Residents living on and around Park Ridge Drive in Bath appeared before borough council during council’s monthly meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 4 to voice concerns about an out-of-state, inhabited recreational vehicle that had been parked on their street for over three weeks. Now, residents are asking council to pursue a possible ordinance that would prohibit the parking and inhabitation of RVs on borough streets.
Two adults, a cat, and a dog lived in this recreational vehicle from August 3 until August 26, residents said. The recreational vehicle was licensed out of Florida. Furniture and other belongings littered the side of the street, blocking the right of way and even the sidewalks. The individuals, residents said, brushed their teeth outside and used the portable toilets at nearby Carl L. Rehrig Park.
The individuals were guests of a family on the street, but they were guests residents said overstayed their welcome.
Residents told council of the variety of paths they pursued to move the recreational vehicle from their neighborhood. They called Tuskes Homes and were ignored. They approached borough officials, but an inspected, licensed vehicle is legally allowed to be parked on public streets. Finally, residents threatened to sue the homeowners who had invited the individuals to stay.
This, they said, resulted in a verbal altercation with the vehicle’s inhabitants. Residents said they were “screaming, yelling, and cursing.” These individuals left several days later, but residents fear they have not seen the last of them.
“These people who came will likely come back again,” said resident Cynthia Anderson.
Council asked borough solicitor Blake Marles how residents could stick up for themselves and their properties.
“[You] cannot prevent this from happening again,” he said. “But you can jump on it faster.”
Marles cited a 48-hour rule that prevents vehicles from being parked on the street for over 48 hours. He also said ordinances prevent non-residents from storing belongings on the road. He added, in cases of neighborly disputes, state police can be contacted.
However, residents made it clear that they do not want to cause any ill feelings with their neighbors involved.
“We have to continue living as neighbors with those people,” said Phil West, another resident.
This is not the first issue residents had with these homeowners. Dozens of cats currently inhabit the property, they said, leading to “intolerable” odors, empty litter boxes and food cans, and an influx of raccoons rifling through garbage and eating the cat food.
“These are things we have had to put up with,” said Anderson. “We have made exceptions.”
Mark Saginario said council will look at residents’ request to potentially pursue an ordinance that would outlaw inhabited RVs on public streets. They also said they are currently working on a Quality of Life Ordinance that may help code enforcement crack down on such issues, as well as an ordinance that would prohibit RVs from parking in plain view. They promised to look at all of the preventative measures possible.
“You should not have to live like that,” said Mayor Fiorella Mirabito.