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Council votes to ban parking RVs, trailers on streets

 

Mountain View city officials will begin preparing a citywide ban on large vehicles in an effort to eventually remove the nearly 200 inhabited motor homes and trailers parked on city streets. The action on Tuesday night was the latest sign that a majority of the City Council has lost patience with a hands-off approach to people living on the streets, which police officials say has led neighboring towns to offload their homeless populations onto Mountain View.

In a 5-2 vote, with council members Chris Clark and Alison Hicks opposed, the City Council directed staff to begin working on a citywide prohibition on parking vehicles more than 6 or 7 feet tall curbside on city streets. The ban will take effect no earlier than late 2020 in order to give city officials and aid groups time to expand a safe parking program that currently offers only eight nightly spots to cars and vans, but none to RVs.

While a variety of measures were included to cushion the blow, the move was denounced by homeless advocates as a sign that Mountain View is criminalizing poverty. Members of the Mountain View Vehicle Residents group described the parking ban as a punishment for the city's working poor who can't afford housing.

"A citywide ban on oversize vehicles would destroy the last safe affordable housing option available to many of my neighbors," said Blaine Dzwonczyk, a teacher who co-founded the Vehicle Residents advocacy group. "A handful of temporary safe parking spaces for a fraction of the current vehicle residents is not a comprehensive solution."

In recent years, the vehicle encampments scattered around the city have become the most visible sign of the hardships afflicting the city's poorest residents. The vehicle dwellers have been a divisive issue as city officials avoided creating new parking restrictions for nearly three years even as neighboring cities cracked down.

Resentment has grown among homeowners and housed residents, who claim the vehicle dwellers are responsible for increased crime and garbage. Large RVs and trailers have attracted particular scorn because they block drivers' views and have generated complaints of safety hazards from bicyclists.

These simmering frustrations came to a head in last year's election, when two City Council incumbents were ousted. The rest of the council appears to have seen the election as a mandate from voters to address the issue.

Senior council members who supported the restrictions made every attempt to explain they were not being cruel. Councilwoman Margaret Abe-Koga highlighted the $1 million annually spent on homeless programs, including a mobile shower trailer, port-a-potties and outreach workers. She and her colleagues said Mountain View has received minimal credit for its tolerant approach, and instead had unknowingly stepped into the role of caretaker for all of the North County's homeless population.

"Given the ginormous scale of this, it's frankly impossible for Mountain View to solve alone," Abe-Koga said. "It's not just Mountain View's problem to solve alone; it has to take a regional effort."

Mountain View Police Department community outreach officer Wahed Magee told city officials that he had several reports of police in Sunnyvale, Palo Alto, Milpitas and Los Altos telling vehicle dwellers to relocate to Mountain View. In one instance, Sunnyvale police officers even handed a vehicle dweller a packet of information detailing Mountain View's social-service programs, telling them they would be "welcome" there, Magee said.

Reached for comment Wednesday, Sunnyvale Police Capt. Jim Choi said his city's officers do hand out informational pamphlets on regional services to homeless individuals they come across. But he denied any deliberate effort to push people living on the street into Mountain View.

"That's not our policy or our practice," Choi said. "We provide resources and if people think they can have it better elsewhere, that's up to the individual."

At the meeting, council members pointed to a range of other stakeholders, saying they bore responsibility for the city's growing homeless population. Councilman John McAlister tersely grilled housing advocates from SV@Home, pressing them to explain why they and their donors weren't directly funding housing programs. Santa Clara County, neighboring cities, tech companies and local churches were also called out for not doing enough.

Mountain View city staffers reported they had spent more than 2,500 hours working on issues related to homeless residents over the last fiscal year. Yet Assistant to the City Manager Kimberley Thomas acknowledged the city had "barely moved the needle" on reducing local homelessness. In fact, there were about 416 individuals living on the streets as of a 2017 homeless count, and that number had been roughly doubling every two years prior, she reported.

In public comment, an organized group of dozens of unhoused residents tried to describe their living situations, urging the council not to punish people who can't afford regular housing. Francisco Cazares said he had worked at the local Whole Foods for nearly 20 years, but his living situation had slowly deteriorated due to rising rents. He could once afford a two-bedroom apartment on his wages, then he had to downsize to renting a room, and then to a motor home.

Several Foothill Community College students described living out of vehicles as their only housing option while pursuing an education.

"It's no secret that rent here is very expensive and finding a livable wage is difficult," said Matt Bodo, a student who said he had lived out of his car for two years. "I really don't think restrictions are a step in the right direction. We should be pushing for more programs for homelessness and poor people."

But the council's ultimate action combined a bit of both. The City Council unanimously agreed to declare a citywide shelter crisis, which would help facilitate efforts to establish new safe parking sites to locate inhabited vehicles. Up to this point, the city's safe parking efforts have been focused mainly on the faith community, but only two churches have agreed to participate, and they can only provide space for eight small vehicles.

By next month, city officials say the safe parking program should begin growing. A new Terra Bella site owned by the Palo Alto Housing nonprofit is expected to open with enough space for 11 more vehicles. In addition, city officials say they are in negotiations with the Valley Transportation Authority to use a transit lot to hold about 20 more vehicles.

Those 39 spaces would still be woefully short of the estimated 290 inhabited vehicles that are currently on Mountain View's streets, according to the city. But it was enough for City Council members to argue that it was time to begin laying down restrictions. Making a motion, Abe-Koga called for a citywide ban on street parking for oversized vehicles, such as RVs and trailers. In a December count, city officials reported there were 192 inhabited RVs on city streets, with large pockets near Independence, Crisanto and Gemini avenues.

