Neighbors Crowd Edgewood Council Meeting to Complain About RV Video Business
Approximately two dozen residents of the White Oak neighborhood in Edgewood attended this week's council meeting to make sure their voices were heard concerning the regulations on Recreation Vehicles (RVs). One of their neighbors, Alex Schultz, currently has a personal RV in his driveway, and works on another RV parked in the back of his house, on a concrete pad. Schultz was present at the meeting and knew why all the people were there.
"All of these people are affiliates of his," Schultz said, referring to Jerry Schmidt, one of his neighbors who had signed up to speak at the meeting. "I feel like I am being watched all the time. I can't deal with it and work productively."
Last May, Schultz started a video how-to business by renovating Air Stream campers and filming the process so he can put it online. As with other web-based businesses, he makes his money by having people click on the advertisements accompanying his videos. Schultz has a home occupational business permit for what he does.
Neighbors came to object to Schultz having a business in the neighborhood. The only thing so far that Schultz is not in compliance with is the fact that his personal RV is technically in the side yard, and that is in violation of the ordinance currently in place in the city. However, because of vagueness in the the language on the city's website, which seems to contradict that ordinance, the city placed a hold on all RV violations so that it could straighten out the loopholes not only on the website, but also within the ordinance.
According to the current ordinance, there is no set number pertaining to how many RVs a resident can have in the back yard on concrete pads. So other than the RV in the side yard, Schultz does not appear to have a conflict with any law, and he has repeatedly been in contact with the city to try and ascertain what he should do to be in compliance with the law.
One neighbor brought up that the neighborhood is zoned RC-1 and stated that Schultz has defined his RV as his business, and he thought Schultz should have a business license and a place of business not in a residential zone. Schultz said his business requires no traffic to come to his house and he has no employees. He also said he wants to move the business out of his home eventually, but he wants to build it at home before he ventures out. He pointed out that he does not have his other RVs in his backyard, just the one he is working on.
Another neighbor complained that he had tires in his driveway, and cars and trucks parked on his grass and in the driveway of the foreclosed house next door. Mayor John Link said that the cars-parked-on-the-grass issue has been addressed and the tires in the driveway don't stay in the driveway, they were only part of a day's work.
Basically, the neighbors were concerned about the value of their homes, and they are fairly convinced that Schultz is bringing that value down. One neighbor said they liked having young people like Schultz around as it brings a certain vitality to the neighborhood. Schultz has a fence and a swing set which is what they expect and want.
"It is not what he does," the neighbor said finally. "It is the atmosphere."
Another neighbor acknowledged that Schultz is a young man trying to start a business, and said they have all been there, but that his business affects all of the neighbors, and is bringing their property values down.
After things settled down, council discussed what to do with the ordinance.
City Administrator Brian Dehner took notes and came to the conclusion that council wants to specify that residents can only have one recreational vehicle, including boats and RVs and trailers, per property, and that that one vehicle needs to be on concrete in the back of the property, and in operational condition at all times. It was also decided that variances could be run past the Zoning Administrator, which is Dehner, before they would go to Planning and Zoning. Council will have the amended ordinance before them on May 2, and if there were any other specifications they could put it into the ordinance at the meeting.
After the last council meeting Dehner had expected to have an ordinance ready for council, but he found out that neighbors wanted to speak out at the meeting, so he waited until they had their say. Once the ordinance is read for the second time, and it is signed by the mayor and published, the city can then issue citations to the people who are out of compliance with RVs in their side yards. Satisfied that their concerns were heard, the group of neighbors left.
Alex Schultz left knowing that he would do what he has to in order to be in compliance with the ordinance.
In other business, council listened to the first reading of the ordinance defining and prohibiting barking dogs and what constitutes the nuisance of a barking dog.
A report was given on the citizen meeting on April 5 where the consultants explained what they were doing on Edgewood and Lyndale roads. Most of the council who attended said they thought people understood what was going on and were mostly in favor of the speed humps that will be going in on the streets. The project goes out to bid on April 28.
Councilman Ben Barlage gave a report on a meeting where people gave their input on the properties at 249 and 251 Dudley, which are properties that the city will incorporate into President's Park eventually. He said the consensus was to tear down the red building and keep the other building.
Kentucky Senator Chris McDaniel came to the meeting to give council an update of all the bills that have been addressed in Frankfort. He explained that the Brent Spence Bridge received an OK for funding to be painted and repaired, and certain road repairs in the City of Edgewood have been initially scheduled to be funded. He said citizens can go to LRC.ky.gov to get details on all the bills, and that they have eight more working days in the legislative session.
Finally, Patrolman Jamie Ruehl was sworn in as a police officer in the city of Edgewood. The oath of office was administered by Senator Chris McDaniel with Mayor John Link in attendance.
Written by Patricia A. Scheyer, RCN contributor
Photo: Alex Schultz defends himself at Edgewood Council (RCN)