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Amherst ordinance revisions eliminate long-term driveway parking for RVs, boats | Lorain County

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Amherst residents may need to rethink the storage of their larger recreational vehicles and storage units with a new proposed revision to ordinances followed by the Building Department.

Among revisions, some recreational vehicles only will be permitted to park in a driveway for no more than 30 days a year.

An itemized list of revisions to the additional use, height and area regulations and exceptions ordinance was brought to the Feb. 17 Building and Lands Committee meeting, where it was passed for further review by City Council.

Minor changes to an industrial district ordinance also was passed for further review.

Building inspector David Macartney said during the meeting that the purpose of the changes was to provide clarification updates to the ordinance, as well as create regulation for new products.

“This is something that we’ve been working on for a couple of years now,” Macartney said.

The original ordinance was first passed in 1965 and has been updated four times since.

The latest revision was made in 2006, Macartney said.

Among more minor changes including a 16-foot maximum for accessory structures and changes to building lines, revisions to temporary accessory structures and recreational vehicle storage were the larger alterations.

Temporary accessory structures

Macartney said there has been an increase in PODS moving and storage containers stored on various properties that have turned from temporary to permanent storage units.

The revisions of the ordinance would make those storage units, as well as membrane-covered structures that often cover boats or trailers, to be permitted on a property for 30 days a year.

Those with extenuating circumstances that need that structure on their lawn, could submit a written request to the building department, or can install a cement binder and stone base on the front lawn for the storage.

Temporary accessory structures also must be five feet off property lines and no closer than 16 feet to the edge to the road way. 

Recreational tents for parties, events or camping are permitted to stand for 14 days.

Structures like screened-in facilities and gazebos are considered permanent structures, Macartney said.

Recreational vehicles

As for recreational vehicles, Macartney said the definition of these vehicles ranges from campers, motor homes, horse trailers, watercraft trailers, snowmobiles and just about anything that’s noncommercial.

One of these vehicles less than 25 feet long can be stored in a driveway for no more than 30 days and no closer than 16 feet to the curb line.

Vehicles over 25 feet long must be either kept in off-site storage or under a permanent structure.

One vehicle 25 feet can be stored in a side or rear yard indefinitely per property without a permanent structure, Macartney said.

“As long as it’s maintained, there’s no high grass around it, it doesn’t become a nuisance and is in accordance to our property maintenance ordinance, it’s fine,” he said.

Those vehicles also must be stored no closer than five feet from the property line.

Vehicles must be in “good repair” and parked on a driveway on the property, which Macartney said requires a valid license plate and tags.

Those that may look run down can be assessed on an individual basis by the building department.

Integrating changes

Ward 1 Councilman Brian Dembinski said Council should take its time reviewing the proposed changes to the ordinances.

“I do hope that this is not something Council entertains as an emergency or suspension of rules,” Dembinski said. “This is something I think we need time for the public to digest.”

Macartney said the building department was planning on a slow integration of the revisions over the period of a year, which would include sending out letters to residents.

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‘Campoholics’ and the curious converge on Atlantic City RV show | Local News

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ATLANTIC CITY — The Atlantic City RV and Camping Show returned to the Convention Center this weekend, showcasing the options available to the modern camper, from the rugged to the luxurious.

Mike and Missy Cook, of Bridgeville, Delaware, made the trek in search of a new toilet. The self-titled campoholics will transition to full-time RVers in the next 12 months, and a good loo is essential.

Already RV experts, the couple run “The Campoholics” YouTube and Instagram channels dedicated to the art of RVing. They said they like the Atlantic City event.

David Dichter doesn’t want to change the entire world. Just a little bit of it.

“This is nice, it’s inside, I’m surprised at the variety,” Missy Cook said. “There’s fifth wheels, toy haulers, RVs, pop-ups, the whole gamut.”

The Cooks, who have a 25-year-old daughter and a 22-year-old son, were tent campers when their children were young and didn’t get into RVs until 2017, when they bought a 27-foot tow-behind. In quick succession, the couple upgraded to a 38-footer and now to a 2020 42-foot Grand Design Momentum.

