COS city council passes RV parking ordinance

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - It's started with complaints from business owners. People parking their RVs in front of businesses and even dumping their waste nearby. 

After these complaints, the Colorado Springs Police Department went to city council to ask for the authority to ticket these RV owners.  

Until now, the city ordinance has only applied to residential streets in the city limits.The city council passed an ordinance Tuesday night that allows CSPD to ticket and eventually impound RVs parked on any public street beyond a reasonable time.  

The first ticket cost $25, the second $100, and the third $125. After that, city officers will impound the RV.   

"What we are doing, it seems to me, is criminalizing a conduct," said Councilman Dave Geislinger in the council meeting.  

"It's not a crime; its a parking ticket," responded Commander Sean Mandel with CSPD.  

"For persons who are poor enough that cannot afford to live in an apartment, that is de facto punitive," said Geislinger.    

"We are targeting our most vulnerable population," said Yolanda Avila.  

"I don't believe we are targeting anyone with this,"  said Councilmember Tom Strand. "This is the best choice, at this time for the community."

Those living in RV's in the city are pretty upset that the ordinance passed. Jay and Jessica spoke to FOX21 and fear losing their home, yet again.  

Jessica and Jay used to live in a tent, they recently bought an old RV, thinking things were looking up.  

"This is our home," said Jessica. "It gives us more shelter from the elements and what not."

"It doesn't even run yet, but that's in progress, it's scary," said Jay. "To punish [people] for not being good enough, it's sad, it hurts."  

Richard Skorman said ultimately people are dumping waste in storm drains and it's a public health risk.  

"We are not going to be real difficult about this. We'll write tickets, it'll be like a parking ticket, we will warn people first. We will hopefully be able to try and find another place where they can park, that could be legal. We are also working on that, as a city council, to try and find some safe places for people to park, but when people are affected by it and especially when our streams and stream quality are being affected, we have to act!" said Skorman.  

Skorman and the council said they just want to clean up the city. 

"Would you rather it look pretty or help your fellow man?" asks Jessica.  

The ordinance passed 4-3. 

The council members who voted against this new ordinance Yolanda Avila, Jill Gaebler and Dave Geislinger.

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