Unfair City Ordinance and Vigilantes Lurking With

Discussion in 'General RVing' started by tazcatt, Apr 5, 2006.

  1. tazcatt

    tazcatt New Member

    Unfair City Ordinance and Vigilantes Lurking With Cameras

    I bought a 27 foot 1974 Travco in the late fall of 2004 at Charleston, SC and brought it home to Pinehurst, NC, better known and advertised as the “golf capital of the world” and home of the recent 2005 US Open. I arranged for storage of my RV off my property on January 24, 2005.

    On January 27, 2005 I picked up a certified letter from the Village of Pinehurst dated January 20, 2005 reportedly due to a citizen complaint, stating I must remove the RV to a storage area within 5 days. Failure to do so would result in a fine of $50 per day. I called the city immediately to let them know I had put the RV in storage on January 24, 2005. In addition, I asked how I could bring the RV home to get ready for trips, do minor restoration and maintenance, etc. It was arranged I could bring the RV home for same for 48 hours upon e-mailing the city to let them know when I was bringing the RV home and when I would be returning it to storage. If someone complained, we would have to do something else. This seemed a reasonable solution.

    I called the city during the summer of 2005 to make sure everything was working out with our arrangement and was told that there was talk of reducing the time limit to 24 hours and that everyone owning an RV would be getting a letter stating same soon. I thought 48 hours was reasonable, but 24 hours was not. I never received said letter. Anyway, I just kept emailing the city and doing the 48 hour thing as before.

    After about 15 months of using the 48 hour arrangement, I received another letter on 3/30/06 reportedly due to a second citizen complaint. Seems this citizen was mad at the city because he had to remove his utility trailer parked at his home so he took it upon himself to cruise the city looking for code violations and filing complaints. Sadly, I had apparently brought our RV home on one weekend he was cruising. In any event, the letter went on to say that now, if the RV is owned by the property owners, it may be kept on the property for no more than 12 hours for loading and unloading. And, it is accepted policy at the city that a citizen can shoot dated, digital pictures and give them to the city for them to use as evidence of violations and to issue citations.

    Upon receipt of this letter I phoned the city to discuss the issues. First, what had happened to cause the time limit to go from 48 hours to 24 hours to now to 12 hours in about a year, which I felt was unreasonable, unfriendly, and created very negative climate within our community. I was told this was done at a city council meeting about the fall of 2005. Reportedly, public notice was given in regard to this meeting and was attended by a few upset RV owners but the council passed it anyway. I stated I never heard anything about this meeting or I would have obviously been there to put in my two cents worth. And second, how come a vigilante with a chip on his shoulder is allowed to hang out in front of other citizen’s homes and take pictures. I said in this day of terrorism, pedophiles, stalkers, perverts, molesters, registered sex offenders, etc., how in the world could this type of all around negative, and potentially dangerous policy be approved and adopted by the city. I was told that this was done all over the country and was a fully acceptable method of operation. Has anyone heard of this before?

    Continuing, I decided to go down to city hall to obtain a copy of Pinehurst’s ORDINANCE #03-54 and to try to get a better understanding of the history of the reasons for the negative actions towards RVs and their owners over the years. The present version of the ordinance was adopted on November 25, 2003. It states, “WHEREAS, the Village Council of the Village of Pinehurst finds that parking and storage of certain vehicles are detrimental to the appearance of the Village, adversely impact the value of property throughout the Village and are detrimental to tourism and the Village’s economic well being.” Recreational vehicles are named further on in the document, apparently, as perpetrators of the above. In addition the ordinance states, “Commercial Vehicles, Oversized Vehicles (note, this is how RVs are classified) and Trailers shall not be parked or stored in any residentially zoned districts or on any public right of way adjacent thereto unless they are kept within a totally enclosed structure”.

    I asked about the 48, 24, or 12 hour exceptions and was told this time, contrary to their recent letter to me, the exemptions really didn’t exist but were used by code enforcement to handle individual circumstances. And even though I was told about the 2005 council meeting on the phone yesterday, now I was told that no changes and/or exceptions were made to the existing ordinance adopted in 2003. The actual written ordinance I just received a copy of did not allow for ANY EXCEPTIONS FOR RVs.

    So, given same, if anyone, property owner or visitor of a property owner or an RV traveler just wanting to spend some time and/or money and/or take in a game of golf or two, ever parks an RV on private property or on a public right of way within city limits for even a minute, they are subject to a $50 fine. Thus, it seems one must check ones RV at the city limits so to speak or take it to the city suggested RV park, or pay $50 a day in fines. The city suggested RV park is The Village of Pinehurst RV Park. Check it out at

    http://www.pinehurstrvpark.com .

    At this juncture of my trying to understand the situation, I had a verbal confirmation of a 48 hour and a 24 hour exception, a 12 hour exception in writing, and now a verbal 0 hour exception. One of the people I talked to didn’t know about the roaming vigilantes and agreed with me that it was not good and he would not accept citizen pictures as evidence. I began to realize the reason for the all the confusion is that the city employees are trying to do their level best to deal with a public policy adopted by the city council that is so unreasonable that it can not be enforced fairly and, in my opinion, legally. But remains just the same. I feel sorry for those persons just trying to do their job under such trying circumstances. I sensed they are trying to work with our citizens on both sides of the issue out the best they can, without losing their jobs.

