Thursday, December 9, 2021
Dec. 9, 2021

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Clark County to allow living in RVs on private property

Temporary change requires property owners to get permit first

By , Columbian county government and small cities reporter
Published:

Clark County property owners can allow people to live in recreational vehicles on their land for the remainder of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Clark County Council voted unanimously Wednesday to temporarily suspend regulations that restrict living in RVs on private property. The emergency ordinance will remain in effect until 30 days after the council revokes its larger emergency declaration, which it extended indefinitely Wednesday.

The ordinance cites distancing recommendations and rising unemployment, which have created a need for temporary dwelling options.

“COVID-19 can result in serious illness or death and have serious impacts to the health and well-being of the public, including the displacement of individuals or their caregivers due to presence or prevention of infections in households, isolation of essential employees and first responders and displacement of residential rental dwelling tenants due to loss of employment and income,” the ordinance reads.

To legally host an occupied RV, property owners must complete a permit application with the county that includes a basic site plan, RV dimensions and location on the property. They must provide the county with written consent for an RV to be on their land. Properties are limited to one occupied RV, and the vehicle must be connected to sources of potable water, sewage systems and electricity.

The county will make contact with permitted properties ahead the ordinance’s expiration, county Code Administration Director Mitch Nickolds said.

Property owners, primarily those with single or two-family residences, will be able to host occupied RVs in front, side and backyards. Nickolds recognized, though, that many residences in unincorporated areas of the county have little front yard space.

“There is an equity concern, but at the end of the day, I think that there will be opportunity to find and seek out properties where this can be accommodated, perhaps owned by friends or family,” Nickolds said.

County Councilor Gary Medvigy said that the county is experiencing “extraordinary times” but that residents should be mindful of zoning and density rules.

“We need these rules now, to allow them, but in the future, people need to know that they can’t just camp out all over their property and add density to their property without proper approval,” Medvigy said.

The ordinance is unrelated to another one, passed by the council in March, that limits RV parking on county roads.

Columbian county government and small cities reporter
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