Soldotna cracks down on parking lot camping

Posted: Tuesday, May 20, 2003

ANCHORAGE (AP) Soldotna is taking a stand against illegal camping in store parking lots.

Soldotna City Council members last week were given copies of letters from city staff to Terry Rahlfs, manager of the Soldotna Fred Meyer, discussing the store's plan for complying with the ordinance banning camping in parking lots.

Three-foot by 4-foot white, sandwich board-type signs were placed by store management at parking lot entrances informing visitors that ''Overnight parking (no camping) is limited to no more than three days/nights.''

In one of two letters to the store, Planning and Zoning administrative assistant Anna M. Johnson wrote the store ''... in a previous letter, you were informed that camping is strictly prohibited with a maximum stay of eight hours.''

''There was a misunderstanding there,'' said Rob Boley, public relations assistant vice president for Fred Meyer.

''We're changing the signs to state 'No camping. Overnight parking only,''' he said. ''We'll have the new signs up as soon as we can have them produced.

''We will also have handout sheets to give to RV people in the evening referring them to the visitors center for information on RV parks and campgrounds.

Boley said the store also will have someone put flyers on recreational vehicles that arrive late at night.

The city offered the help of Soldotna police to enforce the camping prohibition.

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