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Old 05-08-2009, 08:07 AM   #1
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Anti-RV "No Overnight Parking" bill in Maine Legislature

I am copying this from a Yahoo group. This is the second post where the poster contacted the state of Maine and states the bill is currently tabled. Another post taken from the Escapeed news release states the the bill is out of comittee with a "pass as ammended" recommendation.

In the past similar legislation in Nevada and Montana failed due to our protests so we all need to get busy again and contact the Maine officials. If legislation like this ever does pass in one state it may set a precedent for the others.

Here is the post:



Here's the current status of the bill, and some people to contact about it:
>
> ============ ========= =
>
> The State of Maine is currently considering legislation which would make it illegal for RVs to park overnight in "any public parking structure" (i.e., business parking lots) anyplace in the state of Maine. If this bill (HP 98, LD 114) passes, it would be illegal for RVers to park for the night and sleep in their RVs at any business other than "a mobile home park or recreational vehicle park allowed by a municipality or a camping area licensed by the department."
>
> The penalty for violating this proposed law would be $100, which would be suspended upon first violation. It's the RVer who would be fined, not the business.
>
> Shortcomings in the law include:
>
> (1) No need for self-contained RV's to use or pay for many campground amenities when all that's needed is a night's sleep.
>
> (2) Language of the bill would make it illegal for RVers to park overnight at truck stops.
>
> (3) No provision for where RVers would stay from late fall through early spring, when nearly all Maine campgrounds are closed for the season.
>
> (4) No provision requiring campgrounds to be open to check RVers in at any time of day or night when they might arrive.
>
> (5) No provision requiring campgrounds to offer facilities to accommodate any kind of RV, including spaces to accommodate the largest rigs, or for campgrounds to provide and maintain access roads with sufficient weight-bearing capacity and adequate clearances.
>
> (6) No forethought as to what impact there will be on the Maine tourist economy if RVers elect to avoid visiting, passing through or spending money in Maine, as they did in Billings, MT, Laughlin, NV and Reno, NV when those cities attempted to enact or enforce similar bans on a local basis.
>
> (7) The general principle of forcing member of the public (RVers) to patronize businesses (campgrounds) that they may not want to patronize.
>
> (8) Some of the legislative material also mentions the issue of waste disposal, the usual "red herring" that campground owners throw out when pressuring for this kind of law. The law would punish all RVers for the transgressions of the very few who dump tanks where they shouldn't, an action that is already illegal, and only requires enforcement to prevent it.
>
>
> This bill is currently tabled in the Maine House of Representatives. It has yet to be passed by either the Maine House or the Maine Senate. I've been able to find no indication of the likelihood of its being passed, but when I telephoned the legislative offices to find out the bill's status, the clerk who took my call was unaware of the bill, then read it, and thought it was stupid.
>
> Here is a link to the text of the bill:
>
> http://www.maineleg islature. org/legis/ bills/bills_ 124th/billpdfs/ H
> P009802.pdf
>
> (Yahoo or your email program will probably spit that link, so you'll have to piece it back together in the address bar of your
> browser.)
>
> The sponsor of the bill is Rep. Anne C. Perry, Democrat from Calais, ME. Here is her contact information, as taken from the Maine Legislature Website:
>
> Address: 474 South Street, Calais, ME 04619 Home Telephone: (207) 454-7338 Cell Phone: (207) 214-7000 Home E-Mail: aperry@... State House E-Mail: RepAnne.Perry@ ...
> Legislative Web Site: Maine.gov legis/housedems/ aperry
> (Additional information, news, etc.,
> from the House Majority Office)
> State House Message Phone: (800) 423-2900 State House TTY Line: (207) 287-4469
> Representing: District 31 - Baileyville, Baring, Calais, Charlotte, Passamaquoddy Indian Township, Passamaquoddy Pleasant Point, Perry and Robbinston, plus part of the unorganized territory of North Washington
> Committee: Health and Human Services (Chair) Party Affiliation: Democrat Legal Residence: Calais Seat in House Chamber: 68
> Occupation: Nurse Practitioner
> Family: 3 Children, 2 Grandchildren
>
> ===========
>
> The House Majority Leader in the Maine Legislature is John F.
> Piotti, a Democrat from Unity, ME. Here is his contact information, as taken from the Maine Legislature Website:
>
> Address: 1075 Albion Road, Unity, ME 04988 Home Telephone: (207) 437-2493 Business Telephone: (207) 287-1430 Home E-Mail: piotti@... State House E-Mail: RepJohn.Piotti@ ...
> Legislative Web Site: Maine.gov legis/housedems/ jpiotti
> (Additional information, news, etc.,
> from the House Majority Office)
> State House Message Phone: (800) 423-2900 State House TTY Line: (207) 287-4469
> Representing: District 45 - Burnham, Freedom, Knox, Montville, Palermo, Thorndike, Troy and Unity
> Committee: Rules and Business of the House Party Affiliation: Democrat Legal Residence: Unity Seat in House Chamber: 1
> Occupation: Executive Director of State-Wide Non-Profit
> Family: Susan (Wife), 2 Children
>
> ============ =====
>
> Here are two more contacts in Maine:
>
> Governor John Baldacci
>
> Communicate your comments to the Governor:
>
> http://www.maine. gov/governor/ baldacci/ contact/citizen_ services/ sh
> are_views.html
>
> (Yahoo or your email program will probably spit that link, so you'll have to piece it back together in the address bar of your
> browser.)
>
> Or go to:
>
> http://www.maine. gov/governor/ baldacci/ index.shtml
>
> Then scroll down to "Citizen Services" and click the [Share your views] link.
>
> Other contact information:
>
> Mailing Address
> Office of the Governor
> #1 State House Station
> Augusta, ME 04333-0001
> Phone
> 207-287-3531
> 207-287-6548 (TTY)
> Fax
> 207-287-1034
>
> ============
>
> The President of the Main Chamber of Commerce is Mr. Dana Connors (that's MR. Connors, not MS.), and his email address is:
>
> dana.f.connors@mainchamber.org
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Old 05-08-2009, 03:30 PM   #2
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Well

