reasonable and should be allowed.
• A permit could be required to park an RV, similar to a permit for building a fence.

During the summer of 2007, the Village Administrator held a public meeting to gather information from residents and discuss potential changes to the ordinance. Following the meeting, Village staff researched other municipal ordinances and drafted an amendment that reflected the residents’ input. Village staff was seeking to create an amended ordinance that would be both fair and practical, and one that could be reasonably enforced during court proceedings when necessary.

On August 25 of this year, the amendment was presented at a public hearing. A notice of the meeting, inviting the public to speak to the topic, was published in the Kenosha News. At the public hearing, no one present spoke regarding the proposed amendment to the ordinance. After discussion by the Plan Commission, it was forwarded on to the Village Board for consideration.

In contrast to the public hearing held during the Plan Commission meeting, several citizens attended the Village Board meeting to voice opinions regarding the proposed amendment. In response to the new feedback, the Village Board voted to refer the matter back to staff for further citizen input.

CURRENT AND PROPOSED ORDINANCES
Both the existing and proposed portions of the zoning ordinance related to RVs include text that:
1. Defines what is considered to be a recreational vehicle in the Village;
2. Defines where and how recreational vehicles are allowed to be parked or stored, in addition to how many are allowed; and
3. Defines additional regulations and restrictions related to their use and storage in the Village.

Proposed changes to the ordinance include:
• The addition of text to clarify what is not a recreational vehicle in the Village;
• The identification of specific zoning districts in the Village where RVs can be stored;
• The removal of a requirement to screen an RV from view with a six-foot high, wooden fence;
• The addition of language restricting RVs from being parked within a vision triangle (also included in another section of the Ordinance);
• The addition of the seasonal ability to legally park an RV in a driveway if established setbacks are met; and
• The addition of text to restrict RVs from being parked in a public street right-of-way.

To read copies of both the current ordinance and the proposed ordinance, please see the PDF below. The PDF includes both the current version and the proposed version that was recently presented at the Public Hearing. If you have concerns related to the proposed changes, please join us on November 6. For more information related to the public working session, please call the Community Development Department at 262/925-6717.

Note: Semi trucks and construction equipment in residential areas and the storage of inoperable and unlicensed vehicles are regulated elsewhere in the Village Ordinances.

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