Outdoor Storage of Boats, Trailers and Recreational Vehicles on Residential Properties
Residents have expressed frustration with the ordinance’s prohibition on driveway storage and the fact that many homeowners do not abide by the ordinance, which creates the impression of unfair or ineffective enforcement practices.
The City Code allows for the outdoor storage of trailers, boats, and recreational vehicles in the rear or side yard behind the front of the principle structure. One of the most common code violation complaints that the City receives is that a neighbor is storing one of these items in their driveway in violation of this provision. Residents who receive a violation notice for this offense often express frustration that they cannot use their property as they wish and observe that many properties throughout the City do not follow this rule. Residents who lodge complaints about these items being stored in the driveway are often frustrated when the items are moved for a week or two and then reappear or when it takes weeks for the offending item to be relocated. Due to limited staff capacity, the inherently portable nature of the items, and the fact that many properties struggle to accommodate the side or rear yard storage of these vehicles, there is widespread non-compliance with this ordinance and it is extremely challenging to effectively enforce.
Staff conducted a review of how 19 other cities in the area regulate the outdoor storage of trailers, boats, and recreational vehicles, and found that the majority allow for some driveway storage. Staff believes that allowing residents to store a trailer, boat, or recreational vehicle in their driveway would resolve many of the enforcement issues with the current ordinance without meaningfully degrading the character of the City’s neighborhoods. Staff is also proposing adding requirements to limit the total number of these vehicles stored on a property to two, preventing these vehicles from obstructing sidewalks or sight lines, and preventing them from being used to store items not permitted by the City’s outdoor storage ordinance. Staff feels that the proposed amendment strikes an appropriate balance between allowing residents reasonable use of their property and preserving the appearance and character of the City’s neighborhoods.
The following section of the Chanhassen City Code is subject to changes:
- Chapter 20 - Zoning
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