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RV owners protest plan to ban RV parking

The Jackson Mayor and Board of Aldermen were considering adopting an ordinance to ban all recreational vehicles from parking on city streets. RV owners showed up to protest the proposed ban during an informal public hearing during a study session April 2.

Greg Staggs said he lives on the end of a dead-end street that will never be extended because of its location. “It’s not going anywhere,” he told the Board. He parks his RV at the end of the street where no traffic passes it.

“I bought this location because it’s on a dead-end street 15 to 20 years ago and planned to put an RV there. What I’d suggest is that you don’t make this a yes or no vote but consider it by individual cases, using traffic counts, etc. There will never be a car drive by my RV ever.” He said a total ban “would really hurt some of us.”

Walter Biri said he parks his RV in a storage area. But when he gets ready to take a trip or returns from one, he parks it on the street in front of his house. “I park it on my street to load and unload,” he said.

Instead of a total ban, he recommends Jackson consider an ordinance such as one in St. Charles that permits parking up to 24 hours if the owner is present or one in Perryville that allows parking on a street immediately next to a residence for up to 72 hours.

Biri suggested that the City could issue parking permits to affix to a window of the RV that allows parking for 24 hours. By limiting the number of permits one could be issued, the City would address the problem of someone keeping his RV on the street indefinately if they move it  a little bit every 72 hours, as required in the current code.

“I don’t have an issue with a permit,” Biri said. “But just to cut it off [completely] is kind of difficult. By restricting this, I can’t load and unload.”

Mary Lummus bought her home in 2005.

“I didn’t know it would turn into Disneyland,” she said. “I have saeen the number of recreational vehicles increase every year more and more. It’s really bad for people who travel the streets [to get around the parked RVs].”

She liked the idea of a 24-hour permit, saying that under the current ordinance, “We’ve had them parked for a week.”
Susan Hass said she lives two doors down from an RV that remains parked on the street in front of a neighbor’s home. He moves it a little every 72 hours to comply with the law. She has an RV herself. “I pay yearly to have my camper stored,” she told the Board.

“This trailer has been parked on the street for at least two years now. It has been there so long it has stained the street. He moves it 3 inches every 72 hours. In our neighborhood it creates a safety issue. Kids dart in and out around that camper. And another issue, when it snows, the snow plow comes through and you have to drive on the other side of the street.”

Darrin Otte said he owns the RV Hass finds offending.

“I tried to find a place off street to park it. It got broken into. It cost me more to fix the camper and replace what was lost than it did to rent the storage space.”

He feels the camper is safer in front of his home. He moves it every 72 hours as required by the law. “I’m following the letter of the law. I’m not a lawbreaker,” he said.

“I’m in the process of building a shed for it. It has taken some time,” Otte explained. He said his street is as wide as any residential street in Jackson, so his RV should not cause a traffic problem. “It’s like a four-lane highway,” he said.

Alderman Larry Cunning-ham asked Otte if he was aware that the City has two places where RVs may be parked off the street. Otte said he did not know that.

Paul Schniedermeyer asked why the ban is being proposed at this time. “Was it because of this guy’s trailer?” he asked, referring to Otte. “Why ban all? I live in a house with no driveway. I have to park on the street.”

Scott Stockton said he owns a large RV but it fits in his driveway. “I wouldn’t have bought it [his house] if my RV didn’t fit in my driveway.” When he took a three-month trip, it took him three days to pack. “If you are going to leave early in the morning, you have to park it the night before.”

Alderman Phil Penzel agreed with Stockton. He parks his RV on the street overnight if he plans to leave in the morning. It takes him about half a day to pack.

Terry Hadley addressed the issue of RVs parked in front of homes with power cords running to them. It doesn’t mean someone is living in them, he said. Refrigerators have to be plugged in to cool down before food can be packed in them for a trip, he said.

He was opposed to a total ban. “They [RV owners] deserve the right to use what they have purchased,” he said. “Don’t cut them off at the knees.”

The Board appreciated the comments from the community and will revisit the issue at a future time. The aldermen did not seem inclined to proceed with a total ban.

Gregory Dullum has worked for The Cash-Book Journal for more than 25 years. Prior to becoming the editor in May 2017, he was production manager, circulation manager and reporter. Before moving to Cape Girardeau in 1988, he was editor of the Saint Louis Park Sailor, a weekly community newspaper in suburban Minneapolis, MN. A native of Minnesota, he returned there after graduating with distinction in 1978 from Ambassador College in Pasadena, CA, with a degree in mass communications. His wife, Marie, whom he met in college, is a native of Zalma, a small town in southeast Missouri. They have two grown daughters and five grandchildren. Gregory may be reached at

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