County approves RV regulations

John Richmeier
The Leavenworth Times

Leavenworth County commissioners have approved new regulations regarding recreational vehicles.

The county government previously prohibited people from living in recreational vehicles in unincorporated areas of Leavenworth County.

But commissioners approved changes to the county’s zoning and subdivision regulations Wednesday that allow people to live in RVs on a temporary basis in some circumstances and indefinitely in mobile home parks.

County commissioners voted to adopt changes to the regulations that were supported by members of the Leavenworth County Planning Commission.

People now can live in recreational vehicles for up to 90 days during a calendar year. The regulations do not allow more than one recreational vehicle to be used as a temporary dwelling on a single parcel, according to the language approved by commissioners.

The updated regulations allow people to temporarily live in RVs for a longer period of time if they are in the process of building a house on a vacant parcel. Under these circumstances, people can use RVs as temporary homes for as long as a building permit for the construction of the house is valid. This includes a one-year renewal of the permit.

People who plan to live in an RV during the construction of a house are also required to obtain recreational vehicle temporary residence permits. They also are required to connect their recreational vehicles to ground anchor systems.

The new language also gives staff members of the Planning and Zoning Department the discretion to issue additional recreational vehicle temporary residence permits in cases in which homes are destroyed by fire or natural disasters.

The new language also allows RVs to be used as dwellings in mobile home courts. RVs inside mobile home parks are required to be connected to ground anchor systems.

During Wednesday’s meeting, Commissioner Mike Stieben asked whether Planning and Zoning Department staff should have the discretion to allow people to live in RVs beyond the 90-day limit in cases not involving the construction of houses or mobile home parks.

County Administrator Mark Loughry said the additional change suggested by Stieben would need to go before the Planning Commission for review.

“I would assume we would have that ability anyway without putting it in writing,” Commissioner Jeff Culbertson said.

Loughry said the changes that were presented to commissioners Wednesday for approval would allow commissioners to grant variances. But he said Stieben was suggesting that staff members have the ability to grant such variances.

Loughry recommended commissioners approve the changes as they had been presented. He said Amy Allison, deputy director for the Planning & Zoning Department, can take Stieben’s recommended change to the Planning Commission. The suggested change then can come back to county commissioners for approval.

Commissioners proceeded Wednesday with approving the changes that already had been recommended by the Planning Commission.

In other business

The Leavenworth County Commission:

During Wednesday’s meeting, Stieben expressed support for Sweeney’s appointment.

• Approved a resolution for rezoning land at 17326 242nd St. from a rural residential district with a minimum lot size of five acres to a rural residential zone with a minimum lot size of two acres.

Commissioners also approved a similar rezoning request for land on 230th Street north of the intersection of 230th and Linwood Road.