"We can find safe parking lots but we're going to just have more RVs coming in," Abe-Koga said. "We need help from the cities around us. We need to contain our challenge and then try to resolve it."

For some council members, it was the exact opposite to the approach they believed the city should be taking. Mountain View should step up enforcement measures, but only when the city provided some viable alternative for people, said Councilman Clark. A blanket restriction on RVs right now would be taking "the easy way out," he said.

"If we simply ban oversized vehicles, then we're doing exactly what our neighbors have done," he said. "It's just doing what every other city has done in contributing to this regional problem."

The Tuesday night council meeting was the first major political test for three new council members who were pressed on the issue repeatedly during their campaign. Two of those freshmen members, Lucas Ramirez and Ellen Kamei, agreed to support the vehicle ban in exchange for minor amendments meant to soften the blow.

Ramirez warned the city could be creating a much worse problem if a ban on living in vehicles ends up pushing the homeless population to sleeping in city parks or road embankments. Despite that concern, he agreed to back the large vehicle ban on the condition that one parking lot at Shoreline Amphitheatre be used during the winter months to provide extra space for around 20 vehicles.

Kamei insisted the city should wait at least 18 months before enacting the ban in order to give ample time for families to relocate. She also asked that the city investigate an unregulated market of people renting out RVs and trailers for others to live in.

On the opposite side, newly elected Councilwoman Alison Hicks said she couldn't support a citywide ban on RV parking, saying she preferred targeting sensitive locations, such as dangerous traffic spots.

As part of the decision, the council asked staff to investigate ways to streamline permits for safe parking sites and updates to the city's rental assistance program.

The City Council also approved more than $800,000 in new expenses for homeless enforcement, housing programs and waste management. More information on the expenses can be found in the city's staff report.

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Comments

324 people like this
Posted by Billy Bob
a resident of Bailey Park
on Mar 20, 2019 at 2:11 pm

Its about time Mountain View has been a dumping ground for far to long. Now do something about the crime that has plagued our city.


182 people like this
Posted by Mv proud
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 20, 2019 at 2:38 pm

About time!!!!!!!!! I appreciate council finally stepping up and for the Police Department for being so candid about this issue! I was at the meeting as an observer. We have done enough. I am so relieved that this has happened. We cant support the region’s honeless population.


145 people like this
Posted by Needed Decision
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 20, 2019 at 2:56 pm

I also agree with this decision. Long overdue.


38 people like this
Posted by Correction
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 20, 2019 at 2:57 pm

Lucas Ramirez said he would support the ban if they pushed ahead to opening up a Shoreline Ampitheater parking lot to Safe Parking. Abe Koga refused.
Lucas voted for it anyway.

Lucas is like a little boy trying to do the right thing, but is unable to stand up to the new right wing mafia that now controls the council: Koga, Matchiak, and McAlister. Kamei appears to be a bit more centrist, but that is merely her attempt to be subtle. Have to wait and see on her. It’s really up to Lucas to grow a pair and stand up for his convictions.

Now, expect the Koga and Matchiak supporters to claim they are tried and true democrats, and I have no doubt they vote that way, but their actions are definitely right of center.


168 people like this
Posted by Ron MV
a resident of Waverly Park
on Mar 20, 2019 at 3:00 pm

Ron MV is a registered user.

First: THANK GOD!!!!! To those who said the voters had not actually changed the city council that much last election, here is where you were very wrong.

But also: What a dumb statement that getting rid of RVs "Criminalizes poverty". Strawman arguments like that are so self serving. People who are poor MIGHT be driven to theft. Does that mean rules against stealing are criminalizing poverty? I could make money setting up a restaurant on my driveway. Does that mean zoning laws "criminalize entrepreneurship"? You could claim ALL laws impact whatever group you like to suit your goals. But that does not make it true!


130 people like this
Posted by ShorelineWestDude
a resident of Shoreline West
on Mar 20, 2019 at 3:03 pm

ShorelineWestDude is a registered user.

Hallelujah !

It's about time!
Let's hope the red tape is swept away on this.

Clark's dissenting opinion argument against makes no sense to me.

And Alison Hicks...really? I voted for you in part to help with this problem and your vote is against ? You barely made it in the last election. Why would you want to risk alienating any of your supporters (like me)?

I guess we know two councilpersons who are now in danger of jeopardizing their reelection chances.


79 people like this
Posted by Heartless
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 20, 2019 at 3:08 pm

People are so desperate to stay and work in our community that they're forced to live in RVs, and people accuse them of being criminals and say they make the town a "dumping ground". I'd rather 10 RVs on our streets than that someone with that attitude. Move to Atherton behind a gate and free up a house.


33 people like this
Posted by ld
a resident of Rex Manor
on Mar 20, 2019 at 3:10 pm

does anyone have data on exactly who lives in the RVs? poor? middle class? what are their stories?


108 people like this
Posted by ShorelineWestDude
a resident of Shoreline West
on Mar 20, 2019 at 3:10 pm

ShorelineWestDude is a registered user.

to: #Correction,

Sorry,
but its long overdue for the pendulum to finally swing away from insane leftist progressive policies in this city.