“That’s the thing about campers, before you know it you’re outgrowing it or wanting something bigger,” Mike Cook said.

After their kids moved out, the Cooks started downsizing; selling their house to move into a rental, purging the superfluous accumulation of life and spending time in the great outdoors. Both worked for the state of Delaware until Mike retired in 2015. Once Missy does the same within the next year, they’ll move the heirlooms into storage and hit the road.

Students at Galloway Township Middle School are creating candy dishes and dog bowls to suppo…

“It’s such a relaxing lifestyle,” Mike said. “The friendships, the views, the culture, the no-stranger mentality, the no-drama mentality. … You can disconnect. Everyone’s there for the same reason. We’ve made some great relationships.”

There’s a recreational vehicle to suit every person’s taste, from the most rugged to those seeking a luxury experience in the woods. You can still buy the bare-bones pop-up Coleman camper your grandparents towed. You can also find yourself piloting a condo from a cockpit more at place in a spaceship.

Modern campers are lighter on the inside than those you may have experienced in the past. Missy says the clapboard Joanna Gaines effect, of “Fixer Upper” and Magnolia fame, has spread even to the great outdoors.

RVs are also more likely to be self-contained, incorporating solar power, modern generators and lithium batteries. The vanlife influence has had an impact, with simpler models directed at young couples wanting to get out and explore while telecommuting to their IT jobs. Some campers are off-road ready, so you can access primitive back-country sites.

ATLANTIC CITY — Besides safer and cleaner surroundings, add easier and broader access to the…

The Cooks say moving into the RV gives them the ability to see the country but stay connected to a home base.

“You have the adventure, but you still have the security of a small house,” Missy said.

As nice as modern RVs are, it still pays to be handy.

“Every time you pull it, it’s like a 4.0 earthquake,” Mike said. “It’s definitely a labor of love.”

One it seems the idea of, at least, is attractive to a great number of people judging by the crowd at the Convention Center this weekend.



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Snowbirds, Young Adults Fuel Florida RV Resorts’ Growth

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With recreational vehicle dealers across the U.S. avidly marketing the latest towable and motorized RVs to current and would-be RVers, a concurrent trend is taking place.

RV parks across the state of Florida are expanding, and others are being built with the intention of catering to the new motoring enthusiasts. “We anticipate that as many as 3,000 new RV sites could come online in Florida over the next two years as new resorts open and as existing parks complete their expansions,” says Bobby Cornwell, executive director of the Florida Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (Florida ARVC).

What populations are sparking the expansion? One group is totally expected. It’s made up of snowbird retirees from the northern U.S. and Canada who flock to the Sunshine State each winter for warmer weather. Most people would be more hard pressed to guess the second group. It’s comprised of younger, telecommuting Northerners who don’t want to wait for retirement to experience wintertime Florida. They want to do it now, and the fact they own RVs and can work remotely allows them to make it happen.

While there’s demand aplenty for RV parks and resorts across the Sunshine State, intense competition exists between the facilities. That means owners and operators of parks and resorts need to keep adding crowd-pleasing amenities to continue attracting the RV owners they seek.

Record RV sales

Florida has long stood as one of the most appealing U.S. destinations for folks heading south for the winter, Cornwell says. “But the growing demand for high-quality RV sites also reflects the record numbers of RV sales that have taken place during the last decade,” he adds. “It’s not just retirees, but younger working people and families seeking an active outdoor lifestyle that are fueling demand for new RV resorts, and more campsites at existing parks.”

This market of younger, family-focused recreational vehicle owners is helping reshape the kind of RV parks being built across the state. While the majority of Florida’s new RV resorts are geared toward retirees traveling in recreational vehicles or park models, some of the newer parks expressly appeal to active lifestyles associated with younger adults. These parks feature zip lines, ATV trails and other active amenities.

While new parks are built, existing ones are adding ever-loftier levels of resort-like upgrades, says Randy Berman, spokesman for Sunbelt RV resorts owner Equity Lifestyle Properties, based in Chicago. “Improvements include clubhouses, dog parks, bathrooms, fitness centers, picnic areas, pickleball courts, shuffleball courts, pools and WiFi,” he reports.

