One year after discussing safety concerns about parked trailers and RVs on town roadways, Pincher Creek is a step closer to adopting new trailer parking laws.
At the May 25 town council meeting, members voted in favour of sending suggested changes to the policy review committee, where the traffic bylaw will be reviewed and sent back to council with updates and recommendations before going through the voting process of three readings.
The issue of parked trailers on the street was first highlighted by the operations committee back in August 2019. With many citizens voicing concerns about parked RVs and trailers blocking visibility and posing a hazard to drivers and children playing, council reviewed proposed amendments to the traffic bylaw during the May 11, 2020 meeting.
At the time, administration was asked to review the bylaw and bring back recommendations. A public survey was also made available from May 27 to June 19, 2020.
The survey results were then presented to the operations committee last fall, and the municipal enforcement department researched how surrounding communities handled trailer parking.
Suggested changes to the traffic bylaw now under consideration specify what type of trailers can be parked on town streets and how long they can be parked there.
The proposed changes define recreational vehicles (or travel trailers) as “any vehicle that is designed, constructed, modified or equipped as a temporary dwelling place, living abode or sleeping place.” Bylaw enforcement officers will ultimately have the authority to determine what is considered an RV.
Trailers used to transport property or equipment — like flatbeds, dump trailers, or a tow truck attached to a vehicle — are defined as utility trailers.
In general, the proposed changes prohibit trailers from being parked on the street unless attached to a vehicle. An unattached utility trailer or RV can be parked on the street for no more than 72 hours, from May 1 to Sept. 30, and must be parked in front of the owner’s house.
Registration for the trailer must show a Pincher Creek address in order to be parked unattached, and trailers cannot be lived in or occupied while parked on the street. Slide-outs cannot be extended while parked.
Unattached utility trailers must also be owned by someone with a valid Pincher Creek business licence, and the trailer needs to be insured and have its own braking system.
Currently, the traffic bylaw prohibits the parking of any RV wider than 2.6 metres. The bylaw also restricts parking from Oct. 22 through March 31.
Having gone through a lengthy process, Coun. Scott Korbett said it was time to start the final stage in legislating recommendations.
“On this particular issue, we have enough public engagement and citizen engagement to make a very clear decision,” he said. “This can be done for the 2022 season for sure.”
Coun. Brian McGillivray agreed.
“It’s gotta be done. We do a very poor job as council on bylaw and policy review,” Coun. McGillivray said. “We should do better.”
It is expected the policy review committee will send its recommendations to council in about a month.
Sean Oliver, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Shootin' the Breeze