That's what the election was all about;
and as they say, 'elections have consequences'


84 people like this
Posted by Good but too slow.
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 20, 2019 at 3:15 pm

Time to move on, lest we hear from TBM, LOL and Randy. The RV issue was only a RV issue. If city council wants to solve homelessness, under employment,the mental health crisis, illegal immigration, felons off the grid, and a myriad of other social ills, while still maintaining our downtown, city streets and parks, now is not the time to establish a needle exchange program at Eagle (Lenny Siegel's Peoples) Park. Berkeley was at the forefront of this change "in attitude" interestingly enough. Having knocked on unanswered RV doors, or told to go away, I found "0" people wanting to be diverted to social programs. We quickly became the KOA of the Bay Area after Lenny asked the MVPD not to enforce the 72 hour parking restriction. We are suppose to be a green city and these vehicle belch pollutants from gasoline engines and gasoline generators.

Enough making up stuff, send a council member, social worker and a policeman to each of the ~200 RV's. Couldn't take more than a couple days to complete. Send Mark Noack too.

Post a 72 hour note requiring a "face to face" meeting to conduct a welfare check and determine needs and social services available to address specific issues, maybe a phone number for a safe place to park is all that is necessary. Towing is going to be difficult with occupants refusing to move, but this is a problem council needs to solve now. We can start with 72 parking violations.

2020 is a ridiculous time frame.


46 people like this
Posted by ORR
a resident of Castro City
on Mar 20, 2019 at 3:26 pm

ORR is a registered user.

I was born and raised in Mountain View. We need to support locals who cannot afford to live here anymore. Lucas was raised here too. Lucas has a large family and just think, what if his sister and brother, his mom could no longer afford club Mountain View? Ramirez's family would have to drive hours or fly in to see their grandparents. Some grandparent(s) need family assistance.
I'm really disappointed Lucas voted for the ban. If you're not an engineer, or one with 4 jobs and 10 roommates, who can afford to live here? There needs to be real alternatives other than just an outright ban. Life is cut-throat and I don't like it but have some empathy.


110 people like this
Posted by Observer
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 20, 2019 at 3:35 pm

About time. Get rid of all the RVs. And Hicks won't get my vote again. The rest has already been said.


37 people like this
Posted by Good but too slow
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 20, 2019 at 3:40 pm

@Heartless,

or maybe, we could include RV directions to Atherton? After all, when you consider the homeless and BMR assistance/housing built in LA, LAH, PA, PAH, MP, Atherton and EPA for that matter, it could be a wake up or a good start for our neighbors up the road.


90 people like this
Posted by Yimby #2
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 20, 2019 at 3:43 pm

It's about time.
About 4 weeks ago RVs decided to overrun our neighborhood
They literally lined the entire block
They chose the route everybody uses to get in/out of the neighborhood
RVs have been discreet and not getting in motorist/bicyclists
Now they are getting in the way
MV has been tolerant and helpful. But the RVs are out of control
I would like to see how much we will be spending on supporting
these vehicles in financial terms everybody can understand. Is it $5 or
$100 per MV resident to subsidize these vehicles? Not saying give up
professional accounting and financial models, but the City Council
should make it clear the out of pocket expense for each MV taxpayer.


35 people like this
Posted by eric
a resident of another community
on Mar 20, 2019 at 3:43 pm

While there are legitimate issues involving visibility at intersections and bicycle safety relating to the RV's, this is a horrible solution.

Mtn Views-- all of Silicon Valleys-- success comes with a cost to many. These members of our community need an alternative. I commend Allions Hicks for her courageous No vote


41 people like this
Posted by Stop Displacing Locals
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Mar 20, 2019 at 3:48 pm

"Please raze all the affordable housing for more 1 million dollar high rises!" Said no local ever. City council has been making choices since 2004 to consistently displace people who were born and raised here and who can no longer afford it. How? by saying yes to tech companies over and over again, despite people like me digging their heels in at every turn and warning it would come to this. Did you really think that people weren't going to come up with creative solutions to stay close to their work and families? Shame on you for criminalizing people who are trying their best to get by. Mountain View sold its soul for strip malls and ugly high rise buildings long ago to the highest bidder. Guess what will happen now? More traffic to the area because people in motorhomes still need to work here. That's exactly what Mountain View needs, right? Wipe out the quality of life, the views of the Mountains, and the small gemstones that are struggling to survive in favor of greed, that is the new "Mountain" view.


106 people like this
Posted by Yimby #2
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 20, 2019 at 3:52 pm

I will vote against Alison Hicks and Chris Clark during the next election.


94 people like this
Posted by Ron MV
a resident of Waverly Park
on Mar 20, 2019 at 3:52 pm

Ron MV is a registered user.

@Heartless: You seem to be working from some random unproven assumptions. We do NOT have tons of RVs because those residents are so desperate to live in MV. They are concentrated in MV because the other cities in the area have restricted them, making MV the central target for locating in. By refusing to address the problem earlier, the city has made itself a magnet for RVs from all over. The other cities are happy to push them our direction to deal with.


16 people like this
Posted by Rodger
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Mar 20, 2019 at 3:57 pm

Great news let’s start this policy on 1/1/2000
Surprised to see Hicks voted no,


42 people like this
Posted by Christopher Chiang
a resident of North Bayshore
on Mar 20, 2019 at 4:09 pm

Christopher Chiang is a registered user.

Watching the meeting, no one on the city council was proud of the decision they had to make, given that these are vulnerable people being asked to make their life -much harder- in order for better off people to have their lives -moderately- better. So one would hope people here won't gloat.

I respect why our city council members voted to ban RVs but I for one thank City Council Members Clark and Hicks. On a gut level, yes I too am relieved, as RVs right outside my daughter's window have meant we don't open her window when their generators are running, yet in my heart, I know I have a home, and they do not.