Statewide report

Here is a representative sample of some of the RV parks and resorts across Florida that are benefitting from capital improvements undertaken comparatively recently.

Fisherman’s Cove RV Resort, Palmetto

An active lifestyle resort on Terra Ceia Bay near Bradenton, Fisherman’s Cove has seen more than $1 million spent on enhancements, including a heated pool and spa, fitness center, shuffleboard and bocce ball courts, remodeled clubhouse and organized activities.

Creekside RV Resort, Punta Gorda

Creekside RV Resort‘s second phase, opened in December 2018, expanded the 122-site park situated between Fort Myers and Port Charlotte by an additional 73 sites. Outdoor amenities include a beach, swimming pool and spa, picnic pavilion, bocce ball, shuffleboard courts, driving range and putting green. The big draw is the clubhouse, a sprawling 9,500 square feet in size with a wraparound porch overlooking a lake. It is home to a dance floor, entertainment stage, kitchen, card room, library, and billiards room. Guests can savor organized activities and social events.

Bay Bayou RV Resort, Tampa

Owner Jennings Realty of Evanston, Ill. grew Bay Bayou RV Resort by 53 sites in 2017, even as it prepared to open another resort, Summerfield’s Sunkissed Village RV Resort, in late 2019. The bright prospects for RV parks and resorts across Florida are reflected in the comments of company regional manager Darla Sinnard.

“Demand is very strong for high-quality RV resorts in Florida, which is why Jennings Realty is building new parks and looking for parks to purchase,” she says

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Many are warning against RV travel during winter weather this week

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There were dozens of new models to choose from, motorhomes, fifth wheels, trailers and more. But if you plan to travel with an RV this coming week, …

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Proposed RV park near Hamilton Pool is under fire

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Austin's most popular natural swimming hole is caught in the crossfire as the debate escalates over development of a new RV Park in western Travis …

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Ottumwa's RV park closes for the season

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OTTUMWA, Iowa — Ottumwa's RV park is now closed for the season. Ottumwa Parks Director Gene Rathje says it was a productive year, and he can't …

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Winnebago: On the Road Again

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It’s ‘on the road again’ for RVer’s. The industry set all-time records back in 2017, selling 504,600 units that year as the economy surged and employment & wages followed along, before a rough patch during the past couple of years, notes Mike Cintolo, growth expect and editor of Cabot Top Ten Trader.

Still, there have been good tidings of late from some industry players, including Winnebago (WGO), which is helping investor perception.

The company owns 9.7% of the RV market, and a combination of better-than-expected results, expectations of an improving economy, a cheap valuation (14 times trailing earnings) and M&A activity is bringing in buyers.

The firm’s fiscal fourth quarter results weren’t anything amazing (basically unchanged from a year ago), but results did beat estimates and had some bright spots under the surface. (Winnebago’s Towable RV segment, which accounts for 58% of revenue, actually grew a solid 6.3%.)

The company is benefiting not only from industry growth but also from strategic acquisitions, including its most recent — Newmar Corporation—a manufacturer of Class A and Super C motorized recreation vehicles.

Winnebago also expanded into the marine business last year with its purchase of recreational boat builder Chris-Craft.

Really, though, this is about a stock that was left for dead but now appears to have growth left in it (earnings are seen rising 21% for the year ending next August) going forward. A modest 0.9% dividend puts a nice bow on the package.

RV stocks have been weak for the past year or so, but that’s now changing and WGO is leading the way. The stock fell from $59 last year to a low of $20 in December, then rallied back to $42 in June.

And then the stock etched a nice launching pad through mid October. The breakout came after earnings, with shares lifting to $52 and holding up well since. We’re fine buying some around here or (preferably) on dips.

