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Community Development

Posted on: August 18, 2020

Planning Commission to consider new rules for parking on lawns, RV parking

car

Aug. 18, 2020 - The Hampton Planning Commission will hold public hearings and consider several measures related to parking cars, boats and large recreational vehicles in residential neighborhoods in its Thursday meeting.

Cars parked in front yards has been an issue that has drawn complaints from neighborhood associations, and the city ’s planning staff has done several iterations of outreach over the years with residents and the Neighborhood Commission to help shape recommendations.

The proposed requirements would:

  • Require that a percentage of the front yard of a residence be green space. Corner lots will have similar rules on either street-facing side. This recommendation is not just for maintaining neighborhood appearance but also for the health of waterways because planted lawns and gardens absorb and filter water. 
  • Require that vehicles be parked on an improved surface (with some exceptions). An improved surface includes concrete, asphalt, pavers, gravel, rock, oyster shell, and the like.
  • Require a permit for creating any new impervious surface (paving, gravel, etc.).

Another set of proposed amendments would set standards for parking recreational vehicles. Current rules have not been enforced after residents complained that the size limits did not fit today’s motorhomes and also inspectors noted they couldn’t always tell the size of a vehicle from the street. Community outreach and discussion on these changes began in 2016.

The new proposal would:

  • Create two categories of recreational vehicles: campers and motorhomes (those with two or more axels) and smaller trailers, boats, and related recreational equipment and vehicles. Lots of less than five acres will be allowed to have two of the recreational vehicles (one of which can be a motorhome). One of those can be parked in front yard.
  • Lots with more than five acres would be allowed to have four recreational vehicles 
  • Recreational vehicles would also need to be parked on a paved or gravel surface, with an exception for lots over 5 acres and where the home is setback at least 100’.

These proposals will also be considered by City Council after the Planning Commission. If approved, the green space area would take effect immediately, but the other parking regulations would be effective July 1, 2021 to give residents time to plan for changes.

Planning Commission meets Thursday, Aug. 20, at 3:30 p.m. in Council Chambers on the 8th floor of Hampton City Hall at 22 Lincoln St. Meetings will be televised on the Hampton Channel (Cox Channel 47 and Verizon Fios Channel 22) and streamed at hampton.gov/livetv.


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