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Board gets earful from RV owners on proposed ban

More than a dozen RV owners in Hamburg told the Village Board on Monday night they want to keep their recreational vehicles parked at their homes year-round.

That's counter to a proposed ordinance that would allow boats, trailers, campers, motor homes, mobile homes or recreational vehicles of any size to be stored in a driveway only between May 1 and Oct. 31.

The current code allows RVs less than 24 feet long in the village, as long as the owner obtains a permit from Village Hall. But the village has never issued a permit, and village employees and Village Board members don't recall the code ever being enforced.

"Really, nobody ever applied for a permit," Village Attorney Edward J. Murphy said during a public hearing on the proposed new law. "It hasn't really been enforced. Now we're starting to get complaints."

"We're not looking to create problems for people in the village," Mayor Thomas J. Moses Sr. said. "We don't want to hamper people from living in the village."

The village received a petition with 88 signatures opposed to any changes, and one with 58 signatures expressing great concern with the proposal. Murphy said providing safe sight lines for drivers and neighbors is an issue with some RVs and trailers. Joe Cuddihy, of Boxwood Circle, said his RV is under 24 feet long and is parked almost behind his house. He suggested making sure the RVs and trailers are parked behind the front of the house. He said he checks with his neighbors to see if his RV causes a problem.

"If any one of them asked me to move it, I would," he said.

Charles Mann, of Martha Place, said he would be worried about the security of his 36-foot "fifth wheel" trailer if he had to park it in a storage facility. He, like others, said he was unaware of the existing ordinance.

"A lot of this is quite unnecessary," he said.

Kevin Lizak, of Church Street, said any rules about the storage of RVs should require them to be parked in the back part of property and allow for variances for special circumstances.

"These are big investments, many people are very responsible," said Bob Hill of Central Avenue.

One woman, who did not give her name, spoke in favor of the proposal.

"I can't fight anything these people have said," she said, but she added, "If I owned something for recreation, I would make sure I would provide a safe place where no one would see it."

This is the second time this year the board has tried to amend the existing ordinance. A public hearing in February was canceled after residents objected to a ban.

Two residents said they do not have room on the side of their houses to get their vehicles in their backyards. Others said they were responsible owners and shouldn't be punished for those who may not take care of their vehicles. Another man said insurance may not cover the vehicle if it is not parked at home.

No decisions were made Monday night. "We'll take all this into consideration," the mayor said. "We got some good, solid input. That's what it's all about."

e-mail: bobrien@buffnews.com

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