AUGUSTA — A concern that some people are living in their campers for much more than a long weekend or summer vacation has prompted city officials to propose rules restricting how long people can stay in them in the city.

Augusta currently has no prohibition on how long a person may live in a camper, as long as the recreational vehicle owner is managing their waste appropriately and has permission from the owner of the property where it is parked to be there, according to Development Director Matt Nazar.

Some municipalities limit how much time people can reside in campers. The city of Bangor, for example, limits the period of time someone can occupy a camper in the city to 30 days total within a 12-month period.

In a memo to City Manager William Bridgeo, however, Nazar warned that rules that restrict living in a camper to too short of a time period could be problematic to numerous people who stay in their campers for longer periods of time in Augusta.

“Situations where campers or RVs are located on a property for extended periods of time are relatively common throughout the city for a variety of reasons,” Nazar said. “There are lots surrounding the lakes in the city where the property owner has created an RV pad with a septic system and well hookup, allowing them to live on-site in their RV for extended periods and even year-round, if they chose to.

“City staff are aware of locations in the city where a property owner allows relatives to park their RV on their property for months at a time and live in the RV while using the facilities in the house that’s on the property,” he added. “It’s a way for retired individuals to stay in Maine part of the year and elsewhere for the rest of the year.”

Nazar also warned it would be challenging for the city to enforce an ordinance limiting how long someone could live in a camper. Because they are vehicles, they could be moved to different locations, making it difficult to determine the length of time in which they have been lived in.

Bridgeo said residents of Boothby Street have complained about two campers on the street that appear to have been continuously occupied for a number of years. That, he said, prompted Ward 3 Councilor Harold Elliott to propose the city consider an ordinance to limit the amount of time people may live in a camper.

Councilors are scheduled to discuss the proposal at their 6:30 pm. meeting Thursday, in council chambers at Augusta City Center.

Councilors are also scheduled to:

• Hear an update on potential sites for a new police station. Officials have said the current station is outdated, worn out and in need of replacement. They are considering a number of potential locations for the station.

• Hear a report from code enforcement officers about their work, code issues, their response to complaints and ongoing challenges in Augusta.

• Discuss a proposal to raise the speed limit from 20 to 25 miles per hour on Airport Road, to be consistent with limits in the rest of the city.

• Discuss a proposal to sell a 1.25-acre Leighton Road property, acquired by the city due to non-payment of taxes.

 

Keith Edwards — 621-5647
[email protected]
Twitter: @kedwardskj

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