By Emily Nantz
MARCH 14, BILLINGS - The city of Billings is one step closer to allowing RVs to stay in parking lots that allow RV parking. Right now the ordinance does not allow RVs to park in parking lots in the city. Monday night Billings' city council members approved the first reading that would allow RV parking for up to 10 hours.
About a dozen people spoke during the public hearing about the revised ordinance. Not everyone is happy about the ordinance. Kenneth Brown says, "I would just like to say that I think it is a big mistake if they do not allow overnight parking because many of the people will continue on down the road."
Clarence Brown also spoke up about the ordinance saying it should be the business owners responsibility whether or not they want a RV parking in their lot. He says, "People who own a parking lot or a place that you could park an RV overnight should be able to say what they want to do."
Some spoke up about the need for an ordinance. David Bovee said RVs should park in licensed areas that typically charge for parking. Bovee says, "They park in licensed lots they are contributing to the infrastructure payments that licensed tax paying lot is paying for."
The manager of the Wal-Mart in the heights says they are looking to the future. Mike Ray says, "Right now today we probably have enough room in our lot for quite a few RVs but what about 2, 3, 4, 5 years from now."
Last fall a committee was set up to look into the city's RV ordinance. Some committee members say they tried to come up with a compromise that would allow a rest period for RVers. A letter will be given to people coming into the city explaining the ordinance and giving them directions to a licensed campground where they can park longer.
The amended ordinance will come before the city council for a second reading.
The council asked for city staff to amend the ordinance further so that during special events the ordinance could be waived to allow overnight RV parking.