The community development committee of the city of Calgary narrowly voted against a measure to permit the parking of recreational vehicles (RVs) in front of homes during the camping season. However, the ultimate decision on these proposed adjustments rests with the city council, scheduled for a future meeting.

On Wednesday, the vote was 5-6 against the proposal to modify the city’s community standards bylaw, which would have allowed RVs to be parked on residential driveways from May 15 to September 15. Council members Gian-Carlo Carra, Dan McLean, Jasmine Mian, Kourtney Penner, and Courtney Walcott supported the proposal, while Andre Chabot, Peter Demong, Sonya Sharp, Richard Pootmans, Terry Wong, and Raj Dhaliwal opposed it.

Following the vote, Mian proposed that the city council should make the final decision on the amendments, a motion which was approved 6-5.

Mian emphasized the importance of consulting with residents before making a final decision, stating that this process allows for more comprehensive community feedback.

Currently, residents of Calgary are allowed to park their RVs on their driveways or curbs for up to 36 hours continuously throughout the year. The proposed changes would have permitted around-the-clock parking of RVs on driveways during the specified period, provided they are at least one metre from the sidewalk’s edge, with additional stipulations for RVs on corner lots to ensure visibility.

The modifications were intended to apply solely to RV parking on driveways and aimed to offer a compromise by potentially saving RV owners significant storage costs. Mian argued that the adjustments were a means of enhancing affordability through regulatory changes rather than adjustments to the tax rate.

Contrarily, Chabot expressed skepticism, suggesting that most RV owners could afford storage fees and raised concerns about potential misuse, including illegal habitation of RVs on driveways.

The city annually receives about 300 complaints related to improper RV parking. It is estimated that slightly under 20% of Calgary households own an RV, which includes campers, trailers, boats, and other recreational vehicles.

Demong voiced strong opposition, fearing the changes would lead to neighborly disputes, especially in newer suburbs where homes are closer together. He cautioned that increased discretion for RV owners could compromise neighbors’ views and privacy.

Dhaliwal questioned the public demand for such rule changes, implying that the proposal lacked widespread support.

During the debate, Sharp queried the role of committee votes if a motion could override their decisions, directing failed proposals to the city council. Mian clarified that the council is responsible for making final decisions on city-wide contentious issues, underscoring that committees do not have final authority.