The new Buellton city RVs, Boats and Trailers Ordinance, 8.04.030, was pushed forward by one city worker and Councilmember Foster Reif and passed by the City Council on February 9, 2017. This ordinance gives the council undue control over our private property. Although it affects a large portion of Buellton’s population, most Buellton residents did not even know that it was passed. Many found out after receiving a letter in the mail telling them that they may be in violation and that citizens who failed to comply would be fined. When I asked the city manager if and how people were informed of the ordinance ahead of time, his response was that it was on the city website. Does anyone take time to read the city website? Not me.
When I talk with people around town, many say, “I do not own any of the items so it does not affect me.” Please be aware that this ordinance potentially affects everyone. They are dictating what you can do with your own private property, now and in the future. One of the ways it can affect everyone, for example, is when you want to sell your home. When a potential home buyer who owns an RV, boat or trailer finds out they cannot park it, you may have just lost a sale. If you change your mind in the future and want to own one of these items, you will incur extra costs and a great deal of inconvenience. Think of your neighbors, friends and family as the city dictates your private property rights to you.
I purposely did not purchase a home in a homeowners association, but now the city council and mayor are making the whole town an association, taking control of personal choices and freedoms and creating unnecessary costs and burdens on the citizens of Buellton. Today it is RVs, boats and trailers; tomorrow, who knows?
The officials who passed this ordinance need feedback from you, the residents of Buellton. Please call both your elected council representative and mayor — make personal or public contact with each member. We can be effective as a group and your single phone call can change a board member’s vote. A petition is being circulated. Please sign it. Consider writing a letter to the editor. Attend the monthly City Council meeting. Speak your mind and share your personal experience during the time allowed for public comment. Please contact me — my name and number are on each petition — and come to the potluck I am hosting for people to meet and discuss the ordinance (time and date provided on request). Your voice matters.
We need three of the city council members to agree to revisit the ordinance or it will stay in effect. Time is of the essence. Please call now, let your voice be heard. And remember, if they do not listen now, your most powerful voice is at the ballot box in the next election.
Contact information: www.cityofbuellton.com. Call or email each one today; do not delay.