Looking for a cheap, low-key way to travel with her three children, Jennifer Gassner made the decision to buy an RV, which she keeps parked in front of her Altura Road home.
Before going through with the purchase, Gassner says she carefully researched all associated costs with RV ownership: Insurance, maintenance, gas, licensing, registration and the like.
She never factored in storage fees, however, because she didn't have to.
Now, a proposed amendment to city code could ban Arcadia residents from parking RVs — which includes boats, motorcycles and buses — within public view on any property zoned for residential use.
That means Gassner would have to fork out $70-$182 per month to keep her trailer at one of the two storage facilities located within five miles of the city.
"If I have to store my RV, it will increase my cost of ownership about 40 percent," she said.
Gassner was among 31 Arcadia residents who spoke out against the proposed amendment Tuesday before the City Council, which ultimately opted to wait until its Sept. 4 meeting to vote on it.
Nearly every single seat in the Council Chambers was filled as RV owners waited to take their turn at the podium. No one spoke in favor of the proposed amendment, although city officials say they have received four formal written complaints from homeowners claiming neighbors parking RVs within public view "created an eyesore."
One of those complaints came from Ron Durham's neighbor. Durham owns a box trailer which he uses to haul race cars.
Ironically, when December's wind storm caused a that left around 35,000 customers in Arcadia without electricity for days, he opened up the trailer to his neighbors so they could charge their cell phones and lap tops.
He said he even provided coffee.
Durham told the Council he takes care of both his trailer and his property, and not having the right to store the RV at home does nothing but infringe upon his freedom.
"What else will you guys decide we can't have?" he asked Council members.
Ed Winter said he felt "offended someone thinks my trailer is an eyesore,"
and that the city did not give proper notice to residents about Tuesday's public hearing. He only showed up, he said, because "six guys drove by in a truck handing out flyers" advertising the meeting to him and other RV owners in the neighborhood.
Assistant City Manager Jason Kruckeberg countered the city sent out notices advertising various Planning Commission hearings on the amendment to several local media outlets. However, he acknowledged the city only sent out notice advertising Tuesday's hearing to one weekly paper.
Councilman Gary Kovacic expressed mixed feelings on the proposed amendment.
"I'm truly on the fence on this one," he said.
Mayor Bob Harbicht said he felt reluctant to restrict property rights.
"I don't want to restrict private property rights without good reason," Harbicht said, citing property values as an example of such a reason. And property values "are impacted by having an RV parked in your (neighbor's) front yard."
Harbicht also noted that no one came to the meeting to express their support for the proposed amendment, before concluding "the impact on RV owners is greater than the impact on their neighbors."
In Gassner's case, the amendment's passage would give her no choice but to sell her RV. Frustrated, Gassner had just three words for neighbors who might complain about the RV parked on her property.
"Get over it," she said, as supporters broke into cheers and applause.