News for those who live, work and play in the Santiam Canyon

RV restrictions still roiling Detroit work

The Detroit City Council likely will hold a second reading on its new code work at its Oct. 10 meeting.

The second vote is required because the package passed on a non-unanimous 5-2 vote at its Sept. 12 session. The city hoped to take the second vote on Sept. 26, but scheduling conflicts prevented all of the necessary participants from being there.

Councilors made a late change to the package on Sept. 12 by voting to allow property owners with lots of 10,000 square feet or more to add a third RV via a conditional use permit. The earlier language allowed one RV year-round and a second RV from April 1 through Oct. 31. 

Discussions have been held between councilors and ordinance opponents about the possibility of allowing a third RV at 7,500 square feet and four with a 10,000-foot lot, but it remains to be seen whether such a change will receive enough support from the full council.

In addition, opponents of the RV restrictions, who were in the clear majority among those who testified on the code work at July 11 and Aug. 8 public hearings, could choose to appeal the code work to the state Land Use Board of Appeals.

A 21-day appeals “clock” starts once the second reading is approved and signed, but community members already are talking about the possibility. 

Dozens of community members at all three meetings wore light blue T-shirts that featured an image of a travel trailer amid language that cited the “Spirit of Detroit,” “Long Live Tradition” and advocated “Lake, Sun, Family, Fun and RVS.”

The RV debate has been a divisive one. Residents noted in public testimony that neighbors are no longer speaking to each other as well as describing more confrontational encounters.

The code ordinance includes standards on accessory dwelling units (ADUs), setbacks, driveway aprons, vehicle and parking standards, metal roofs, airbnbs, extensions and exemptions and adds new definitions and clarifies language throughout, but the lone piece that drew a strong community response was the RV limitation.

The code work was led by temporary city planner McRae Carmichael of the Mid-Willamette Valley Council of Governments and city attorney Mark Shipman also assisted with some language issues and assisting councilors with the complicated motions the RV ordinance required.

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