Skip to content

Council taking a second look at changes to RV bylaw

Cold Lake residents could still see some changes yet when it comes to the city's recreational vehicle (RV) bylaw. During the April 12 city council meeting, Coun.
Cold Lake City Council will once again discussing regulations around RVs within the city, after Coun. Chris Vining put forward a notice of motion.
Cold Lake City Council will once again discussing regulations around RVs within the city, after Coun. Chris Vining put forward a notice of motion.

Cold Lake residents could still see some changes yet when it comes to the city's recreational vehicle (RV) bylaw.

During the April 12 city council meeting, Coun. Chris Vining presented a notice of motion to open debate on an amendment to the land use bylaw to limit the number of recreational vehicles and towable trailers in front yards. The debate will also focus on establishing a setback for RVs and towable trailers parked in driveway and regulations surrounding RVs and trailers in side yards.

“I still think there is large public support for some sort of setback to keep RVs and all towable trailers back. That was the other thing we heard from the gallery, was that why is it just my holiday trailer? What about this person's quad trailer, enclosed trailer? Let's make it all towables and let's get them back off the street,” said Vining.

The issue is being brought to the forefront again after city council previously voted down a motion that would have tightened up on RV parking restrictions. After going through a public open house and public hearing, a narrow vote of 4-3 on March 22 defeated the land use bylaw amendments.

Previous amendments included a regulation that RVs must be setback at least one-metre from the edge of a sidewalk, they could only be parked on a driveway or parking pad, and only one RV could be stored in the front yard from April 1 to Oct. 31. Residents packed into the council chambers for the public hearing on the matter to express a mix of praise and concern with the proposed changes.

“What I try to capture (in the motion), is what I heard from the gallery – what people were in support of. What I heard was that people were very supportive with getting a setback and keeping hitches from the sidewalk,” said Vining.

The motion for consideration by council proposes changes to the land use bylaw that would set a limit of one RV or trailer parked in the front yard of any residential property, establish that all RVs and trailers parked in front and side yards must be on a hard-packed, non-landscaped ground, and all RVs and trailers must be parked a minimum of 0.5 metres back from the sidewalk, curb, or roadway.

“I think we're at that place where if you want to have a trailer you can keep one, keep it back from the road, keep it in your driveway, and I think that's a moveable (motion). We heard some support from the gallery and since this last time around I've heard a lot from the public, a lot of frustration coming out that we wren't able to get something done to help change this.”

Vining added, “It's a safety issue within our community and it's a livability piece.”

Restricting driveway widths

In addition to his motion regarding RV bylaws, Vining also opened up debate on another amendment to the land use bylaw, this time to restrict the width of residential driveways.

The matter was brought forward after noticing that new residential construction within the city hasn't always conformed to the recent changes to the land use bylaw. About 18 months ago, council passed a bylaw that depending on the zoning of the property, there had to be minimum frontage left in front of the property for on-street parking.

Since that time, Vining has noticed not all property owners are abiding by this rule.

“We don't have it in our land use bylaw that you have to pull a development permit to put in a driveway. A contractor can still come in and say ‘how much money do you want to spend?' ‘How big do you want it?' ‘I'll build it.'”

He added, “We don't necessarily have a recourse on that. The question becomes, as a municipality if you get a complaint about the width of a driveway, what do you do now? How do you go about it?”

Both the notices of motions, for the proposed RV bylaw changes and the width of driveways restrictions, will be back before council for discussion at a future council meeting.