    I thanked them and mentioned that I was going to put this situation in the hands of the RVing public for their opinions and hopefully help. I said I had no beef with them personally, but I definitely took issue with what seems to be an unjust RV ordinance put in place by the city council and the use of angry vigilantes roaming around with cameras gathering evidence against their fellow citizens.

    Also, I have to note here that, “Boats may be parked on private property for no more than seven days each month.” I asked why boats were ok and RVs were not and was told the city didn’t want to curb recreation and wanted to give lakefront owners a break. Check it out at .

    http://www.villageofpinehurst.org/departments/planning/information/code_enfocement.htm .

    Lastly, the council members including the mayor have no published email addresses but do publish their names and pictures. See . http://www.villageofpinehurst.org/departments/council/VOP_dept_council.htm .

    The Village Manager, Andrew Wilkison’s email address is awilkison@villageofpinehurst.org . The city’s fax number is 910-295-1396. The regular mailing address is:

    The Village of Pinehurst
    395 Magnolia Road
    Pinehurst, NC 28374
    910-295-2581 (city hall)
    910-295-1900 (city council)

    I have 2 liver diseases and my significant other has had 3 cancer surgeries and subsequent radiation and cobalt treatments so we do not have the strength to deal with these “city hall” issues alone. We use our Travco as much as we possibly can and enjoy our time together in the wide open country fresh air so very much. Sandra and I would sure appreciate any help from our fellow RVers.

    Warmest regards,

    Jeff and Sandra
    Pinehurst, NC
  2. turnipbwc

    turnipbwc New Member

    Unfair City Ordinance and Vigilantes Lurking With

    When I am out and about traveling in my RV one place I will not stop for gas/groceries/etc will be Pinehurst, NC. I guess they don't need any more business in their town. If all the RV owners out there bypass Pinehurst it might just draw some attention to the fact that Pinehurst needs a change come election day. That's just my opinion.
  3. SnowbirdInFlight

    SnowbirdInFlight Senior Member

    Unfair City Ordinance and Vigilantes Lurking With

    It is definately a place I will avoid as well. If they can't treat their own citizens fairly then I know I don't stand a chance. They will never get any of my tourist dollars!
  4. Krazeehorse

    Krazeehorse New Member

    Unfair City Ordinance and Vigilantes Lurking With

    I would make a call to your local realtor and put up a sign. I would also figure out who the snobby rat is in your neighborhood and buy a $50 car and license and insure it and park it in front of his house. :laugh:
  5. s.harrington

    s.harrington Senior Member

    Unfair City Ordinance and Vigilantes Lurking With

    Remember who your civic leaders are come election day and vote them the H*&& out!!!!!! Get some RVers to run for office even if you have to draft one.
  6. Pat1955

    Pat1955 New Member

    Unfair City Ordinance and Vigilantes Lurking With

    I'd be selling too!!!!!! But in the meantime, I agree with s.harrington.........get those city councilmen the H@@@ out of there.....you need RVers on that council. They sound like pompous asses!!!!!

    ARCHER Senior Member

    Unfair City Ordinance and Vigilantes Lurking With

    Hey Tascat,
    why don't you print the answers to this subject and send them to each of your city council members.....might wake them up a little.
  8. slow-canoe

    slow-canoe New Member

    Unfair City Ordinance and Vigilantes Lurking With

    If you want to spend the money it might not hurt to ask a lawyer if what the council did is legal and what your opitions are. Or the other thing go see what the people on the city council are driving and push to outlaw them parking in town by saying the cars they drive are what gang bangers drive and it gives the town a bad image and is running down property values. (What goes around comes around.)
  9. Tor H

    Tor H New Member

    Unfair City Ordinance and Vigilantes Lurking With

    I just wonder, can this really happends in the land of freedom I have heard so much about. I'm sitting here overseas, and my thinking about this is that counsil have to be ghosts from the middleage.
  10. hertig

    hertig Senior Member

    Unfair City Ordinance and Vigilantes Lurking With

    Tor, what you have heard about is history. In 1776, this was the land of the free and the home of the brave. But every year since then, it has become less so. Various people and groups, sometimes for profit, sometimes for personal goals or beliefs, occasionally just for fun, and often just to be seen as 'doing something', have peeled those qualities from us, layer by layer. As of today, we are the land of the lawbound and the home of the indifferent...

    Most governments in this country have evolved to the point that they do what is good for the government entity, not what is good for the people they supposedly represent. Our city government has not prohibited RVs (yet), but they have done other reprehensible things like imposing a city sales tax on purchases made outside the city limits and imposing a monthly fee for services they only provide twice a year, and you have to pay even if you don't use the service or the city will shut off your water even if the water bill is paid in full. And then they condemn your house because they have a law that you must have running water.

