In Aurora, Colo., Mayor Mike Coffman and the city council may create a substantial overnight parking loophole with their urban camping ban amendment.
While the law is aimed at homeless camps in the city, the language seems open to interpretation when it comes to RVers, especially full-time travelers (who could be considered homeless on paper).
According to The Denver Gazette, “The ban would prohibit all urban camping on private and public property within Aurora. It also requires a 72-hour notice before an unauthorized camp is shut down…”
The Possible Overnight Parking Loophole
Please understand that we’re not lawyers and we’re not offering legal advice. Instead, we’re RVers and travelers that identify crossover-language.
Urban camping is seemingly defined by location, not shelter type.
Van, cars, and RVs can easily partake in urban camping on private and public property. It may not be legal, but it’s theoretically possible.
And, if the new amendment requires the city of Aurora to give a 72-hour notice, it could be hard to enforce the removal of a single night of overnight parking, depending on the final text of the amendment.
The 72-hour notice may act as a blanket-protection that overlaps with RVers & van campers on some level.
We searched the city’s website for the exact text of the original article and amendment but could not find it. We guess it takes a little while to update the site with new text.
Our government website search bore other fruits, however.
Aurora Treatment of RV Street Parking
To our surprise, the city has seemingly lax laws regarding RV street parking. Here’s the full text for the nerds.
Basically, the city defines what an RV is (“a vehicle designed to be used primarily for recreational, camping, travel or seasonal use that either has its own motor power or is or can be mounted on or towed by another vehicle”), and proceeds to open up a lot of parking flexibility.
The article states, “No recreational vehicle shall be parked for a length of time in excess of five days on a right-of-way.”
To our lawyerless brains, it reads, “parking for four days in a street spot is legit.”
There may be an article or amendment that says you can’t sleep in said RV, but again, we couldn’t find that language using the city website search feature.
Furthermore, this is where the new amendment could potentially offer a grace period for sleeping in a street-parked RV.
Depending on the definition of “urban camp,” it seems like the 72-hour notice would act as a blanket protection for overnight parking.
This exemplifies the potential loophole we’re talking about.
Taking this thought-experiment to the extreme: if the city excludes vehicular shelters from their definition of “camp” and doesn’t allow sleeping in a parked RV, you could theoretically park your RV street-side and sleep outside of it in a tent. You’ll likely get a visit from the police, but a 72-hour notice may be the only repercussion.
Yes, that’s one hell of a stretched loophole, but it’s a fun brain exercise.
Cities Across America
We’re spotlighting Aurora because there’s a lot of press around this specific amendment. Still, it isn’t unusual for cities across the USA to have cobbled-together bills that allow for wiggle room, unintentional or not.
We’re not advocating for RVers to abuse city codes. And, we’re indeed not offering legal advice.
But, as RVers who’ve taken part in urban camping, we’ve discovered that the nuanced language of laws can hurt or help our overnight parking ability.
If the city of Aurora is listening, keep RVers in mind when finalizing this amendment. Whether you want to encourage RV tourism or close potential loopholes, 10,000,000 RV owners in America are ready to explore.
To our readers, we encourage you to read the city’s code and explore the search feature on the site. In fact, almost all communities have this function on their websites. Always perform your own extensive research if you plan on parking in any USA urban area.
You can nerd out and find some hidden-gem communities that allow overnight RV parking on their streets.
Tell us what you think in the comments!
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