Maine was one of the places we would NOT want to visit anyway.
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Old 05-08-2009, 04:01 PM   #3
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Is there a problem in Maine that the Legislature wants to solve with this legislation?
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Old 05-08-2009, 05:22 PM   #4
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The Wal-Mart in Elswoth MA, does not allow overnight parking an there is a campground right down the road towards Bar Harbor has a min price of about $28. We stayed there several nights and I suspected they were the reason for the bad at Wal-Mart. They also had coin showers that cut off as soon as you got soaped up. When we in the area, we spent lots of money with the locals and would have spent more if we hadn't had to spend th $28 for basically a boondocking site. This law will have the affect of taking aways from one merchant and giving to another. Maine is too beautiful to ban no matter how stupid the laws are.
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Old 05-09-2009, 09:07 AM   #5
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On another forum, a campground manager admitted that she was responsible for having overnight parking banned in her county. Her reason was that "everyone else should have to pay the same taxes and fees that I do." A year or so ago, a similar ban was passed in Billings, MT at the request of another CG owner - then rescinded when a firestorm of RVers sent correspondence to the town and the local news media. The National Campground Owers (ARVC) have previously posted materials on their website to help their owners get similar bans based.

One of the most interesting points made in favor of the bans is safety. Somehow it isn't safe for the public to allow overnight parking at Wal-Marts.

In a parallel story, the town where we used to live tried to pass legislation to turn a two lane road over the the State of Texas to build a wider one. There was agreement reached that the widened road would be 4 lanes but the State refused to build that, saying they would build "the road that we needed." A County Commissioner, stood up in public and railed how unsafe the two lane road was and showed pictures of a neighboring 4 lane road, describing how much safer is was. An examination of the police blotter for the past several years actually proved that there were 4 times as many accidents on the wider road because it drew more traffic. After the road was defeated again by the town, we learned that the force behind the requests was the developer of a proposed regional mall, trying to improve his investment potential.

My point is simply this. If a ban is going to be passed, those sponsoring it should be made to come forward and disclose their financial interests in the outcome. Every municipality should demand it. In fairness to their constituents, the municipalities should also be asking about the unintended consequences of such a ban. I personally don't think "camping" at Wal-Mart is the right answer but there are precious few places to pull off and get a few hours of sleep and Wal-Mart is often among those few places unless cities or towns intervien. Forcing sleepy drivers to continue driving because there is no place to stop isn't in the public interest, IMHO. There are mandatory rest periods for OTR. They seem to park just about anywhere to comply. The same logic should apply to RVs.
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Old 05-09-2009, 10:08 AM   #6
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They should have made the lady asking fot the ban provide 24 hour office service to answer the phone and to get late comers set up.
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Old 05-10-2009, 08:18 AM   #7
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Why not leave it to the individual businesses to decide whether or not they want to allow parking?
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Old 05-10-2009, 08:23 AM   #8
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We were in Maine last summer and what beauty! However, I have sent 3 letters, one to the governor, the Chamber of Commerce pres and to the originator of the bill using the 3 addresses provided. The letter was short explaining that we spent 3 weeks in campgrounds and one night in a Wal-Mart lot and had planned on a return trip. However, if this bill passed and changed the laws in Maine, we would not be returning to a state that passed such an RV unfriendly law.