And as someone who has had them outside my home for years, I still believe both Berkeley and our city both got it wrong for doing all this in the wrong order.

There seems to be 3 problems in order of urgency:
1) Ensure there's no public health crisis (waste dumping). Start with MV vigorously enforcing waste disposal, fining those who dump in our streets, and also providing routine waste removal services to RVs paid in full or partially by the RVs.
2) Ensure there's designed RV sites or housing options available in the marketplace or via public or charitable agencies.
3) Ensure MV streets look beautiful and public property is in compliance with "curb aesthetic" city ordinances by enforcing an RV ban.

Doing 3) without 2), where do they go? Pushing the problem away doesn't fix it, it just passes the burden onto someone else. This issue is the same as housing growth or climate change, just because some other cities won't do the right thing, doesn't absolve a community that realizes what is right, from their duty to do what's right.


64 people like this
Posted by WilliamofBaskerville
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 20, 2019 at 4:11 pm

WilliamofBaskerville is a registered user.

Bravo! The RVs are NOT sympathetic Mountain View residents who have been pushed out of local housing just trying to make a living. All the RV residents I have seen have been older, white men. I have seen two of them with TRUMP stickers on the RVs. Looks to me like a bunch of intolerant, entitled jerks exercising their male privilege to live wherever they want (without paying property taxes like the rest of us).

Definitely disappointed in Clark and Hicks. I will not vote for them again.


45 people like this
Posted by Jenny
a resident of Monta Loma
on Mar 20, 2019 at 4:18 pm

I am embarrassed by this vote and the lack of compassion being shown to the RV dwellers in these dire straits. Why shouldn't some community try to help these folks? Thank goodness Mountain View used to be open to trying to help our neighbors instead of jumping on the bandwagon of our neighbors and pushing these folks further and further from their families and jobs. Oh wait, I guess we just jumped on that bandwagon.


32 people like this
Posted by Randy Guelph
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Mar 20, 2019 at 4:22 pm

This comments section is a shining example of the reactionary, Trumpian forces that have taken over our city. When people tell you who they are, listen.

It's telling that all of the commenters here were too cowardly to go to the Council meeting and say these things to the faces of the people they want to throw out.


80 people like this
Posted by RV Fan
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 20, 2019 at 4:28 pm

Well done to our Mayor and City Council members who voted to support a ban. Many of us would like to live in Atherton but cannot afford it. Does that mean we can live on the streets there? of course not! The same applies to Mountain View. Kudos to the Community Services Agency for the good work it is doing. This issue needs to be addressed regionally.


20 people like this
Posted by Buh-Byeeeee
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 20, 2019 at 4:29 pm

I've actually knocked on doors of some RVs and let them know personally on more than one occasion.
Now...scat, shoo!


72 people like this
Posted by nihilist
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Mar 20, 2019 at 4:38 pm

Foothill college is in Los Altos Hills.
But students complain they want to live in RVs parked in Mountain View...


82 people like this
Posted by Mom
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 20, 2019 at 4:38 pm

So I need to wait 18 months till I can safely go to a park without seeing questionable characters all over it?


38 people like this
Posted by Aspiring to be better
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 20, 2019 at 4:41 pm

Shame on Mountain View. I agree with @Jenny and am embarrassed that the City Council voted for this heartless action.


57 people like this
Posted by Vehiclesover6feet
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 20, 2019 at 4:59 pm

Vehiclesover6feet is a registered user.

Well done city council. This action is long overdue. This crisis was created because MV chose to do nothing while our neighboring cities instituted a ban. That being said, one question I have: how did the city manage to put a ban on all vehicles taller than 6 feet on the street near target/day worker center? There used to be several RVs parked there, but then the signs banning vehicles over 6 feet appeared and the RVs disappeared from that street. Does anyone know what happened there?


43 people like this
Posted by David B. Karpf, MD
a resident of North Whisman
on Mar 20, 2019 at 5:32 pm

I understand the aggrieved comments from many of my Mountain View neighbors who decry the 192 RVs parking in our city. But I find it unconsciencable that our City Council voted to outlaw this last option to prevent people living on our streets, with no access to shelter, or means of hygiene, until there is another option as to where these vehicles can park. Is it an eyesore? Yes. Can it cause some inconvenience, by forcing riders to be more cautious while cycling or blocking someone's view from their driveway? Sure. But the upside of keeping at minimum 192 of our fellow humans relatively safe and dry, rather than being displaced to the streets, seems to me to outweigh the downsides.

Think twice about how proud you will be to tell your grandkids that you supported banning the less fortunate from living in Mountain View, and putting HS and college students and women (like the nice woman who lives in a camper on Sherland Ave. or Flynn Ave.) out on the streets.


82 people like this
Posted by ToMyGrandchilder
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 20, 2019 at 5:45 pm

What will I tell my grandchildren:

I supported getting rid of the RVs on the street. People should live in better circumstances. They should move to live in areas they can afford. They shouldn't be living on a street with children. They should t be considered "pets" of an ideology so some people can have victims to wring their hands over.

I supported getting rid of the RVs because I didn't want Mountain View becoming a smaller San Francisco, with human waste on every street and needles lining the sidewalk.

There is a certain responsibility that everyone needs to have in a community, and one of the responsible actions of government is to not encourage unhealthy living conditions out of a misplaced sense of guilt.


10 people like this
Posted by MVVehicleResident
a resident of Shoreline West
on Mar 20, 2019 at 5:54 pm

Mountain View Vehicle Resident Here!


