Editorial

Hell hath no fury like an RV owner scorned, or something like that.

At least that's what Costa Mesa City Council members found out after

trying to cobble together a new law regulating the parking of

recreational vehicles or motor homes on city streets for lengthy periods

of time.

RV owners howled in protest over the possibility of losing what they

claim are their civil liberties -- namely, the ability to park their

monstrous vehicles any darn place they choose.

But the point is, when their freedom to park where they please begins

to offend others or create safety hazards, it's no longer a matter of

their civil liberties but the time to take the gear shift out of park and

move along.

To be sure, we have nothing against RVs or their use.

But city streets just aren't made for parking these large vehicles.

And anyone who denies the unsightliness of an RV parked in front of a

home for long periods of time is not being honest.

Several ideas are being pitched that would create a compromise for RV

owners to park for short periods of time to unload their vehicles. We

support those measures wholeheartedly.

In the end, however, city leaders have but one course of action that

we can see.

They need to shrug off the scorn of the RV owners and create a tough

city ordinance to monitor RV parking, including fines or other punishment

for scofflaws, that serves the greater good of Costa Mesa.

To us, it's akin to the strict anti-smoking ordinances California

passed years ago. At that time, smokers cried that their rights to smoke

in public were being violated. They argued that their civil liberties

were being trounced on and that they had every right to puff away and

blow smoke in people's faces, even at the risk of damaging other people's

health.

They warned that cutting off that right would bankrupt restaurants and

other public establishments because of the patronage lost.

Well, the state rightly decided that the greater good was more

important than the smokers' right to blow smoke any darn place they

choose.

And, by the way, the commonwealth continues to exist, despite

California's tough anti-smoking laws, and we're all breathing a lot

easier too. It's a much better place.

Does anybody really miss those days of smoky restaurants and malls?

Costa Mesa officials need to take heed.

They need to follow the lead of cities such as Newport Beach and

Fountain Valley and address the residential complaints of safety and

unsightliness surrounding the RV parking issue.

And they should be confident that like the anti-smoking laws, the city

will continue to exist just fine with anti-RV parking laws as well. In

fact, it will be a much better place.

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