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People walk along Plainview Road near a park camper on Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018, in north Cheyenne. Councilman Rocky Case introduced an ordinance last week that would restrict residents from parking trailers and campers on the street for more than 24 hours at a time. Blaine McCartney/Wyoming Tribune Eagle

CHEYENNE – A proposal to effectively ban RVs and any trailer taller than the average American male from parking on public streets for more than a day got a chilly reception Wednesday at a City Council committee meeting.

RV and trailer owners are currently allowed to park them in front of their homes indefinitely, the end result of a 2012 debate over the issue.

But Councilman Rocky Case thinks having them on public streets at all is dangerous because they block sight lines on narrow streets and around corners. He has proposed prohibiting parking RVs or trailers more than 70 inches tall on city streets, except in cases when an owner is visiting someone or is loading or unloading. In those cases, the owner would have 24 hours of leeway.

But multiple RV owners who showed up at Wednesday’s meeting railed against the proposed rules.

Joe McCord, who said he takes his RV out on fishing trips in the summer, said there were already rules prohibiting the vehicles from being too close to corners that should be enforced instead.

And Craig Hood said the 24-hour time limit didn’t give him enough daylight to purify water lines, check his tires and do other things to get his camper ready for the road.

“If this is going to pass,” he said, “it should be at least 48 hours so I can get that stuff done.”

And while members of the council’s Public Services Committee saw some merit in his public safety appeal, each thought the ordinance needed work, too.

“I recognize some problems that really are safety factors in terms of sight lines,” Councilman Pete Laybourn said.

“But I’m going to be voting against this because of the 24 hours. I don’t think there’s any question that 24 hours is inadequate.”

Councilman Bryan Cook agreed, and while he voted to recommend approval Wednesday, he said there needed to be some changes before he would vote to approve on second reading at the full council meeting Monday. Laybourn and Councilman Dicky Shanor voted against recommending approval.

In an interview, Case said he would be willing to negotiate on the 24-hour time period and tailor the ordinance to apply specifically to narrower streets.

Laybourn also questioned how the ordinance could be enforced.

Cheyenne Police Department spokesman Kevin Malatesta said in an interview that an officer could reasonably respond to one call about an RV out of place and check back 24 hours later.

But data provided by Police Chief Brian Kozak may call into doubt whether RVs and trailers are actually causing crashes.

Kozak said police data showed that in the past three years, there had been 25 crashes where “view obstruction” had been cited as the primary cause, and one of those 25 listed an RV as the obstruction. Data from the Cheyenne Metropolitan Planning Organization show the city averaged roughly 1,700 crashes per year from 2014-16.

Austin Huguelet is the Wyoming Tribune Eagle’s local government reporter. He can be reached at ahuguelet@wyomingnews.com or 307-633-3182. Follow him on Twitter at @ahuguelet.

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