ABOUT THE PROJECT

About the Project

Calgary City Council has directed Administration to review Calgary’s existing regulations on recreational vehicles (RVs), including:

  • the definition(s) of RV;
  • a municipal scan of best practices for parking and use of RVs on private residential properties;
  • engage Calgarians regarding parking RVs on front driveways; and
  • to report back to Council no later than June 2023.

The Calgary Community Standards Bylaw defines a Recreational Vehicle (RV) as:

a vehicle that provides temporary accommodation for recreational or travel purposes and includes but is not limited to (i) motor homes; (ii) travel trailers; (iii) fifth wheel travel trailers; (iv) campers, whether located on a truck or other vehicle or not; (v) tent trailers; (vi) boats; and (vii) a trailer used to transport any of the above.

Under the current Bylaw, if an RV is parked on the front of the property, it must be on a hard-surfaced driveway or parking stall and cannot be parked for more than 36 consecutive hours. This limited-term front area parking allows for reasonable use like cleaning, loading, unloading, etc., and is intended to help mitigate issues of visibility, safety and aesthetics of RV parking in residential areas. The Bylaw does not limit the time for side or rear parking in residential areas.

In recent years, Calgary has seen an increase in concerns about RV ownership, and those who own RVs have identified that the 36-hour parking time limit can be challenging and restrictive. However, issues regarding health, safety and Bylaw violations related to the long-term use of RVs have been identified on properties in residential areas.

The engagement focus is on the definition of RV, duration, benefits, and impacts of parking RV on front driveways of residential properties.

BACKGROUND

Project Background

In 2022, some restrictions on residential RV parking moved from the Land Use Bylaw to the Community Standards Bylaw and extended the time limit for RV parking on the front driveway of residential properties from 24 to 36 hours maximum.

RV ownership in Calgary is increasing and owners have identified that the 36-hour time limit can be challenging and restrictive.

On June 8, 2022, Calgary City Council directed Administration to review Calgary’s existing regulations, including the definition(s) of RVs. It also directed Administration to conduct a jurisdictional scan of best practices for parking and use of RVs on private residential property; to engage Calgarians to solicit feedback regarding parking of RVs; and to report back to Calgary City Council through the Community Development Committee by June 2023.

As of August 15, 2022, RV parking restrictions on residential properties became enforceable under the Calgary Community Standards Bylaw. This expanded enforcement resources to help Bylaw officers respond to nuisance concerns related to RVs in residential areas.

The change only applies to the parking of RVs on front driveways. Under the Community Standards Bylaw, if an RV is parked on the front of the property, it must be on a hard-surfaced driveway or parking stall and cannot be parked for more than 36 consecutive hours. This limited-term front area parking allows for reasonable use (i.e.: cleaning, loading, unloading, offloading, etc.), while allowing side or rear parking in residential areas is intended to mitigate the impact of RVs’ weight, length and height.

Frequently Asked Questions

Currently, the Calgary Community Standards Bylaw defines a Recreational Vehicle (RV) as:

a vehicle that provides temporary accommodation for recreational or travel purposes and includes but is not limited to:

motor homes; (ii) travel trailers; (iii) fifth wheel travel trailers; (iv) campers, whether located on a truck or other vehicle or not; (v) tent trailers; (vi) boats; and (vii) a trailer used to transport any of the above

This definition is several years old and might not reflect what Calgarians consider to be RVs now.

The current definition is several years old and might not reflect what Calgarians currently consider to be RVs.

Residential properties

If an RV is parked on the front driveway of the property, it must be on a hard surfaced driveway or parking stall and cannot be parked for more than 36 consecutive hours.

RVs can be parked on the side or rear of a property without a time limit.

RVs, like any other vehicles, are not allowed to be parked in a manner that blocks sidewalks or roadways.

City streets and alleys

Detached trailers and campers cannot be parked on city streets or alleys. RVs, such as motor homes, can be parked on a street immediately adjacent to the owner's residence for a maximum of 36 hours. The RV must then be moved to an off-street location for at least 48 hours before it can be returned to the street.

The existing rules were intended to mitigate the potential impacts on properties and neighborhoods.

A limited term for front area parking allows for reasonable use and limits the negative impact of RVs’ weight, length and height. Negative impacts can be split into two main categories:

  • Visibility/safety: RVs can block the view along a street and affect visibility and safety for pedestrians, bikers, drivers and anyone else using the street. Corner visibility can also be affected.
  • Aesthetics: large (or multiple) RVs on a property can be out of character and scale for a neighbourhood and have a negative impact on how the community looks.

The types of vehicles included are:

  • Vehicles that provide temporary accommodation for recreational or travel purposes such as motor homes, travel trailers, fifth wheel travel trailers, campers, tent trailers, boats and any trailer used to transport these.
  • Trailers that may be used or are intended to be used for the transport of anything, including but not limited to, construction materials, household goods, livestock, off road vehicles, and waste.

Parking RVs in a side yard and backyard is allowed under existing regulations.

Provide Your Input

To make sure the bylaw meets the needs of Calgarians now and in the future, we need your input. We are asking for your feedback from January 23 to February 13, 2022.

Next Steps

The City will review your input and develop a What We Heard report by March 31, 2023. The engagement, along with research and internal expertise, will be used to form our recommendations for the Community Development Committee on May 31, 2023, as well as, Calgary City Council in June.