Subscribe to Cabot Top Ten Trader here…

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2020 Keystone Hideout LHS 338LHS

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2020 Keystone Hideout LHS 338LHS available at Kellys RV, Inc.. HIDEOUT LHS I-Beam Chassis Powder Coated Aluminum Siding Walk-On Roof …

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Oregon State Salem Fall RV Show Ticket Giveaway

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An RV Trip of a Lifetime – “See America In Comfort”

Two Big Buildings, Over 200,000 Sq. Ft. of RV’s!

Oregon’s Original Multi-Dealer RV Show since 1978, the annual OREGON STATE SALEM FALL RV SHOW is coming to the Oregon State Fairgrounds October 10, 11, 12, 13, 2019 for four big days of extraordinary savings on a huge selection of products, new and used. As always, parking is free, and admission is good all four days!

The perfect Show for the Traveler, Sportsman, or Outdoor Enthusiast, our Oregon State Salem Fall RV Show will feature four days of “Show Only” pricing on hundred’s of new and used RV’s, all in one convenient location! Shop between two full buildings, and over 250,000 Sq. Ft. of RV’s on display. In October, come see incredible savings on year-end close outs, just in time for hunting season, or planning your next family vacation.

Whether you live in the Salem area, Portland, Seattle, or Tacoma, make your way to the OREGON STATE SALEM FALL RV SHOW and take advantage of the enormous savings that can only be had at a true Multi-Dealer RV Show. There’s an RV for every passion, and an RV for everyone at the OREGON STATE SALEM FALL RV SHOW at the Oregon State Fairgrounds. We’ll See You at the Show!

RV TYPES:

CLASS A MOTORHOMES GAS & DIESEL, CLASS B MOTORHOMES, CLASS C MOTORHOMES, TRAVEL TRAILERS, TOY HAULERS, 5TH WHEELS, CAMPERS, TENT TRAILERS, FOLDING TENT TRAILERS, TEARDROP TRAILERS, & CONVERSION VANS NEW & USED!!

MANUFACTURERS:

Airstream, American Coach, American Dream, Coachmen, Coleman, Entegra, Fleetwood, Forest River, Foretravel, Grand Design, Holiday Rambler, Jayco, K-Z, Lance, Leisure Travel, Midwest Automotive Designs, Monaco, Newell Coach, Newmar, Nexus, Northwood, Pleasure Way, Prevost, Roadtrek,, Sportsmobile, Thor Motor Coach, Tiffin, Trek, Winnebago

and Many More!

Not all Models, RV Types, or Manufacturers will be featured at every event.

Contact Individual Dealers to get a real time accurate listing of Specific

RV Types, Specific Manufacturers, and Specific Models

being shown at this Event

KATU / OREGON STATE SALEM FALL RV SHOW TICKET GIVEAWAY

OFFICIAL CALL-IN CONTEST RULES

Contest: KATU / Oregon State Salem Fall RV Show Ticket Giveaway

Station: Sinclair Television of Portland, LLC dba KATU

Station Address: KATU, 2153 NE Sandy Boulevard, Portland, OR 97232

Contest Area: Oregon Counties: Baker, Clackamas, Clatsop, Columbia, Crook, Gilliam, Grant, Harney, Hood River, Jefferson, Lincoln, Linn, Marion, Multnomah, Polk, Sherman, Tillamook, Union, Wasco, Washington, Wheeler, and Yamhill; and Washington Counties: Clark, Cowlitz, Klickitat, Skamania, and Wahkiakum

Contest Sponsor(s): Salem RV Show

Prize Provider(s): Salem RV Show

Age of Eligibility: Eighteen (18)

Contest Period: October 7, 2019 to October 8, 2019

Program to Watch: Watch the AM Northwest program which the Station airs each weekday, Monday-Friday, from 9:00 AM PDT to 10 AM PDT on Channel 2.

Criteria to Win: Caller Number Nineteen (19)

Number of Winners for Each Cue to Call: One (1)

Total Number of Winners for Contest Period: Two (2)

Prize(s) and Value(s): Four (4) general admission tickets to the Oregon State Salem Fall RV Show held October 10-13, 2019 at the Oregon State Fair and Expo Center, Salem, OR. Tickets are valid for any one (1) day of admission. Prize Value is $28. / $7. per ticket.

