Monday, November 12, 2012

County Not Enforcing Vehicles from Parking in Yards; Resident Complaints Being Ignored

The issue of parking recreational vehicles and trailers on the grass has been brought to the County's attention by trustees in the past.  County officials say it's been their policy for many years to allow vehicles to be stored in the yard of the home, rather than impose a requirement of paving, renting, or building parking space for such a vehicle.
In effect County officials have a policy to ignore regulations passed by the County Council to suit their own needs.  They say they attempt to interpret the spirit of the law as opposed to the letter of the law. Another way to put this is they make the law and ignore the actions taken by the County Council.

They say there is also a practical matter to consider, such as the sheer numbers of recreational vehicles. That is the very reason the County Council passed the legislation. Picture an entire subdivision with boats and trailers parked along side their houses.  Not a pretty picture.

Paul Alexander, Division Manager for Neighborhood Services for the County says they have a very difficult time attempting to address every recreational vehicle parked on unpaved surfaces.  

Alexander says, "Part of our challenge is to be fair and consistent, and we would not be consistent unless we went after each and every recreational vehicle in our jurisdiction."  So they don't go after any.

In an attempt to keep political goodwill, they say their program tries to be practical in problem-solving, with a reasonable level of enforcement.   We feel that the current policy is practical and reasonable at the present time. Unfortunately, many subdivision do not agree. They say it impacts the value of their property having vehicles parked in the yards and not on pavement.

The primary responsibility of Neighborhood Preservation is to identify and eliminate public health and life safety hazards in our community.  They are directing their resources and attention to these very important problems. In the meantime, the appearance of subdivisions is going downhill.

The County says a remedy available to a subdivision association which is concerned about storage of trailers on unimproved surfaces in their neighborhood, is to include a restriction in the subdivision indentures. Unfortunately, the county is not aware of the mechanics in changing subdivision indentures. It often takes months and money to make this change. Trustees say it's much easier if County officials would just enforce the regulations already on the books.


  1. Anonymous10:47 PM

    I understand that the primary purpose of your department is “to identify and eliminate public health and life safety hazards in our community.” However, you also have a responsibility to address the property maintenance issues that are brought to your attention, as well as on your own accord, in an effort to maintain and preserve the aging housing stock in St. Louis County. I have attended a lot of St. Louis County meetings and have heard county officials talk about addressing neighborhood preservation issues to maintain neighborhoods, but you’re trying to tell me the focus is something else.

    Is “Neighborhood Preservation” part of your department’s name and focus or not? If it is, then own up to the name and do the job that your department is supposed to do! The trustee directors and involved residents in some parts of unincorporated St. Louis County already have enough problems trying to maintain their areas without having to continue to fight with some St. Louis County departments that don’t seem to want to offer their help.

  2. Anonymous7:52 AM

    Are these vehicles any less of an eyesore if they're parked on a concrete pad rather than grass? And does the county realize how almost uninforceable trust indentures are? Why are we paying taxes if the County refuses to do its duty?