SHERIDAN — A proposed city ordinance could limit the time a recreational vehicle may remain in RV parks within the city’s “gateway districts.”
The goal of the proposed Ordinance 2219 is to remove clutter that could be an eyesore for people coming into the community, Sheridan City Administrator Stuart McRae said. Forcing people to move every month — even if it is to just another spot in the same RV park — will reduce the amount of clutter that can accumulate, McRae said.
“If you don’t have some sort of (ordinance) that mandates that people move, we are creatures of habit and people tend to accumulate stuff,” McRae said. “When you accumulate stuff, and you don’t have anything that requires you to be mobile, you have the potential for clutter to occur…When you move around a lot… it does keep you light and you don’t tend to accumulate a lot of stuff… That’s kind of what this is going after.”
The ordinance would only apply to RV parks in areas of the city zoned B1 that are open for seven months or more, Public Works Director Lane Thompson said. There is currently only one RV park located in the city’s B1 zones, and it is open for less than seven months a year, McRae said. Thus, this ordinance would only apply to any new parks in the B1 districts.
“Right now, there’s not an impact to any existing (parks),” McRae said. “But it does set a precedent for future B1 RV parks that would ensure there’s a mechanism… to make sure they don’t gravitate towards clutter.”
While Councilor Kristen Jennings said she understood the purpose of the ordinance, she also expressed concern with imposing restrictions on private property owners.
“Obviously, I understand the reason behind it — general health and public welfare — but I guess my biggest issue is mandating something that happens on private property,” Jennings said.
Councilor Steven Brantz was concerned the ordinance change could discourage people from staying in RV parks.
“We are thinking about those that are going to create a bad image for Sheridan,” Brantz said. “I understand that. But let’s be aware that we’re also trying to encourage people to come and stay here during the summer also. To say ‘We’re going to play this little game, and you have to move once a month’… that is just wrong. I just don’t want to see that done to our parks here in Sheridan.”
Councilor Jacob Martin agreed.
“There’s a lot of mandates that RV parks already have in the books, and I’m probably not in support of adding another one,” Martin said.
Council will consider the ordinance at its Feb. 1 meeting.
In other Sheridan City Council news:
City staff is recommending renaming Industrial Road, which stretches between North Main Street and Fort Road, to Real Bird Way.
The recommendation is made to avoid confusion with other similarly named streets within the city limits including Industrial Lane and Industrial Drive, according to Community Development Director Wade Sanner.
Renaming roads happens rarely in Sheridan because a name change requires approval of all the property owners who live along the road, Sanner said. This is a good time to rename Industrial Road, as there is only one property owner who currently lives along the road, Sanner said.
The new name, which pays tribute to the region’s Native American heritage, will only apply to the portion of the road within the city limits, Sanner said. The portion of the road between the city limits and Fort Road will remain Industrial Road at this time.
Council will consider the name change request at its Feb. 1 meeting.