72 people like this
Posted by Late 2020???
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 20, 2019 at 6:08 pm

Are homeless advocates protesting at Los Altos and Sunnyvale council meetings?

Nothing will change for 18 months? That is ridiculous. This city moves at a snail’s pace on every issue. There should be incremental steps taken now. Anyone who refuses to work with outreach / CSA should be given 60 days. Should be means based.


45 people like this
Posted by James Thurber
a resident of Shoreline West
on Mar 20, 2019 at 6:20 pm

James Thurber is a registered user.

Ladies and gentlemen: These folks are our neighbors. We should welcome and support them.

If I was in charge of this scenario I'd provide shower trucks, daily sewage pick ups, and extra (and clean) portable restrooms. Of course I'd also provide city parking lots with security and INVITE them to park their RV's there.

The situation exists because of the greed shown by many landlords raising rents well past any semblance of reason and forcing these people - who live AND WORK in our community - to either live in an RV or live on the street.

I think the message this City Council is sending is this: "If you don't have money, then get the hell out of our community. You're not welcome."

Or: No Bucks = No Bueno

Thanks for listening.


38 people like this
Posted by Verilynn
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 20, 2019 at 6:34 pm

It’s incredibly sad to see how Mountain View the city I grew up in become a city in whim ig either old or techy can afford. As a student I don’t have the rich parents that will cheat my way into a University, people don’t realize it’s twice as hard for us to even get an education & to afford living in the bay. “ if you can’t afford it just move” it’s easy to say, but when you grew up here, the gentrification doesn’t seem so pleasant. I’m not a criminal, I want to be a productive member of society but you shame us for being poor.


32 people like this
Posted by Scott Rodvold
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Mar 20, 2019 at 6:52 pm

Unfortunately the majority of comments here are by uninformed individuals with no idea of the realities for persons and families living in vehicles in Mountain View.
If anybody would choose to learn who we are, I invite you to come to our next community meeting which will probably be scheduled near the end of this month. There has been no date set yet, but you can check on our website on Facebook, “Mountain View Vehicle Residents”, to see when our next meeting will be held.
Anybody is welcome. You can come, and remain anonymous as most here prefer to be when they post their opinions. Or, you can be yourselves, and still speak your mind, just like you do here.
You’ll probably be very surprised when you finally find out who we are, and odds are you’lleave with a complete 180 degree on your opinion of us.


37 people like this
Posted by Michael
a resident of another community
on Mar 20, 2019 at 7:02 pm

There was a time when living in MV was affordable - when there was an appreciation that making under 80k gave you the option for low income housing. Google, Facebook and Amazon have added tens of thousands of people to their employment, offered housing stipends and driven the cost of rent through the roof here.

I have since moved to San Jose but still work as a teacher in the MV / PA area. There was a year where I slept in my car because thats all I could afford. My children live here - its not a simple fix to just move out of the area. But notice that an apt. that once rented for $1200 a month (10 years ago) is now $4000. Thats not inflation - that is profiteering.

People sleeping in RV's and their cars aren't a part of being homeless.... not in the same way as being homeless and unemployed. This isn't a mental health problem. This isn't a crime problem. This is corporate displacement.


79 people like this
Posted by MV Resident
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 20, 2019 at 7:06 pm

Berkeley implemented their ban in one month. Vote on Feb. 28, ban in place end of March.

Why does Mountain View need 18 months?

There will be 2 elections in 18 months. For all we know, the ban will be reversed by a new council.

This was kind of a non-decision decision.


19 people like this
Posted by Jeremy Hoffman
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Mar 20, 2019 at 7:57 pm

Jeremy Hoffman is a registered user.

"Given the ginormous scale of this, it's frankly impossible for Mountain View to solve alone," Abe-Koga said. "It's not just Mountain View's problem to solve alone; it has to take a regional effort."

Having recognized that regional problems require regional solutions, I look forward to MAK's endorsement of the CASA Compact, a regional solution to the Bay Area's housing supply and affordability crisis -- which just happens to be the root cause of our neighbors having to live in RVs.


76 people like this
Posted by Clean it up!
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 20, 2019 at 8:25 pm

It doesn’t matter if it’s RVs or a tent in the park, the homeless are going to come to Mountain View if it’s easier to live in our town than Sunnyvale, etc... all the complaining about how this is harsh just ignores this.. we the voters got rid of city councilmen who won’t fix this... I’ll vote out anyone who lets this go on any longer.

Also, why are we waiting until the end of 2020? That’s nuts. You’re not going to make the majority of the residents happy, because this was a referendum about this problem and our patience is exhausted...


21 people like this
Posted by teacher
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Mar 20, 2019 at 8:39 pm

David, I agree with you. This is not something I want my kids to learn or have to live. At the end of the day does it matter if you have to look at an RV? Will people feel differently if it happens to someone they know or them? I want my kids to learn compassion. When I am ready to die I won't care about Rvs . THere is enough money here to deal with the waste. What will people think if people are sleeping in bushes everywhere. And the workers that everyone uses daily will be gone! I would rather have fewer robots and less tech.
There are criminals and "unthinkables" everywhere, even in mansions with gates. Poor and homeless does not equal criminal or Trump supporter. House cleaners who are not documented. How many people against rv dwellers hire them? Construction ? How many people go to church every week but do not want to look at an RV? Sorry,but I am sad,mad,disappointed ,frustrated and afraid.


69 people like this
Posted by psr
a resident of The Crossings
on Mar 20, 2019 at 8:54 pm

psr is a registered user.

