Officials discuss trailer rules

ESCANABA – Escanaba’s revised trailer ordinance went into effect this past summer without a hitch… that is, without any citations being issued.

City officials and citizens worked together last winter to draft an up-to-date ordinance outlining the parking of trailers within city limits. The prior ordinance hadn’t been revised for more than four decades.

During a follow-up meeting on Wednesday, city representatives and the public met to discuss the updated trailer policy and how it worked this past summer.

“The ordinance has proven to be very effective and we continue to work with our citizens for a better community,” commented Escanaba Public Safety Director Ken Vanderlinden.

Since the beginning of the year, police received only nine trailer-related parking complaints, he said. No citations were issued because those involved voluntarily complied with the rules, he added.

This compares to the summer of 2012 when 39 warnings were issued to educate residents on the city’s trailer ordinance.

Escanaba Community Preservation Director Blaine DeGrave said Wednesday the revised trailer ordinance has helped to educate citizens and also gives city officials and law enforcement a set of written rules for the public to follow.

“The ordinance gives us something that is enforceable,” DeGrave said. “It’s a good thing.”

Prior to this year’s revision of the parking of trailers on city streets and boulevards, there were no rules addressing the parking of boats. Complaints of motor homes, campers, boats, and utility trailers parked in the city had been addressed on an individual complaint basis.

Issues included different types of trailers blocking the sight of drivers and pedestrians, trailers being unsightly to neighbors, and trailers limiting street access to emergency vehicles like fire trucks.

The revised ordinance, which went into effect in April, specifically addresses the time period and where trailers and campers are allowed to be parked on streets, boulevards and residential property.

For example, campers, boats, and utility trailers may be parked on the street temporarily for up to 48 hours prior to a trip or 24 hours following a trip for the purpose of loading, unloading and cleaning. They can be parked in front of an owner’s residence and not parked directly across from another trailer or camper.

While the updated ordinance pertains to all motor homes, trailers and boats parked in the city, some complaints may still have to be considered on an individual basis, said Vanderlinden. The new ordinance also offers an appeals process.

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Jenny Lancour, (906) 786-2021, ext. 143,