    In fact, they have a program where they solicit anonymous complaints about a person's property, and then go after that property owner. Sure, there are those who pose an actual danger to their neighbors, but I got cited for 'trash' in the carport (1 paper cup, 3 sheets of newspaper, some *gasp* car parts and about a quart of leaves), and again for having a dead tree in my yard (which unless the city is much more efficient than I give them credit for was still alive when the complaint was filed)... Rumor has it they are working on an 'ugly home' ordinance which will allow them to say 'We do not like the color of your house - repaint it'.

    At the state level, there have been several cases where a question goes through the tortuous maze to get on the ballot, and is passed by an overwhelming majority of the voters, and then one judge throws it out.

    And if you have seen the news here, there is this big push by the federal government to give amnesty to the 12 million or more people who have snuck into the country illegally. This appears to be in spite of the massive percentage of the citizens of this country which are against it. As far as I can tell, the only people who are in favor of this are the illegals themselves, and those who profit from illegals and legal foreign workers, by paying them wages way below the norm for this country.

    Government, which is supposed to be symbiotic, usually evolves to be parasitic...
  11. AnotherRookie

    AnotherRookie New Member

    Unfair City Ordinance and Vigilantes Lurking With

    You can thank the US EPA and Carol Browner for the vigilante mentality. Years ago, some of the EPA regulations allowed "citizens" to report "environmental violations", and in some instances, actually get paid for it. Several states have since followed suit. Actually, many of the "citizens" who report the percieved violations are lawyers who aren't good enough to get work doing anything else. I can't tell you how many hard working farmers and ranchers have had to fork out a lot of money to defend themselves against unfounded allegations.
  12. jabberjaus

    jabberjaus New Member

    Unfair City Ordinance and Vigilantes Lurking With

    Hi, I'm interested in the subject of city codes and ordinances.
    I've had a contact by the "enforcer" in my city. He did not up front inform me that there was a complaint made. He just questioned that the motorhome was being used to live in. The ordinance here in Norco, CA supposedly is that a motorhome can be parked in the yard, but not lived in. Lived in means spend the night in it...like from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. and couldn't I stay in the house. Yes, I could...I rent a room in the home of my daughter and that's what I told him. I do like my privacy however and I do like to give my daughter and her family their privacy. I'm thinking that the neighbor who complained must not understand privacy as what's going on in this yard and what's going on in their yard is each our own business. Now, I'm old enough to qualify as a senior citizen who could possibly get a "permisson" to live in said motorhome IF...but, this code is not the one the "enforcer" is addressing. I don't get to know what the code says that he's addressing except for his words in his letter.
    The motorhome is not mine, but I get to use it. I wonder if this nosy neighbor can prevent that, too. Of course, I don't get to face the accuser...the tattletale coward gets to remain anonymous in case the one getting reported might want to retaliate. My sense of retaliation is make sure your own back yard is in order before you report someone else and I feel that person doing the reporting should be checked out first for their own violations. I remarked about the barking dogs who set off 6 times in an hour at times and they did set off because he parked in the driveway next to theirs. I asked him to take note of that; but, it won't count because there's a right way to make a complaint and verbalizing it to the code compliance person while he's experiencing it is not the right way. This situation has accelerated to other "issues" that have to be addressed that pose a problem not for me but for my family simply because they are willing to allow grammie to hang around. Now, I feel I must distance myself from the family because this or these neighbors can complain aboutme. This tenant I suspect moved in after (go figure) and this situation has gone on for 3 years and only this month has it become a problem. I can't figure out what's really going on...but I'm suspicious of what's going on behind the scenes because reasonable people would not let this kind of thing happen. The code compliance officer should have been able to recognize that there's some issue other than the "violation" and not promote someone's hostility against another in this "official" way. Because I am 61, a female on my own, and value my privacy and not yet ready to stop travelling I want to come and go as I please in the time I decide is right for me.
    I've travelled for a year in this motorhome and have come across situations in many cities that have to try to balance the rights of each citizen and I think it's just easier to ask the most docile to comply. Like tazcatt posted Apr 05 2006 he's elderly and unwell. I commend him for all he did do..it took lots of energy and focus all of which I do not possess. I have been made to feel I do not belong and it's happened again right on my own daughter's own property. If I can't be here where can I be? What a sad situation.
    Martha Smith
    Norco, CA
  13. alicat96

    alicat96 New Member

    Re: Unfair City Ordinance and Vigilantes Lurking With

    Tazcat- I understand your feeling of your rights being trampled on, I am in a very simular situation in our gated community with the home owners assocation where I live. I can only have my motorhome parked here for 8 hours (loading and unloading they say) at a time and I've found I can live with that.
    But they are so restrictive that they do not allow any homeowners boat, vehicles, company trucks or others that have writting or logo's on them to be parked in any driveway except for service calls.
    The association is run by an outside firm, and I would need the approval of 50% of the homeowners here to supercede any current rule. It will never happen here, so my only option is put up with it or sell.
    I must say I knew the rules before I got the RV so I guess I'll just live with it....

    Big Al and Teddy the Border Collie

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