The Dalles police are beginning to enforce a new ordinance that bars the storing of RVs on city streets.
Lime green stickers will be placed on vehicles in violation, alerting the owner that they have 24 hours to move the RV off public streets. The notice says that if it is found on any public road in the city, it will be towed, so moving it to another public road will not prevent it being towed.
The Dalles Police Officer Chris Simonds is the city’s NEAT (Neighborhood Enforcement Action Team) officer, and he has taken a number of complaints about RVs stored on city streets.
A few weeks ago he put door hangers on the 10 or so RVs he’s constantly getting complaints about, but he noticed recently that none of them have moved. When any of them moves, they tend to shift around within a one-block radius, he said.
The door hangers, which were distributed to officers with instructions to hang them on any vehicle that violated the ordinance, warned about the upcoming enforcement actions.
He’s hoping the stickers with the 24-hour deadline will prompt action.
One of the inspirations for the RV ordinance was based on what the city of Gresham is doing, Simonds said. “I rode with Gresham for three or four days and found that after the process was implemented, they found that they didn’t have to tow many RVs. They found out that when this ordinance was in place and was going to be in effect, [people with RVs on streets] relocated.”
The stickers give an exact time when the vehicle in violation must be moved.
After that point, the city will begin arranging a tow for the vehicle.
Vehicles covered under the ordinance include RVs, oversized vehicles, trailers, campers, and boats on trailers.
RV owners can get a free permit from the city police that allows their RV to be on the street for five consecutive days.
They can get six such permits a year, but they cannot be for consecutive five-day periods.
They can get them from the police department at 401 Court St. or by going online at www.ci.the-dalles.or.us.
If an RV is on the street being actively loaded or unloaded, it is not subject to tow, Simonds said.
Once a vehicle is towed, the owner must pay impound and storage fees to get it back.
If they do not pay those fees, and instead abandon it, the city is on the hook for the cost of towing it and then decommissioning it for scrap.
That cost will be about $2,500 per RV, Simonds said.
Guzman Bros. Mobile Repair and Towing out of Hood River has agreed to tow the RVs.
The police department has a $20,000 budget to pay for towing and dismantling RVs to prepare them to get scrapped.
During the five days an RV is using a valid permit, it cannot be connected to water or power and it must be in a condition where it’s not obstructing traffic, so pushouts can’t be deployed over the sidewalk or street, Simonds said.
The ordinance also allows for owners to request an administrative hearing to challenge the validity or the reasonableness of impoundment and storage fees.
Such requests must be made within five days of notice of impoundment.