Parking and Storage of Oversized Vehicles
This page provides examples of how cities and counties in Washington State regulate the parking and storage of oversized vehicles such as semi-trucks, recreational vehicles (e.g., motorhomes, campers, and trailers), boats, and trailers.
It is part of MRSC's series on Nuisances: Regulation and Abatement.
Restrictions on on- and off-street parking of oversized vehicles and recreational vehicles vary from community to community.
The definition of "oversized vehicle" varies, as does the length of time such vehicles are allowed to park, if at all. Some jurisdictions define oversized and commercial vehicles by gross weight, the weight of the vehicle itself, or by gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR), an amount that is set by the automaker and accounts for the weight of the vehicle plus optional accessories (e.g., passengers or cargo). Others may define ‘oversized’ in terms of length, height, and/or width. A few locales will use specific combinations of height and weight.
Most communities prohibit overnight parking of trucks in residential areas. A few provide for off-street parking in a residential zone by permit. Recreational vehicles can be parked or stored in residential areas under various zoning requirements.
A few cities allow temporary on-street parking for a limited duration. Most cities require boats to be stored off-street and to be sight-screened. Some allow boats to be temporarily parked on-street for a short duration.
Examples of Codes Regulating Vehicles Parked on Streets
- Battle Ground Municipal Code Ch. 10.12 — Restricts a semitrailer or truck in excess of 1-ton capacity from parking on certain streets between the hours of 6:00 p.m.—6:00 a.m.
- Clark County Code Ch. 10.10 - Prohibits the parking of any truck over a gross weight capacity of more than 10,001 lbs. or a trailer in excess of 20 ft. in length in a residential area, except when unloading or loading
- Lake Forest Park Municipal Code Sec. 10.12.017 — Regulates parking of a commercial truck, trailer, or any type of construction equipment in a residential zone, except when loading or unloading or in connection with an approved construction project during daylight hours
- North Bend Municipal Code Ch. 10.06 — Prohibits truck, truck tractor, semitrailer, or combination thereof over 25,999 lbs. GVWR and/or 96 in. wide on certain streets and provides time limits for parking of large, commercial vehicles within the city limits
- Renton Municipal Code Title X, Sec. 10-10-13 — Prohibits vehicles over 12,000 lbs. GVWR from parking on a public right-of-way adjacent to residential buildings and regulates parking of these same vehicles in other areas
- Seattle Municipal Code Sec. 11.72.070 — Prohibits the parking of a vehicle more than 80 in. wide between the hours of 12:00—6:00 a.m., except in an industrial zone
- Sequim Municipal Code Sec. 10.12.017 — Requires a permit to allow recreational vehicles, boats and/or boat trailers and other trailers to be parked on the street or in a city parking lot longer than 24 hours. Ch. 10.14 regulates commercial vehicle parking on public streets and alleys as well as private streets, lanes, and alleys.
- Tacoma Municipal Code Sec. 11.05.200 — Prohibits parking of a commercial vehicle in a residential neighborhood and Sec. 11.05.230 prohibits parking of a vehicle, boat trailer, recreational trailer, camper, or other licensed or unlicensed vehicle on any public street or alley right-of-way for a period of time longer than seven calendar days
Examples of Codes Regulating Storage of Vehicles
- Bellevue Land Use Code Sec. 20.20.720 — Allows for storage of recreational vehicles, boats and/or boat trailers, and other trailers in residential areas when certain conditions, such as screening, are met
- Burlington Municipal Code Sec. 10.12.170 — Allows for storage of recreational or commercial vehicles in a garage or private driveway. Sec 10.12.180 allows a recreational vehicle to be occupied for residential purposes for a period of no more than seven days.
- Edmonds Municipal Code Sec. 17.50.100 — Requires a conditional use permit for storage of a vehicle that has been licensed over 10,000 lbs. GVWR in an R-zoned district
- Issaquah Land Use Code Sec. 18.07.210 — Provides standards for outdoor residential use, storage, and activities for motor vehicles and non-motorized vehicles. Allows guests to stay in vehicles on a privately owned residential property for no more than 30 days within a single year.
- Olympia Unified Development Code Sec. 18.40.060(E and F) — Provides general storage requirements for cars, boats, trailers, and recreational vehicles, with limitations (E), and requirements for pleasure boat storage (F), including that a moored boat shall not be used as a place of residence unless it can be connected to the city sewer system
- Pullman Municipal Code Ch. 17.105.035 — Provides regulations for recreational vehicle and trailer parking and storage while Sec. 17.105.037 provides regulations for camper and canopy storage
- Puyallup Municipal Code Sec. 20.20.040(3) — Allows for outdoor storage of oversized vehicles in RS Zones, subject to certain conditions
- Redmond Zoning Code Sec. 20D.130.10-050 — Defines permitted locations for the parking of recreational, utility, and commercial vehicles within residential areas of the city
- Sequim Municipal Code Sec. 18.48.100 — Allows for the parking and storing of noncommercial, recreational vehicles, trailers, and boats on residential property only when in conformance with listed conditions
- Woodland Municipal Code Sec. 17.16.080(B) — Provides standards for storage of recreational and commercial vehicles in low-density, residential areas