01/04/13 Terry Borggren, a resident of Plymouth’s 2-mile jurisdiction was before the Plymouth Board of Zoning Appeals again Wednesday to request action be taken against an RV parked in the side yard of a home in the Carriage Hills subdivision.
Borggren was at the meeting last month and appeared before the City BZA several times in 2011 with the same request. The issue he has with a 5th-wheel RV that is parked in a neighbors side yard, hooked up to electric, hooked up to water, has the TV antenna up, slides are out and a gray water holding tank is present. Owners of the RV are parents of one of the home owners. Their pick-up truck is tagged with Montana plates and Borggren has been told the RV is the owners only residence.
Although the Carriage Hills subdivision has covenants to detour this type a living, the homeowners association is no longer active. Borggren believes the City of Plymouth, the ones who control the 2-mile zone could and should handle the situation.
Keith Hammonds, Code Enforcement Officer for the city sent a letter to the property owners after last month’s meeting notifying them of the issue. Their response was to him was that the RV had been on their property for 33 days as of December 7th. City zoning allows an RV for 8 weeks per year. Another issue in this case is the determination of a definition for the word “occupied.”
Is the RV “occupied” while it is parked in the yard or are the owners staying in the home? Last month Borggren gave members of the BZA information from the RV Association on full-time RVs.
Commission member Mark Gidley said from a tax stand point he believes that a recreational vehicle with sleeping, toilet and cooking facilities could be considered a primary residence or a secondary residence. If that is true, then having two primary residences on one lot is not allowable by city zoning.
City Attorney Sean Surrisi will do research on the issue and look at definitions of occupancy from other communities. It is his recommendation that if the BZA feels a change in the zoning ordinance needs to be made, then the Plan Commission should begin work on it during the next couple of months.
An additional issue to this case is that city ordinances do not go out into the 2-mile zone, only the zoning ordinances work.
When asked how many people Borggren was representing at the meeting he said four other homeowners had spoken directly to him on the issue and a few other citizens. He suggested 10 to 15 have the same concerns as he has.