You can talk about it all you want on this forum, but unless you get the message to those key players (and there may be others), the point will be moot. If you feel strongly, please take a moment. My note was not lengthy and I'll post it if you like.

Let your words go to where they will do the most good.
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Old 05-10-2009, 09:18 AM   #9
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It has passed Health and Human Services Committee, 8-2

This bill is on the way. You better write, call, email, scream or do something and do it pretty soon It may pass as erarly as this week. See the article on FMCA web page or todays Portland Press herald,(newspaper).
Remind her how many recrational travelers attended the FMCA event a few years back at the Bruswick Naval Air Station that is now closing. (hint: ABOUT 5,000)
Email Representative Ann Perry, she is the sponser. Her web address is on the Maine Legislature site.
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Old 05-10-2009, 09:51 AM   #10
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Banning Overnight Parking in Wal-Mart

This is a easy fix. Sure you can write letters, however they probably will go in the round file because the legistators have their minds made up and probably don't know what a RV is.

The fix is to stay out of Maine and watch them change their tune. This happened once in Illinois. They wanted to do the same exact thing because of Campground owners Asc. Well RVers stopped going to Illinois and drove right through it and boy did they get the message. They rescinded the bill and opened it back up that RVers can stay overnight in Wal-Mart.

I have a feeling about why states do not want us to park in Wal-Marts and that is because there are a few of us RVers that make it a campground which it is not. It is for Parking the operative word is PARKING and not camping. It also means not using their storm sewers as dumping stations. We stay in a lot of Wal-Marts when we travel and only PARK there overnight.

One last final point and that is if campgounds would learn that if they made an overnight section of their campground and charge say $5-10 a night they may get some more business. Who in their right mind would spens $30.00 to saty overnight? I surely wouldn't and if I had to I would drive until I found a place to stay even if it would be in a truck stop. Speaking of trucks how many stay in Wal-marts? Check the Wal-mart on I-24 in TN.

In review if the bill passes don't go to Maine as there are 49 other states you can visit, they will get the message.
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Old 05-10-2009, 10:27 AM   #11
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Tom-NC, I agree completely.

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Old 05-10-2009, 01:52 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom-NC View Post

I have a feeling about why states do not want us to park in Wal-Marts and that is because there are a few of us RVers that make it a campground which it is not. It is for Parking the operative word is PARKING and not camping. It also means not using their storm sewers as dumping stations. We stay in a lot of Wal-Marts when we travel and only PARK there overnight.
Tom, I agree with all of your points but not the cause. I firmly believe that government at any level is never going to do anything without a catalyst. I don't believe that Maine is any different. SOMEBODY, or SOMEONE is agitating this issue. It takes a fair number of individuals getting together to motivate State government to act. It is more likely some organization making a concerted effort to lobby the State legislators to get this bill passed. I'm not saying that there aren't wackos who do stupid things (like the tour bus sewer discharge from the bridge that was in the news a year or so ago) but I don't think isolated incidents like that are sufficient motivation for government. Usually, the people making these kinds of demands are also cowards, however, and it is hard to find out who they are. They would rather the public's wrath descend upon the legislators rather than themselves.
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Old 05-10-2009, 02:20 PM   #13
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I have said this in another thread:

When I'm traveling and I get tired, I need a place to park, Truck Stop, Wall mart, Costco, Campground. it dont' matter. If it is a business I will park and then give them some custom (Business) as a thank you for letting me park, I usually spend more in the store than I'd spend on a campground.

However if I have to drive around to find a campground, and I'm over-tired to start with This is NOT a good thing

In states like that I'd be inclined to do a "No overnight parking" Work around.

Ok, I won't park over night.. I will DRIVE over night and park over day!!

Safer that way (I also like night driving)
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Old 05-10-2009, 03:01 PM   #14
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I agree with all that is said here. I think the root cause of all of this are the campgrounds that want a good $$$ for just overnight parking and not really using the facilities such as: pool, playground, social events, showerhouse.... If for the campgrounds that are located near freeways or shopping plaza's (Wal-Mart's included) would only provide a "no frills" "parking lot" or "over flow" lot section just for the purpose of over-night stays. And change a $5-$10 fee for using their parking space. This can be located near the front office as to be used if someone can in after hours.

There have been times where I hit a wall (tired/ sleepy) while driving. I would just use a free-way rest area or a plaza parking lot to catch a hours sleep or two to continue driving safe. We don't do the long range driving like most of you do here, but on my 10-14 hour driving trips, I will not continue driving if I start to get tired.
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