Aurora, CO

Aurora targets people living in RVs, campers

David Heitz
Photo byFrankie/Unsplash

The Aurora City Council will consider during a study session Monday restricting RVs to parking only 24 hours on a public-street in a seven-day period.

“Currently Aurora allows a recreational vehicle to park on a public right-of-way for up to five days,” according to a memo from the City Attorney’s Office to the council. “This ordinance reduces the five days to twenty-four hours during any seven day period to be as strict as Denver’s ordinances.” RVs and campers in violation of the ordinance will be towed and impounded.

Aurora Mayor Mike Coffman sponsored the legislation. “Currently, Aurora’a unlawful vehicle definition is more strict than Denver’s vehicle junker definition,” according to the memo. “The city is keeping its unlawful vehicle definition unchanged.”

Changes spurred by Denver ordinance

Coffman wants to make Aurora’s parking ordinances at least as strict if not stricter than Denver’s. “This ordinance makes provisions for impounding a recreational vehicle actively being used to provide occupancy as a dwelling or sleeping place to match Denver’s ordinance,” according to the memo. “An unoccupied recreational vehicle in violation of Aurora’s parking regulation can be removed from the public right-of-way 24 hours after having been cited with a parking violation. If the recreational vehicle is in violation of Aurora’s parking regulations and is actively being used for occupancy the city will not remove the vehicle from the public right-of- way for at least 48 hours after having been cited for a parking violation, the same as Denver’s ordinances.”

Changes also will apply to commercial vehicles. “Currently, Aurora does not permit commercial vehicles with an empty weight of 7,000 pounds to park on the public right-of-way for any period of time, unless they are making a delivery,” according to the memo. “This ordinance changes the 7,000 empty weight for a commercial vehicle to 6,000 pounds empty weight to be as strict as Denver’s weight limits for commercial vehicles.”

The ordinance also cracks down on trailers. “Except for camper trailers, as defined in section 134-358 of this Code, no trailer or semitrailer, whether or not connected to a motor vehicle or truck, shall be kept, stored or parked on any public right-of-way within the City for more than two hours during any seven-day period,” the law reads. Campers previously could park in one spot for 24 hours during a seven-day period.

Denver considers safe parking spaces

Denver updated its ordinance regarding campers, RV and junker vehicles last month. The city is considering contracting with Colorado Safe Parking Initiative to double the number of vehicle parking lots for people experiencing homelessness to four.

Officials with the initiative, which already runs a dozen safe parking lots on the Front Range, estimates hundreds of people in the metro area live out of their cars, according to their website.

The safe parking lots are not open to drop-in vehicles, which is one reason why locations are kept confidential. There is a waiting list of about five weeks for a space in the lots for those who qualify, according to their website.

Even if the council approves the ordinance during the study session, it still must be approved during a regular council meeting to become law.

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I've been in the news business 35 years, spending much of my career in editing roles at community newspapers in Southern California and the Quad-Cities of Illinois and Iowa. Upon moving to Denver in 2018, I began experiencing severe mental illness due to several traumatic experiences. I became homeless on the street for about a year before spending time in the state mental hospital. I am proof that people can rebound from even severe mental illness with proper treatment. I consider myself a lucky guy to live in a great place like Denver. I hope my writing reflects the passion I have for living in the Mile High City. You can email me news releases and story ideas at

Denver, CO

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