Saturday, December 17, 2011

Subdivisions Voicing Concern on Parking of Vehicles in Subdivisions

St. Louis County should be taking a look at the growing problem of vehicles being parked in subdivisions, particularly commercial vehicles. Vehicles in question include commercial vans, buses, limousines, ambulances, tractor trailers and more. Other vehicles in question include recreational vehicles (RVs), trailers, boats, campers, motorcycles, tractors and other miscellaneous vehicles. While most are parked on pavement, there’s a growing number being parked on the grass or in the backyard.

This topic is rapidly becoming a hot issue as subdivision trustees endeavor to maintain a good appearance in their subdivisions. One commented these vehicles are “visual pollution.” No one likes to look out their window every day to see a commercial vehicle parked across the street. Another cited an example of a 25 foot recreational vehicle that’s parked in a driveway in his subdivision. He said the RV has not been moved in over a year.

The real question is if these vehicles are “parked” or “stored.” There’s a difference. If it’s “parked,” it’s being used on a regular basis. If it just sits there, it’s “stored.” He said if someone can afford a large RV, they should be able to afford to store it some place other than their driveway.

Some companies allow employees to drive their company van home from work and report to their next job direct from their home the next day. This also releases the company from providing overnight parking and security at their company location. It also is a form of advertising if their name and company information is painted on the van or truck.

One subdivision has a restriction on allowing trucks to be parked in their subdivision – either in the street or in the driveway. Trucks must be parked in a garage. One homeowner parks his family car in the driveway, while his son’s pickup truck is in the garage. (Note: We do not have the name of this subdivision available, but will endeavor to obtain it and report it in a future article.)

County regulations require vehicles to be parked on pavement, but reports from various subdivisions say the County is not enforcing the regulation. One cited a situation where a resident had a trailer parked on pavement on the side of his house, but had to drive over the lawn to get there. The department responsible for enforcement is headed by Garry Earls of St. Louis County. Earls is ignoring a problem that won’t go away and will get a lot worse before it gets better. Regulations are regulations and must be enforced.

We visited an adjoining subdivision to see if we could find some of these problems. We took the following series of photos, some of which are in direct violation of County regulations, while others may be acceptable. What do you think?

This residence has a gravel driveway next to a paved driveway. Vehicles are usually parked on the gravel driveway to allow the family vehicle access to the garage.

NOTE: Click on photos to enlarge.

This homeowner stores his boat in the driveway. The boat is actually larger than their vehicle. Is this "parked" or "stored?"

This boat & trailer is parked on pavement next to thehouse. The homeowner provided pavement access from the driveway to the parking area.

Here's a clear cut case of storing their camper at curbside but in their driveway. Since it's stored at the end of the driveway, they can access both side of their garage.

The family RV parked within a few feet of the curb. Is this "visual polution?" Is it "parked" or "stored?"

This is an unmarked truck and trailer and could be either a commercial vehicle or for personal use.

Here's a resident that has the guts to store his camper in the street. Admittedly, this is a dead-end street, but are there any legal implications here?

What happens if everybody stored their campers and boats in the street?

This boat and trailer is stored on the ground next to their driveway - clearly in violation of county ordinances.

REMINDER: Click on photos to enlarge.

The subdivision where these photos were taken does not have a formal association or elected trustees. They do not have any common ground or lighting expenses. They have brickwork at their entrance which periodically needs repair. When needed, the subdivision seeks donations from residents.

What are your thoughts? Any Comments? Are these vehicles and trailers legally parked or not? What does your subdivision allow? Click on COMMENTS below to share your thoughts with other subdivision trustees.


  1. Anonymous4:44 PM

    Our subdivision has a few commercial vehicles which are parked in the street. According to the County, this is the accepted practice. I have been told by the County that it is illegal to park commercial vehicles in the driveways. Don't know if this is true or not. Does anyone have info regarding this? We have one house with a camper parked next to the garage directly on the lawn. Is this illegal?

  2. Anonymous8:12 AM

    There is a commercial pickup truck that is parked on Farmcrest in Oakville every night and every weekend. Better yet, the truck is licensed in Illinois. The trustees and police do nothing about it. There is a house on Cinnabar in the Sappington area that has a huge motorhome parked in the driveway that hasn’t moved in months. Way to go Mr. Earls!

  3. Anonymous1:44 PM

    The county charges you 80 dollars for an occupancy inspection when you sell your house in the name of neighborhood preservation. Yet, they allow this kind of thing to go on as if it had no negative impact on the neighborhood or the value of homes. They had to create a new branch of bureaucracy rather than use existing agency of government, police, street department, etc. to enforce existing laws which would do as much if not more to preserve neighborhoods than worrying about; smoke detectors, anti- tip over devices on kitchen stoves, and the type of metal your water heater flue pipe is made of, and the type of material your dryer vent is made of.

  4. Anonymous4:24 PM

    why can't people keep there noses out of other peoples busness. I have an RV and use it about 6 times a year mostly in the spring summer and early fall. I park it in my driveway because it's mine. get a hobby or go to the gym but leave my play toys alone, just because you don't have one doesnt mean I can't, and no I can't afford to keep it at a u-stoe it.. why can't people keep there noses out of other peoples busness. if you don't like it don't drive by my house

  5. Anonymous4:06 PM

    It's a bit of a shame when someone buys a home and feel they have reached the American dream of owning property, only to find out there's a lot of responsibility that goes with it.

    Unfortunately one cannot do just anything they want to on the property. For instance, you may not be able to raise livestock and chickens. Or own and sell cats and dogs. Or even park a boat or recreational vehicle in the driveway.

    I've seen boats in driveways that exceeded half the size of the house.

    Here's the crux of the situation. Just picture if every homeowner in your subdivision parked an RV in the driveway, your subdivision would have turned into a trailer park.

    I heard someone say at a subdivision meeting one time if a person can afford a boart or RV, they can afford to park it somewhere where it's not an eyesore to their neighbors.

    Would you purchase a home if your neighbor was in the trash hauling business and parked his truck either in the street or his driveway. Now when I say "neighbor", it doesn't necessarily mean next door. It could be across the street where you have to stare at it everyday out your front window.

    The resolution is to park the RV on a concrete slab behind the house in your own backyard. No problem there. - Mike

  6. I want to check out the laws regarding RV parking in Walton Cnty GA.In our subdivision this huge RV is parked on the lawn in his side yard facing our street and every one driving by has to look at it. Our covenants are expired and not enforcable. What office should I contact?

  7. Anonymous11:11 AM

    rvs in adriveway looks better than the empty buildings you see on i70 in st louis.