Jeffersonville Mayor Bob Kinzer says security concerns raised by citizens in the village helped to steer new ordinance and zoning law changes into place.
Most people in the Village of Jeffersonville use recreational vehicles (RVs) for their intended purposes, said Kinzer, but the village recently amended village zoning and ordinance laws to restrict RV parking and usage.
Jeffersonville Village Council met Feb. 9, 2017, and passed ordinance 01-2017, establishing parking restrictions on trailers and recreational vehicles, said Kinzer.
Kinzer said the new law was in the works for awhile.
One of the reasons village council favored restricting RV and camper parking within the village is to prevent accidents. Kinzer said occassionally a person will park an RV along the street in Jeffersonville, which can be problematic. Three state routes — 41, 729, and 734 — are busy truck driver routes.
“It limits your lane size. We have so many trucks that come through that we had several accidents,” said Kinzer.
To comply with the parking restrictions, Kinzer said pull-behind trailers and RVs in the village must be parked on a concrete or blacktop slab or gravel in the backyard or rear property.
If there is no access available to park an RV in a backyard, Kinzer said it can be parked to the side.
Recreation vehicles and pull-behind trailers must meet state registration and tagging requirements.
A violation of the new village ordinance will result in a warning, and if unresolved, Kinzer said legal action will be taken.
In addition to parking restrictions, Kinzer said the ordinance restricts the amount of time people can stay in their RVs while in the village to 72 hours at one time, and up to 21 days per year.
Kinzer said it’s common for people to live in their RVs for a short time, for example, when they do construction on their homes and need someplace close by to stay for a few days.
Kinzer said the village does not want anyone permanently living in a trailer or RV in the village.
“I know a lot of other towns are having the same problem, as these little trailers are popping up everywhere and then we were having people actually setting up residence in it and wanting to tap into our sewer and water system, which is illegal because you are only allowed to have one tap per property,” said Kinzer. “More of our concern, we didn’t know who was coming into the village because they weren’t telling you, and that would be a security concern to the village — that, and the illegal tapping fees. If I have to pay tapping fees, you have to pay tapping fees.”
Last year the village was contacted by people who raised concerns over a person residing in an RV at a Main Street property.
Authorities and officials familiar with the incident said Fayette County man, Robert O. Hawkins, Jr., was in the process of making permanent utility connections from his mother’s house on Main Street to a trailer he parked on the property.
“He dug a ditch from the trailer to the existing sewer and water that was in the house and he was in the process of hooking up to it. We got it stopped,” said Kinzer.
According to Jeffersonville Village Administrator Bryan Riley, Hawkins had already hooked the electric up to a trailer.
Hawkins, 49, is currently being supervised by Fayette County courts after a conviction in December for failing to register his address change between Aug. 22-30, 2017.
Fayette County Court of Common Pleas Court testimony and statements in that case revealed Hawkins was required to register his address with the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office following a 2005 conviction of gross sexual imposition and sexual battery, but in 2017 was reported to be living in several different locations in Fayette County over a short period of time. According to court statements, Hawkins gave the sheriff’s office a Bloomingburg registration address in August, left to reside in Washington Court House, but was found living in an RV in Jeffersonville.
“Neighbors in the area were concerned,” said Kinzer, who also confirmed that Hawkins’ trailer is no longer in the village.
Kinzer said that the issue was an isolated incident; most people use RVs for their intended purposes — parking and short-term stays — within the village.
“We don’t want the village to turn into a national RV campground,” said Kinzer.
Contact Ashley at (740) 313-0355 or connect on Twitter by searching Twitter.com for @ashbunton and send a message.