No matter what side you sit on this argument, it is clear that the law is unclear;

The city made a handshake agreement barring overnight RV parking into the permits for both stores, Cooper said.

“If you’re going to occupy a vehicle such as an RV overnight, you are required to be in a campground,” Cooper said. “We have licensed campgrounds and truck stops within the city limits for overnight parking.”

There’s a catch to this “requirement,” however, in that there isn’t actually a “requirement” in a strictly legal sense. There is no ordinance prohibiting RVs in commercial parking lots.

In my opinion, handshake agreements with a municipal government just doesn’t fly. Instead of having Walmart decide who can and cannot park in their lots, the city should either implement a city wide ordinance that RV camping in retail parking lots is prohibited, or have NO ordinance at all.

Either way, I personally think it should be prohibited. We have truck stops, camp grounds and rest stops for that reason. I remember one time I drove past the WM on Louise, and an RV was parked in the lot, they had out their lawn chairs and were BBQ’ing next to the RV. This is silly. How would you feel if you pulled into the HyVee lot and you saw a tent setup with people sleeping inside? How is that any different? It’s not. Community’s have campgrounds for this reason.

17 Thoughts on “Should the city of Sioux Falls prohibit RV parking in retail parking lots?

  1. Theresa stehly on October 29, 2016 at 6:16 pm said:

    I’m not sure Sioux Falls wants a reputation in the national Rand McNally Atlas as one of the few communities in the US that doesn’t allow the Walmart hospitality. But whatever we decide to prohibit, it needs to be implemented as an ordinance to be binding.

  2. Seriously, what does it matter? Isn’t it WM property? If it somehow makes your eyes bleed, don’t go there. Is this and the unsightly garbage cans the only problems left in our fair city?

  3. If you kept moving between the four Walmarts in Sioux Falls. Let us say, two days at a time at each Walmart. Would that mean you could get around having to rent an expensive single bedroom apartment ever again in this town?…Huh?

    But seriously, I think the Walmart camping is extremely tacky and opposes possible safety issues. Walmart, and especially the one on Louise, should be required to maintain a permanent outside security officer with a vehicle at all times. Especially, if they want to be Walmart/KOA:

  4. matt johnson on October 30, 2016 at 8:27 am said:

    “Instead of having Walmart decide who can and cannot…” so are you saying if the city says it is ok then Walmart has to let people camp there- don’t think you meant this, but the city certainly should not be able to dictate that it is ok

  5. anominous on October 30, 2016 at 9:04 am said:

    This is a slippery slope toward motorhome owners losing their SD voting rights. It’s rigged, folks.

  6. Here is a fun little fact about camping at Walmart. Apparently, Supreme Court Justice Thomas and his wife like to camp in Walmart parking lots throughout the land as they travel to see America each summer…. (I guess we know how he would vote on this issue, if it ever became a constitutional question, that is)….

    Maybe he likes Walmart’s price on a can of Coke, too….That is, if you catch my drift on that one….;-)…..

  7. Rufusx on October 30, 2016 at 4:20 pm said:

    How about people parking their camper/trailer/RV on the street in front of their house (or in their drive-way or back yard) and plugging it in for use as a “guest house” (think air bnb) for the summer? I’ve seen it done. In fact, there’s one across the alley from my garage right now.

  8. The D@ily Spin on October 30, 2016 at 4:36 pm said:

    Campgrounds fill up and Walmart is often an only option. Walmart makes camping in it’s lots a national policy because it invites more sales. Given the city budget is from sales tax and many RV’s across the country are licensed in SD (cheaper), leave the present policy. Walmarts have already destroyed neighborhoods. RV parking is an improvement. The more activity in an overnight lot, the safer for shoppers and RV’s. However, restrictions should be overnight only and no tents.

  9. In SF it is prohibited to park your RV on the street or in the driveway, but you do have either a 24 or 48 hour grace period so you can load/unload, clean it, etc. You are allowed to park it next to your garage, but must have a parking pad for it.

  10. The D@ily Spin on October 30, 2016 at 4:50 pm said:

    I considered an RV for retirement travel. Look at their price, camp fees, insurance, & 5 miles per gallon. You’ll change your mind. A car that’s 40 mpg and motel rooms makes more sense & it’s clean sheets/shower every night. Try to order room service or have laundry in an RV. The first time you use the tiny shower/toilet or empty the grey water, you’ll sell the RV. Motels get expensive because of the local taxes. Drive out a ways, it’s cheaper. Tea, Brandon, & Hartford have new nice cheap hotels. In Sioux Falls, lower the sin taxes and people will stay and spend here.

  11. The D@ily Spin on October 30, 2016 at 4:57 pm said:

    I’ve said it before, anyone can ignore Sioux Falls ordinances. They can’t enforce them because they can’t take you to court. City code doesn’t allow appeals into court. They’ll harrassed you with citations (100’s) but it takes a court to force action or fine payment. Amazing, there’s 24 people in the city attorney’s office but they never go to court.

  12. The D@ily Spin on October 30, 2016 at 5:29 pm said:

    I hope the city doesn’t try to impose restrictions on Walmart. It’d be like a pro football team against an under 6 per wee league. It’s another camera tickets thing that becomes a landmark case deciding cases in other states. Walmart would enjoy giving wedgy’s to the city attorney’s office. Another case proving city government is unconstitutional. The city will lose in circuit court then foolishly appeal to state Supreme Court where they’ll also lose. Imagine the RV’s of out of state big gun lawyers parked at Sioux Falls and Pierre Walmarts. Pfeifle’s gonna need another 50 lawyers and 20 million budget.

  13. teatime on October 30, 2016 at 10:59 pm said:

    NO, NO, NO. It’s not safer! It poses a safety issue for the neighborhood when there is an unregulated, unofficial, campground with unregistered people “camping” there. I’m having a conversation on Monday with John Hult about some inaccuracies in his article and I plan to explain why this is a safety issue. Also, Ms. Stehly, I would like to contact you as well. This is a reason my grandkids don’t play in the front of the house anymore.

    Can’t explain more right now — too upset and frustrated to get the words out right.

  14. anonymous on October 31, 2016 at 6:06 am said:

    l3wis, the “RV” ordinance was passed a couple of years ago, sponsored by Greg Jamison.

    There was extensive discussion about this in multiple committee and council meetings. I believe the outcome was that you canNOT park your RV BESIDE your residence. It must be on a concrete pad in your BACK yard, out-of-sight from the street.

  15. If that is the case, there is a ton of violators in SF. I see RV’s parked on parking pads next to garages all over town.

  16. Anonymoose on November 1, 2016 at 5:41 pm said:

    Why do people give a shit about this?

    I’ve been away from SD for a little over a year. I didn’t realize one of the biggest culture shocks until I visited for a few weeks… People worrying about everyone else’s shit.

    Seriously, why would anyone give two shits what Walmart does with it’s parking lot or where someone parks their RV? It’s not a safety issue, you’re not going to die and it’s none of your f*ing business! You get to control what happens on your property. Walk out your front door, stop at the street and look down. This is where your right to enforce your wants ends. Period.

  17. City residents that live in Sioux Falls have a right to preserve and maintain their living experience as any residential area is entitled to. IMO, Walmarts that have plopped themselves in the midst of or next to a residential area have no business offering transient hospitality service. People that travel are responsible for their own travel accommodations as they may find or arrange.

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