It's time that the council started giving a little attention to the citizens of this town and did something to improve their quality of life. Too bad this anemic vote is barely lip-service in their direction. There is no reason to wait 18 months to enforce laws that are on the books now that they have chosen to ignore. Enforce the laws in 60 days to allow people to be informed, but enforce them.

To those who are angry with we residents who don't enjoy looking out our windows to find a giant RV with unknown activities going on inside, there is a solution. Absolutely nobody is preventing you from going to the door of an RV and letting the occupant(s) know that you are going to allow them to move in with you. You are welcome to share your personal space any way you chose. What you are NOT entitled to do is determine that I have to tolerate a rolling encampment on my street. That is where my and my neighbors children play and their safety is more important to me than your desire to have your way with a public street.

The laws we have on the books are for a reason. They are meant to protect the safety of everybody. Bending the rules because you feel sorry for someone doesn't solve their problem. It's simply a way for you to feel like you are helping with the issue at the expense of the rest of the community. If you want to help, go volunteer at a shelter or work at the food bank (both things that I do as time allows). It puts energy toward a solution without forcing others to do what you think they should.

There are also comments about how high the rents have gotten here and at least one person indicated that it was due to "profiteering" by landlords. While some people take advantage, you should make note of the fact that those brand-new shiny building that are springing up like mushrooms all over MV are the ones charging $ 4000+ rents per month. Those very buildings have displaced cheaper (more affordable) housing and that has all been approved by the city council. Those landlords aren't doing all the profiteering. The city council has made sure there are plenty of taxes taken for each and every one of those structures each year. There would be plenty to spend on this issue if they didn't already waste it with countless other things that do not serve the citizens and taxpayers here.

The vote looks like the council is finally putting the desires of the residents ahead of their usual pro-outsider agendas, but I won't hold my breath waiting for anything to actually happen because of it.


23 people like this
Posted by Corporate Take-Over
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Mar 20, 2019 at 9:13 pm

Understand what the last poster is advocating: new residential highrises (5-7 stories) in every residential neighborhood in Silicon Valley with no authority for cities and counties to even require any significant onsite parking. Why? So that Google and other corporate power-brokers can have nearby housing for hundreds of thousands or millions of new imported employees. Developers would cash in - but so would corporate employers with cheaper housing for their employees - holding down the price of labor and clearing more profit for corporate bigwigs. Would the city council even have the authority to prohibit the new corporate highrise dwellers from parking to block your driveway? Only until the next "progressive" change is enacted at the behest the corporate interests. Next, watch the self-described Silicon Valley corporate "leadership group" break out PHASE TWO: one corporation, one vote. Mittens (MITT) Romney once insisted: "CORPORATIONS ARE PEOPLE TOO." Kind of. And they are taking over what's left of representative democracy in America.


22 people like this
Posted by Safety Sandshrew
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Mar 20, 2019 at 9:26 pm

This is just sickening. Ninety percent of people living in RVs in Mountain View grew up here, and we're priced out of the housing market due to construction restrictions put in place by the Mountain View government, itself! But now that Mountain View has rent control, apparently it's giving the finger to those who were evicted before it was put in place. I voted city council candidates to build more housing, not to ban people who have already lost theirs! Outrageous.


27 people like this
Posted by CP
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 20, 2019 at 9:29 pm

CP is a registered user.

@psr

Preach it! Absolutely true on all counts. City council created this mess, by 1) approving all the building projects that involve conversion of old properties to high rent apartments 2) forcing our MVPD for 5+ years to not enforce parking and vagrancy laws because it makes people feel good to feel like they are supporting the less fortunate of MV 3) collecting tax revenue from tech entities and spending it in frivolous ways. Did you all know that our school district had to layoff for this coming 2019-2020 school year community outreach staff who are the lifeline to many of the low income residents of MV because of outdated laws that don't allow school districts a share of the revenue from businesses that city of MV gets? Schools rely entirely on home owner property tax. The city of MV needs a serious reset as to how to allocate the crazy I crease in revenue they have. An 18 month delay in enforcing the no rv parking law is ridiculous. Get ready for a huge prolonged fight between those for RV's in the streets and those against. And I guarantee those against will prevail. Only there will be a whole lot more money spent and a community will be divided. And the NY Times will probably be reporting on this story. MV city council please don't let it come to this. Change it to a 60 day notice not 18 months. This will be an ugly battle otherwise


20 people like this
Posted by Lenny Please
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 20, 2019 at 9:37 pm

Lenny, please let MVPD enforce 72 hour parking restrictions, please!
We are not in Berkeley anymore.


8 people like this
Posted by Corporate Take-Over
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Mar 20, 2019 at 9:38 pm

By "last poster," I mean Jeremy Hoffman.


20 people like this
Posted by Yimby #2
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 20, 2019 at 9:43 pm

I agree with PSR


26 people like this
Posted by MV Resident
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 20, 2019 at 9:57 pm

People here insult those who face housing insecurity for asking for something they "didn't earn," when we are the ones who pulled up the ladder behind us with restrictive housing growth, benefited in those restrictions in scarcity-driven equity gains. Repulsive, homeowners that benefit from the housing restrictions that led to the rise in housing insecurity acting as victims for looking at poor people living in vehicles?

The city council and many residents of this board some how can't look at two groups of humans (those in million dollar homes and those on the street in front of those homes), and see who is really suffering more.

First they came for the RVs, and I did not speak out—
Because I did not live in a RV.

Then they came for the mobile homes, and I did not speak out—
Because I did not live in a mobile home.