Station’s Website: https://katu.com

Station’s Privacy Policy: https://katu.com/station/privacy

Station’s Website Terms and Conditions: https://katu.com/station/terms

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. This contest is subject to all applicable laws and regulations and is void where prohibited.

Odds of winning depend on the number of valid and correct entries received, and the order in which calls are received.

All capitalized terms shall have the meanings set forth above.

How to Enter and Win

Entrants may attempt to enter as many times as they wish. At the time calls are solicited during the Program to Watch, the Criteria to Win will be announced. Viewers will call in on the designated telephone line announced on-air, in accordance with the Criteria to Win.

Eligibility

1. To be eligible to participate in the Contest, entrants must be U.S. residents who are at least the Age of Eligibility, and reside in the Contest Area. Residents and Citizens of the European Union are not eligible to enter or win this Contest.

2. Employees of Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc., Sinclair Television Group, Inc., Station (collectively, the “Company”), Sponsor(s), Prize Provider(s), each of their affiliated companies, advertising and promotion agencies, any and all local television broadcast and cable stations, local radio and other media companies, and the immediate family members of each are ineligible. The term “immediate family” includes spouses, domestic partners, grandparents, parents, siblings, children, grandchildren, and any other relatives who reside in the same household with employee. Only one winner per household.

Contest Terms and Conditions

1. Station is not responsible for any telephone system failure or malfunctions or other inability of entrants to reach telephone entry line. All entries received from ineligible entrants will be void. All entries become the property of the Company and will not be acknowledged or returned.

2. The Contest will be judged by Station personnel, and the decision of the judges will be final as to all matters, including (i) the order in which calls were received and (ii) whether any answer required to be given is correct. By calling the designated telephone line, each entrant gives permission to Station to record and/or broadcast contestant’s telephone call. Poorly connected or disconnected cellular phone calls may be disqualified. Calls for entrants are taken in order of receipt. In the event that more than one voice is heard on the phone line, the winner will be the first person to speak. If the judge(s) is not able to determine which caller was first, a random drawing will be held to determine the winner. The use of switching or programming equipment by anyone is in violation of contest rules and is not permitted. Due to any time delay between the Station’s over-the-air signal and the Station’s online webcast or streaming, viewers who watch the Station’s online stream may hear a cue to call later than viewers watching the over-the-air signal. As a result, the odds of an online/mobile viewer being able to enter or become a winner may be diminished.

3. Station cannot be held liable for any lost or stolen entries, prizes or contest information. Station is not responsible for any technological malfunction, or human error relating to the Contest.

4. Prizes are provided “as is” without any express or implied warranty of any kind including warranties of merchantability, non-infringement or intellectual property, or fitness for any particular purpose. Prizes are subject to the Sponsor(s) and/or Prize Provider(s) standard terms and conditions, and expiration dates. For any ticket related prizes, Station, Sponsor(s) and Prize Provider(s) are not responsible if any event or performance is cancelled or postponed.

5. Each winner will be notified at the time of his/her call. Before claiming any prize, each winner must provide his/her correct name, address and telephone number to Station at the time of notification. Each winner must sign and return a release and affidavit of eligibility, which must be received within three (3) days of notification (or less due to prize use time constraints), at the time winner claims his/her prize in person at the Station. Each winner must show picture identification to claim his/her prize. Station reserves the right to examine additional identification and may choose to accept or deny awarding any prize based on the identification presented.

6. If a winner does not timely sign and return the release and affidavit of eligibility, then the prize will be forfeited, an alternate winner will not be selected, and the prize will remain the property of the Station.

7. There will be no substitutions or cash alternatives for any prize except at the sole discretion of Station. The Station has the right to substitute a prize of similar value. No sale, transfer or assignment of any prize is allowed.

8. Each winner is responsible for paying all local, county, state and federal taxes on prizes based on the estimated retail value of the prizes as set forth in these rules. Each winner must sign a W-9 form.

