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Revised rules for driveway RVs could make summer camper storage easier

A revamped city bylaw governing recreational vehicles outside Calgary homes could ease accessibility to RVs during Alberta’s camping season.

Proposed bylaw changes coming to the June 28 Community Development Committee meeting could allow Calgarians to park their recreational vehicles (RV) in residential driveways from May to October. If approved by committee, it would need final approval at a full meeting of Calgary city council.

RVs are currently only allowed on residential driveways for 36 hours, but the report contends this may be too restrictive given the proliferation of these units. The report states that in 2022 there were more than 100,000 registered Alberta RVs within the city of Calgary, according to the Alberta government.

Ward 11 Coun. Kourtney Penner said the bylaw changes reflect both public input and rules in other cities. After a review of municipal bylaws, the admin found that most large cities in Alberta allow seasonal parking of RVs on residential driveways. From this review, they also found that Calgary holds some of the most restrictive and limiting rules which has proven to be difficult to enforce. 

“It was time for Calgary to update their rules for seasonal parking for RVs and what’s come forward from administration is the recommendation to make that change,” said Penner.

RVs from outside the city may be parked on the street for up to 36 hours. Outside of the May to October timeframe, RVs will only be allowed to be parked for active loading or unloading. 

If an RV is parked in a residential driveway, it must be parked at least 0.6 metres away from the curb or sidewalk. This regulation is put in place in order to avoid obstructing roadways or sidewalks to ensure accessibility for all citizens. Further, an RV must not be parked on a premises that correlate with a triangular area as shown in the diagram below. This restriction is put in place in order to ensure a safe line of sight for road users.

Public feedback will guide future changes: Coun. Penner

The proposed changes to the Community Standards Bylaw and the Traffic Bylaw are meant to ensure clarity of RV rules and regulations and allow for consistent enforcement. The proposed improvements to the existing bylaws should help bylaw officers streamline the enforcement of new rules.

“We ask bylaw to do a lot and I think bylaw can’t be everywhere in all places at the same time and they have to prioritize their responses,” said Coun. Penner. 

Penner is expecting a mixed response from citizens based on RV ownership or if they think it will affect the aesthetics of certain neighbourhoods. However, Penner said that they will continue to listen to public response. 

“With anything, we can sort of see how it goes and continue to listen to feedback from residents,” said Penner

The report also says that allowing RVs driveway access for six months of the year will also aid in the reduction of pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. That’s due to a reduction in travel from RV storage units to residents’ homes. 

There could be a business impact on area RV storage operations, but Penner did point out that not all owners have a driveway they can use.

“Not everybody has a driveway and so, it’s not 100 per cent of RV users who are going to be able to take advantage of this,” said Penner.