- Created: Friday, 08 May 2009 18:50
It would be illegal to park an RV overnight in a public parking lot in Maine, if pending legislation passes the State Legislature.
The bill, LD 114, would make it a civil offense to park an RV overnight on any public parking lot in the state. According to The Portland Press Herald, the Legislature's Health and Human Services Committee voted 8-2 to endorse the bill, and the House may vote on it soon.
The bill, titled "An Act To Amend the Laws Regarding Overnight Parking of Recreational Vehicles," is sponsored by Rep. Anne Perry (D-Calais). The text of the bill reads, in part:
“A person may not park or occupy a recreational vehicle, as defined in Title 10, section 1432, subsection 18, in a commercial parking facility overnight. For purposes of this section, ‘commercial parking facility’ means a parking structure or area open to members of the public for the purposes of parking their vehicles while patronizing one or more commercial establishments, but does not include a mobile home park or recreational vehicle park allowed by a municipality or a camping area licensed by the department. A person who violates the provisions of this section commits a civil violation subject to a fine of no more than $100, which must be suspended for the first violation and may be suspended for subsequent violations.”
According to the bill’s current wording, the restrictions would apply to any publicly accessible parking lot — such as those at casinos, truck stops, Wal-Marts and even dirt or gravel areas commonly used by truckers and motorhome owners.
Motorhome owners have faced this type of challenge before. A similar bill in Nevada failed in April 2005, due in part to FMCA members’ letter-writing campaign protesting the passage of the bill. That measure would have required cities and counties to adopt ordinances prohibiting overnight parking of occupied RVs anywhere in the state, except in licensed and approved campgrounds.
In 2005 Billings, Mont., began enforcing a decades-old law that prohibited overnight RV parking except in licensed campgrounds. After protests from RVers around the country, the city council eventually approved an ordinance that allowed RVers to park for up to 10 hours in private parking lots, provided it is permitted by the lot owner.
The Family Motor Coach Association was formed in July 1963 on the grounds of the Hinckley School in Hinckley, Maine. FMCA continues to support the school, now called the Good Will-Hinckley Homes for Boys and Girls, in various charitable endeavors.