Then they came for the low income renters, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a low income renter.

Then they got what they wanted, for Mountain View to look like Los Altos or Atherton. I thought Mountain View was different.


20 people like this
Posted by No Compassion from 5 MV Councilmembers!
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 20, 2019 at 10:09 pm

No Compassion from 5 MV Councilmembers! is a registered user.

If the MV Council does enact a city-wide parking ban on oversize vehicles, not only will RV residents be displaced from MV but it will also cause people to become truly homeless and resort to living in encampments around Mountain View just like the ones in San Jose, Oakland, Berkeley, etc. which Lucas Rameriz himself said would be a harder problem to deal with! But of course he went ahead and voted yes last night anyway. That is to be expected from a Councilmember who had Mike Kasperzak, a henchman of the anti-rent control CAA campaign in MV, as the Treasurer for his campaign and didn't support Prop 10.

When we take into consideration the MV Council's proclivity for rubber-stamping affordable housing redevelopment into home ownership communities as well as the approval of a tremendous amount of new office space to bring in tech jobs over the last decade or so without balancing that job growth with affordable housing, its clear this vote is just another step that the Council is taking to deliberately gentrify this city so it can be more like Palo Alto as Margaret Abe-Koga consistently references in her many classist comments regarding the issues of affordable housing and RV residents.

I also just want to add that there was only 1 white male homeowner who showed up last night and complained about vehicle residents near Rengstorff Park. The Council provided no evidence of other MV residents who have complained and are in favor of enforcement even though several of them took the liberty to speak about complaints on behalf of these people who didn't have the courage to show up and make their comments at a public meeting. Its quite the example of owning class privilege to get to enjoy staying home in your multi-million dollar property last night, read about your Councilmembers taking steps to criminalize poverty the next day in the Mountain View Voice, and then post heartless comments about how you agree with your Councilmembers' lack of compassion.


54 people like this
Posted by CP
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 20, 2019 at 11:11 pm

CP is a registered user.

@No Compassion
There are far more residents (voters) who approve of this decision, No matter who shows up at the council meeting. we are not all 'white males' as you label us in a racist way. We will not give you the satisfaction of shaming us for our views that rv living on the streets just isnt right. As property owners with actual addresses,we don't want to be targeted by your bullying. Therefore we may post anonymously, but the city council knows who votes and they are exercising the public's will. We are not heartless. We are rationale.


13 people like this
Posted by No Compassion from 5 MV Councilmembers!
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 20, 2019 at 11:28 pm

No Compassion from 5 MV Councilmembers! is a registered user.

@CP - Go back and read what I actually wrote. I used the term white male in reference to 1 homeowner who showed up at the meeting last night to complain about RV residents at Rengstorff Park. How is it racist for me as a white woman to use the term white male to describe a person at a Council meeting? Are you suggesting that white people can be racist towards each other? Seems like you are shaming yourself since your white fragility as well as your ignorance about racism are now showing for all to see on this comment thread.

Where is your proof that the majority of homeowners in MV want RV residents to be criminalized and evicted from our city? And you might be more successful in convincing me you are "rational" if you actually knew how to spell the word correctly - LOL! Seems like you are doing a great job of shaming yourself here by displaying so much ignorance.


11 people like this
Posted by Longview
a resident of another community
on Mar 21, 2019 at 12:53 am

Longview is a registered user.

Mayor Matichak made one interesting comment - something like "we are not banning cars parking on the street, and we are not regulating if you sleep in a car..." That option remains open.

Clark and Hicks did not have a full chance to share how they would limit RV street parking - perhaps to only commercial streets, and perhaps requiring a permit, and willingness to get on housing wait lists to get the permit, an idea also brought up by Kamei. Santa Barbara requires permitting to live in an RV.

There is some limit needed on use of city streets. I don't like seeing the largest RV's with their visual impact. I like even less seeing homeless people needing to sleep on benches. There is cheaper housing farther away. Are there jobs there? The council needs to balance the benefit to hundreds of vehicle dwelling as shelter, with visual aesthetics that many value. Clark and Hicks were ready to seek a balance. The other council members closed down the option for such a conversation too quickly, and with too little acknowledgement of the well spoken residents of Mountain View who showed up to speak for vehicle residents who are making rational choices among the options available to them. Those options just reduced.


32 people like this
Posted by Old Fart
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Mar 21, 2019 at 2:15 am

Was it just me or does the mv-voice have a new euphemism for the homeless? Noticed they kept referring to the "unhoused". What's next? Unapartment, uncondoed?

Yo the person who said his kids live here in Mountain View, I hope your RV is parked in front of their house/condo/apartment. That way they can at least invite you in for a shower and you can dump your trash in with theirs.


15 people like this
Posted by Alex Nunez
a resident of Shoreline West
on Mar 21, 2019 at 3:53 am

Alex Nunez is a registered user.

@CP — (response to you below)

I would like to express my sincere and deep appreciation for Councilmember Alison Hicks’ and Councilmember Chris Clark’s votes last night.

I believe that Alison displayed an authentic ability to empathize with the hardships that vehicle residents are enduring during this housing emergency. Additionally -- when she shared her views on Berkeley’s eventual path to RV parking restrictions, I felt it was a sobering reminder that there truly are limits to any City’s capabilities for handling the effects of forces and decisions made far beyond municipal level controls.

To me, that moment told me that she most clearly sees how untenable Mountain View’s grasp is on addressing this issue. And yet it’s because of this view that I feel she was in the strongest position of consciousness and understanding to make a statement on this situation. And the statement I took away from Alison last night is that there is yet more that we can do before giving up on those who need our help. So thanks Alison, you motivated me to keep fighting for this.

