Officials in Williston were certainly in a tough spot, trying to somehow stem the flow of recreational vehicles onto the city's streets while maintaining housing options for incoming workers.
The Williston City Commission this week implemented a ban on people living in RVs parked outside of a designated RV park. Campers in residential areas will have to be moved by Sept. 1, and RVs in commercial or industrial areas must be moved by Nov. 1. City officials said people living in the hundreds of RVs constituted a health and safety hazard.
The ordinance doesn't prohibit people from living in cars or other vehicles, and enforcing the ban will be difficult for a police force already stretched thin.
Several RV parks are under construction in the Williston area, although no one knows how much owners will charge for rent once they are completed. Opponents of the new Williston ban pointed out to the city that some people will not be able to afford the rent lot, and could end up leaving the city.
Clearly Williston leaders had to do something. Having hundreds of campers parked anywhere and everywhere around the city simply isn't safe or sanitary, and can be hazardous to the bustling city's already crowded streets. A city must somehow control its growth, even under extraordinary circumstances like Williston is experiencing. Williston officials certainly knew their decision wouldn't be popular with everyone there, but they obviously felt they had no choice.