Enforcing a City of Lake City law for no recreational vehicle camping in commercial parking lots is an issue of fairness, said Cecil Shaw, owner of E-Z Stop RV Park.

“The only thing I ask is you be fair about it,” he said. “Enforce the law where RV park owners can make their money.”

Overnight parking has been an issue Shaw has battled for several years, but he is finally starting to see results, he said. Signs have recently been put up in Walmart’s parking lot indicating the ordinance to RV travelers.

The decision to enforce the ordinance has elicited some negative responses from travelers. In an e-mail addressed to Lake City Reporter publisher Todd Wilson, Gary Campbell wrote:

“Just to let you know that I have just learned about the placement of No Overnight Parking (sign) in the local Walmart parking lot. You will be happy to know that I will not be stopping anywhere in Lake City to spend any money and I will request that any person who is a friend of mine do the same. If your town is going to be unfriendly to long-distance travellers, we are going to vote against you with our wallets. Want our money, open the parking lot. Simple as that.”

Cities from Sacramento, Calif., to Nova Scotia, British Columbia, have ordinances on the books that prohibit overnight camping, Shaw said.

Shaw sits on the Tourist Development Council board, said Harvey Campbell, TDC executive director. He brought the existing ordinance to the board’s attention. It was in place, but not necessarily enforced.

Lake City’s Walmart is conveniently located near a major interstate, Campbell said. He’s seen a range of a few to around 35 RVs camping in the parking lot over the years.

RV parks pay an occupation license fee, assessment on property taxes and more, whereas Walmart doesn’t have these associated costs, Shaw said. RV park owners lose money when RV travelers park in commercial parking lots.

“We have an ordinance we have to go by and abide by just like any other company or business and they don’t have to have anything,” he said.
Read the Full Story

Editor’s Note: Read how I feel about whining RV park owners.



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