9. Only one prize will be awarded per household if more than one prize is awarded. Entrants are eligible to win only one prize within any 90-day period, regardless of the number of contests entered.

10. The Company is not liable if the provider of any part of a prize fails to satisfy its obligations to furnish its portion of the prize.

11. The Company, Sponsor(s), and Prize Provider(s) accept no responsibility or liability in connection with any injuries, losses or damages of any kind directly or indirectly caused by or resulting from the acceptance, possession or use of any prize awarded in the Contest. By entering, entrants agree to release the Company, Sponsor(s), and Prize Provider(s), and each of their respective parent, affiliates, officers, directors, employees and agents, from any and all claims, loss, damage or injury as a result of or incident to his/her participation in the Contest or his/her use of the prize. Entrants further acknowledge and agree that if a winner, the Company has the right to publicize entrant’s name, character, likeness, photograph, voice and the fact that entrant is a winner of the Contest for promotional purposes, without financial remuneration.

12. Complete Official Rules for the Contest are available Monday through Friday during normal business hours at the Station and on the Station’s Website. For a list of prize winners, send a separate, self-addressed, stamped envelope to the Station within thirty (30) days of the end of the Contest Period.

13. The Station has the right to disqualify any entrant it determines has not complied with the Contest Rules. All decisions by the Station shall be final and binding relating to this contest, including the interpretation of the Contest Rules. Station reserves the right to make rules and contest changes and change the contest dates. Station reserves the right to cancel/terminate, modify or suspend the Contest if in Station’s sole determination it believes that the integrity of the Contest has been, or could be, compromised or that the Contest is not capable of running as planned or fairly, including infection by computer virus, bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failures, or force majeure or any other causes beyond the Station’s control.

14. The Contest is subject to the Station’s Privacy Policy and the Station’s Website Terms and Conditions located on the Station’s Website.



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RV owners face uncertain future living at Antioch property

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Jimmy Gordon was a drug-addicted transient for about a dozen years before he managed to get it together, got himself a 32-foot RV and parked it on a private lot in northeastern Antioch that he considers home.

“I love this,” the soft-spoken 63-year-old grandfather said, spreading out his arms toward a neatly trimmed, partly fenced-in backyard at 701 Wilbur Ave. “I am able to pay my bills. It gives me a chance to be accountable.”

But now Gordon and his wife Dawn, along with nine other families, may have to pack up their belongings and move elsewhere by month’s end because the 2.8-acre land they call home is not a legal RV park. The city has outlawed overnight RV parking since 1994.

Although RVs have parked on the property since Joe and Debbie Bosman bought it in 2000, the city hadn’t done anything about it until two years ago, when it notified the couple they were violating city codes by letting people essentially camp there. Inspectors found some code violations during a 2007 visit to the site, but nothing was said about the RVs parked there, Joe Bosman told this news organization.

City code enforcement manager Curt Michael says if the RVs aren’t gone by Oct. 1 or the property brought up to code to qualify as an RV park, the Bosmans will be issued an initial fine of $100 per violation with 10 days to fix, followed by $500 and another 10 days to fix, and $1,000 a day if still not corrected after that.

The state Department of Housing and Community Development oversees RV parks, which must be at least three acres and comply with numerous regulations involving setbacks, lighting, sewer, signage and length of stay.

“I get where these tenants and Joe are coming from, but the city has no other option to move forward with the fines,” Michael said.” “We have given him time to get the property into compliance. All we’re doing is enforcing the municipal code.”

Mayor Sean Wright, who has visited the property, asked that the matter be included in Tuesday night’s council agenda, so the council can determine whether there are any other options besides rezoning the property or relocating the RV tenants.

“We want to see if there is something we can fix before Oct. 1,” he said. “We don’t want to make anyone homeless.”

Joe Bosman said he doesn’t understand why the city is going after him now. “Why after 19 years?” he asked. “Why are they enforcing something that they haven’t enforced for all those years … There’s no better property than mine for housing these at-risk people living in RVs.”

