A community-wide survey shows Black Diamond citizens favour the Town allowing residents to park their recreational vehicles in frontyards.
The Town of Black Diamond posted the survey on its website June 29 to Aug. 20 to collect public opinion on whether RVs should be allowed in front driveways following complaints about residents not abiding by the Town’s land use bylaw.
The bylaw permits residents to park RVs in their front driveways unless they live in areas zoned R1C, pertaining to the Willow Ridge and Riverwood subdivisions where the side yards are only four metres apart and pose a potential safety hazard when large vehicles are parked in driveways.
When asked if RVs should be allowed to park in frontyards, 58 per cent of the 332 people who took the survey selected yes, 26 per cent selected no, 19 per cent clicked on the option that it be allowed from May to October only, seven per cent felt it should apply to RVs shorter than 17 feet only and five per cent believed it should apply to parcels with more than 50 feet of street frontage.
The survey asked the same question for trailers, with a similar response. Fifty-nine per cent responded yes, 25 per cent no, 10 per cent agreed with May to October only, nine per cent felt it should apply to trailers shorter than 17 feet and six per cent believed it should apply to parcels with more than 50 feet of street frontage.
“The results were strongly apparent on both questions that the community wants to allow parking in frontyards,” Verna Staples, legislative services manager, told Black Diamond town council at its Sept. 2 meeting. “The questions asked were multi-faceted and people could choose more than one answer to the five options that we gave them.”
Staples said the handful of emails received from the public this summer trended the same way – in support of parking RVs in front driveways.
Willow Ridge resident Glen Fagan submitted a letter to the Town in June requesting that council amend its land use bylaw to allow RVs in front driveways in the Willow Ridge and Riverwood subdivisions during the camping season, so long as they don’t extend over sidewalks, curbs or front lawns.
This was after a peace officer arrived at his door to inform him that the Town’s land use bylaw doesn’t allow the parking of RVs in front-yard driveways in areas zoned R1C.
Peace offers embarked on a one-day educational blitz in the subdivisions on May 29 in response to complaints of residents illegally parking their RVs in their front driveways.
Fagan, who has no back lane, said he’d been parking his RV on his front-yard driveway seasonally for six years without complaint.
Council decided at its June 17 meeting to undertake a public consultation process to explore residents' thoughts on recreation vehicle parking in front yards.
Mayor Ruth Goodwin said she feels the survey and letters to the Town are a good indication of the public’s views on the topic and is waiting for administration to complete a report and recommendations regarding the parking of RVs in front yards to bring to council for a decision.
“I’m looking forward to discussing the RV question within Black Diamond at a council meeting, which I believe will occur in the next two months, so we can have that open conversation and discussion and review the recommendations from administration and planning so that we can resolve this for the upcoming 2021 season,” she said.