A parking ordinance approved by Renton councilmembers, Dec. 9, changes the rules on cars, recreational vehicles and other vehicles parked in your yard. City staff have said previously that the roll out would be slow, to allow time to adjust to the new policy, giving residents one year before it goes into effect.
Before the ordinance, each property could have a maximum of four vehicles, of any kind, outside a garage, that had to be licensed and operable.
Now more than four vehicles can be parked, with an additional vehicle per licensed resident at the address, as long as the vehicle is registered to that address (And more can be added with an Additional Vehicles Permit). Also, no vehicles over 10,000 pounds can be on residential property, and no semi-trucks, cabs or tractor trailers, without an Additional Vehicles Permit. Only one commercial vehicle under 10,000 pounds can be parked on residential property without a permit.
Recreational vehicles (RVs) can be on the yard, in these permitted locations, in order of city preference. If not, they have be stored off-site:
•In garage or carport.
•In a side or backyard, with five feet from the property line if it is over eight feet tall.
•In a driveway parked five feet from property line, perpendicular to the street.
•In another location determined by the city or concealed with screening.
These locations can be subject to modifications if needed, staff said. All vehicles except RV’s (which are also defined as motor homes, boats, boat trailers and utility trailers) have to be parked on an impervious surface, such as compacted dirt/gravel, asphalt or concrete. No disabled or unlicensed vehicles or boats can be stored or parked in the yard, unless they are parked away from public view in a “fully enclosed building at all times,” according to the ordinance.
The ordinance also prohibits vehicles from blocking public sidewalks or streets.
In another change, the city modified the ability for living in an RV or camper vehicle on a residential property. Now someone can live in a motorhome, travel trailer or camper for no more than a week within a six month period, otherwise a temporary use permit is required, and can only be used up to 30 days, and renewed four times each year.
This section of the ordinance was the subject of scrutiny from one Renton Planning Commissioner, David Fleetwood. When planning commissioners reviewed the ordinance on Sept. 18, some saw it as an improvement from not allowing any amount of time living in an RV. But Fleetwood worried malicious property owners might use the ordinance to target folks living in vehicles.
“I feel like this whole issue has been rushed through,” Fleetwood told Renton Reporter in September.
The code changes, previously reported in Renton Reporter, were part of a package changing how large vehicles like RVs and commercial trucks can park in Renton. Council also passed an ordinance over the summer that changes rules around parking on public property. The ordinance passed Dec. 9 focused on residential property.