Buffalo Grove is considering changing its rules on parking and storing recreational vehicles in residential areas, possibly adding greater restrictions to soften the visual impact.
On Monday, the village board's committee of the whole referred the matter to the planning and zoning commission, which will address the visual impact of the vehicles and look at possible additional regulations on screening, size, placement and duration of storage on front driveways.
Building Commissioner Brian Sheehan said the village recently has received complaints that the current regulations are too permissive.
The village staff has conducted a survey through the Northwest Municipal Conference to see how other communities handle the issue.
Common regulations included allowing long-term storage only in rear and interior side yards on a paved surface with adequate landscaping and screening and time limits for front-yard storage, as well as restrictions on the length of the vehicle.
"From an enforcement perspective, we haven't had too many problems," Sheehan said,
The village allows year-round parking and storage of up to two RVs -- including boats and trailers, campers, travel trailers, truck campers and mobile homes or vans -- on a single-family lot.
One can park an RV in the front driveway, side and/or rear yard. RVs are not allowed to exceed 35 feet in length, 10 feet in height and 8 feet in width. Regulations also prohibit them from being used as sleeping quarters.
Resident Renee Klass told the board a large RV next door to her home is parked alternately in the driveway as well as between the two houses.
"I know I am speaking on behalf many of my neighbors," she said, explaining she knows of two or three homes that have large recreational vehicles. "It's unsightly, and if everybody starts putting large trucks and recreational vehicles on their driveways, it kind of diminishes the integrity of the neighborhood."
Sheehan said the village receives two or three complaints per summer and will act when vehicles are found to be too tall or long.
"One issue we do run into is some of the tongues on these longer trailers will encroach into the sidewalk, and that needs to be addressed," he said,
Trustee Joanne Johnson said that parking an issued in her neighborhood.
"There is a horse trailer that has been there about 30 years and has not moved once," she said. "I would urge the plan commission to look at something where you can't have permanent storage outside your home, because it does become unsightly. I don't have a problem with people storing a boat or an RV in their driveway temporarily. But when it never leaves, then it becomes a part of the home."