We were pleased to learn that the White Lake Township Board of Trustees recently enacted fairly reasonable provisions to update the township’s ordinance provisions dealing with recreational vehicle storage in residential areas.
The White Lake board adopted several amendments to the ordinance on May 15. That came after the board enacted a 180-day moratorium on enforcing the previous ordinance back in December. Under the old ordinance, township residents weren’t allowed to store recreational vehicles or trailers on their property.
The inability to legally store recreational vehicles created a big enforcement problem for the township, given the hundreds of residents with travel trailers, boats, snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), and other recreational equipment, according to Township Planner Sean O’Neil.
Under the revised ordinance, no recreational vehicles — which include motor vehicles, watercraft, vessels, boats, off-road vehicles, snowmobiles, mobile homes and campers — may be parked or stored on public property unless that area is designated for parking.
Unlicensed and inoperable vehicles cannot be parked or stored on residentially-zoned private property. The only exception is for licensed vehicles and trailers that are temporarily inoperable and not dismantled. Those may remain upon private property for a period of 14 days in any one calendar year.
All other vehicles on private property must comply with the front, rear, and side yard setback requirements for a primary structure in accordance with the township’s zoning ordinance for that district. The only exception is for licensed and operable vehicles no greater than 8-feet-tall and 24-feet-long on a private driveway.
The township’s new ordinance provisions strike us as being fair and measured. It was ridiculous that residents weren’t permitted to keep recreational vehicles of any kind on their property — although many did anyway. After all, White Lake’s moto is “Your four seasons playground.” With it’s bounty of natural resources, state land and open spaces, the township has a wealth of outdoor recreation opportunities. Not surprisingly, many township residents enjoy outdoor recreation and lots of them have recreational vehicles. These people needed to be able to legally keep relatively small or modest-size recreational vehicles somewhere on their property.
The new ordinance language provides for that. Only the storage — or parking — of inoperable, unlicensed, or relatively large vehicles that can’t be stored on a driveway or in a way to comply with all setback provisions is now limited or prohibited.