- Associated Press - Friday, July 7, 2017

HOMER, Alaska (AP) - An Alaska city is considering allowing businesses to use motorhomes or trailers as caretaker or owner lodging.

Homer City Council unanimously approved a memorandum June 26 directing City Planner Rick Abboud to write an ordinance to change zoning in the Marine Commercial district to allow businesses to use motorhomes or trailers four housing options for the businesses’ owners or caretakers.

That ordinance will go to the Homer Advisory Planning Commission and the Port and Harbor Commission for their review over the next few months. After the commissions have had their say, the ordinance will come to the council for its consideration, the Homer News (https://bit.ly/2tZwkKJ ) reported Thursday.

“I don’t want our actions to be so burdensome it inhibits them from being successful,” said council member Heath Smith, who introduced the measure. “We’re partners. We depend on the tax revenues they produce. We want to create a climate that helps them succeed.”

In the Marine Commercial district, as long as they meet the 40,000-sqare-foot (3,716 sq. meters) minimum and other conditions, RV parks are allowed. Caretaker cabins are allowed as an accessory use. Many businesses have small upstairs apartments. Some businesses have motorhomes parked on their lots, though.

Parking an RV is legal, but outside of a permitted RV park, in the Marine Commercial District, staying in one is not. In residential zoning districts, people can stay in recreational vehicles parked next to homes for up to 90 days total in a year. City code uses the term “recreational vehicle” to refer to “temporary lodging for travel, recreational and vacation use, and which is either self-propelled, mounted on or pulled by another vehicle.”

Homer Harbormaster Bryan Hawkins said a few businesses owners and caretakers have been caught living in nearby motorhomes or trailers

“They realize that wasn’t allowed and we’ve had to call them to task over it,” Hawkins said. “Sometimes there was resistance because it didn’t meet their plans.”

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