Michael blamed the lag on a staffing shortage. Until sales tax increases under Measure C and its replacement Measure W were approved in the last several years, the city couldn’t afford to fill positions in its code enforcement department, he said. Then in 2017 it received an anonymous complaint about the RVs at the Bosman property.

Bosman has since had to fix some code violations such as turning a duplex into a triplex and converting part of a storage space to living quarters. But now he has a new violation notice, for illegally storing RVs on the property, Michael said. That’s in addition to the lingering notice for allowing RV dwellers there.

Bosman said he doesn’t want to see his tenants evicted because almost all of them are seniors on fixed incomes with nowhere else to go. As RVs have left, he hasn’t replaced them, reducing the numbers by about half in the last two years.

And on Aug. 1, he sent notices to RV dwellers giving them 60 days to move out.

“The city is putting us right back out there on the streets,” Gordon said, noting that although he’s been sober for more than five years now he is struggling with money again after being laid off last month.

Gordon and others pay $625 a month to live on the neatly kept land with a community garden and olive trees, where Bosman also operates a custom cabinet shop and rents out a duplex in the front portion of the mostly gated property.

The 13 residents, who brought their case to the City Council in late August, say it is a tight-knit, clean and safe community. The rent is also much more affordable than at area mobile home parks, which have long wait lists and require residents to live in trailers that are much newer.

“Joe (Bosman) has been a lifesaver; they don’t understand,” Gordon said.

Gordon, who was injured by an exploding land mine in Vietnam when he was 17 and still carries the shrapnel in his knee, said he’s still looking for a new place to live.

Anna Rodriguez, a 48-year-old single mother of four, also is searching for an affordable alternative to the RV she has lived in the past year. After her divorce, she moved to the duplex on the Bosmans’ property that had been converted back from a triplex. But a clavicle injury made it temporarily impossible for her to work so she had to use most of her savings on the $1,700 rent, then bought the old 26-foot RV that she parked on the same property.

“I have been looking everywhere, but most don’t take RVs and some have no privacy,” she said.

For his part, Bosman said he has been trying to work with developers more than a decade to build affordable units on his property — one of the few large plots in Antioch. The city rezoned it in 2012 for high density to comply with a state housing element requirement. But in 2017, a $26 million project with PacWest to build 126 affordable dwellings there fell through.

Bosman has until Nov. 8 to find a new developer, but chances are slim that will happen before the approvals expire and the project “just disappears,” he said.

In the meantime, Bosman said he’d like to start by making improvements on the front acre, converting a duplex back to a triplex and a cabinet shop into housing units. But that piecemeal approach has not sat well with the city, he said.

“They will not let me build on my property until I get everyone off and they won’t consider an application until then,” he said.

Forrest Ebbs, the city’s community development director, said the Bosman property does not lend itself to a piecemeal approach because its R-25 high-density zoning requires a minimum of 20 units an acre.

“Whatever he does, he has to comply with our general plan and zoning ordinance,” Ebbs said. “We have a minimum density we have to meet through our housing element.”

Other possibilities would be to subdivide the property or convert it to a legal RV park, which the state would regulate, Ebbs said.

“The city is caught between a rock and a hard place — we want to develop affordable housing but we haven’t seen a plan from Joe that meets all the requirements. … There are too many different things (land uses) happening out there.”

Council members Joy Motts and Lamar Thorpe, who head the Antioch Homeless Encampment Task Force, both said they are hoping something can be done to keep the Wilbur Avenue RV residents from becoming homeless.

The task force has suggested leasing space for temporary RV parking.

“We have a staggering number of people who are unhoused and we need to move (on dealing with the crisis) now,” Thorpe said, adding that the city is working to ensure the Wilbur Avenue residents do not wind up on the street.

“I don’t know what will come of it… We’re working to make sure nobody becomes homeless,” he said. “Our goal is not to disrupt people’s lives — if we have properties that are underutilized, then let’s use them.”

Bosman said he still hopes to develop affordable housing and keep his temporary RV tenants from being evicted.

“It would not be a cost to the city for it to allow the people to stay — many live paycheck to paycheck — and it will keep people from becoming homeless,” he said.

 

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