Chris Clark was super legit on this issue last night as well. I think he was spot on when he pointed out that it actually was other cities who are not doing the right thing by banning RV parking, and in some cases, maybe even having their police encourage those in RV’s to park in Mountain View. I appreciated very much when he said he refused to do to other Cities what they are doing to us.

The implicit question I read from Chris’s comments is — if anyone holds more responsibility for the divisiveness that this issue has dropped between Mountain View’s people & politics -- is it the poor, sick, and disadvantaged vehicle residents who bear that responsibility? Or is the greatest responsibility at the feet of the decision makers sitting on the daises of neighboring cities who used the power of their votes to deny aid to those who the day before may have been their neighbors?

That said, I can imagine that their are many ways to arrive at an eventual vote, and for this reason, I have no judgement or blame to bear against Councilmember Lucas Ramirez.

I don’t yet exactly know what Lucas’s reasoning for voting Yes on last night’s motion was and I also absolutely can not speak for him in any way. However, based on what I know about Lucas, I can say that despite any of his strengths or limitations, I believe he makes decisions based on what he believes will provide the greatest amount of good to the greatest number of Mountain View residents. And as he said last night, he believes that vehicle residents ARE Mountain View residents.

So while I believe that Alison’s and Chris’s votes more strongly aligned to their interpretations of what they believe is fundamentally right, I can imagine that Lucas saw himself staring down the surefire barrel of at least a 4-3 guaranteed vote on an RV ban and did his best to make the best of that bad situation by thinking something like — “If I join this vote, but I’m able to get those 20 safe parking spots at Shoreline, and even if the parking is available for a few months, and even if just ONE MORE family is able to get into permanent housing — then will this vote be worth it for them? Will I have done all I can to create the most possible good?”

Although I personally disagree with YES votes and the outcome that those votes are set to create, I don’t believe that Lucas, Alison, or Chris actually voted “wrong”. What I do hold accountability for, is our Councilmembers who give us contradictions from the dais. These Councilmembers take last night’s meeting as an opportunity to decry the “regional nature of this issue”, enumerate all the reasons that “Mountain View can’t do it alone”, and pat themselves on the back for all the “compassion” they’ve already had.

Yet one meeting before, they bandy on after midnight about the thought of paying some money to a lobbyist to have this person go to Sacramento to try and kill a bill that would build more housing in Palo Alto, Cupertino, Los Altos, and all the other cities that consistently and even proudly wield their local control to deny the construction of housing that could help in this crisis. And I can understand — why should cities like Mountain View have their local control taken away when they are actually trying to do the right thing with projects like North Bayshore?

But if keeping local control mattered just as much as creating real opportunities for those who are barely holding on, then why not talk about paying that lobbyist to go to Palo Alto, Cupertino, Los Altos or even Atherton to get those Councils to approve more housing? Why not talk about sending that lobbyist to Sacramento to actually improve this housing bill in ways that more strongly rewards Cities like Mountain View that do the right thing? I don’t think this bill is perfect but at least it represents some efforts to make this situation better and you want to kill this bill without an alternative to solve the “regional nature” of the housing crisis that puts more RV’s on our streets? I call a contradiction on that one.

If you don’t know Lucas, and you are someone who strongly opposes this potential RV ban as much as I do, then I can absolutely understand why his vote would appear to be as messed up as it looks. And honestly, if you feel a need to share your criticisms of him on this comment thread, or in person, then good on you for exercising your civic rights! Do it!! Maybe just consider if you’d like that he might be in as difficult a pickle as the rest of us, and that his course of doing the right thing may look different from ours.

Or a thousand times better — if you only have so much energy and time in your day as most of us do, consider doing what a really thoughtful person I know mentioned to me earlier and write a thankful & encouraging note to Alison Hicks and Chris Clark instead!! After all, they actually voted the way you wanted!

… lastly, @CP — I noted that you anonymously decided to speak for some majority of residents you claim favoring doing less to help our unstably housed residents.

I posted with my real name because I know from my experience that the greatest amount of resolve and energy is with those of us who hold that fairness and opportunity should be available for all of our residents — not just those who own a property. And even if those of us who fight for these principles may disagree on that tactics or strategies to use in service of these values, I am not afraid to be called out as untruthful for saying that more of us are working for what's right than for what's wrong.

So I hope that you keep your eye out for the early April Council meeting for the approval or rejection of the 2310 Rock St. redevelopment permit. I hope you come offer your real name and voice to all those residents you say approve of denying our community’s assistance and heart to the residents who need it the most. Because we’re putting in more work than you, and if none of you show up then pretty soon we’re going to win.


Like this comment
Posted by Paul Davis
a resident of Shoreline West
on Mar 21, 2019 at 7:19 am

I only read comments from folks who post under their real name.


51 people like this
Posted by Nick
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 21, 2019 at 7:59 am

While it's great that the Council finally is moving in a better direction, it's terrible to wait 18 months for action.


7 people like this
Posted by Fred
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 21, 2019 at 8:05 am

Here's a view likely to annoy everyone. Do we really lack compassion? And why in spite of ever-rising taxes do we never have enough money to address Community needs and wishes? Choosing the undeclared war in Iraq as a arbitrary starting place we can easily see what happens. Our government wants to go to war to benefit an extremely small minority who profit from war and from The Spoils of War. Our government lies to the American people about the reason we're going to war, the majority of the population is against going to war, but we go to war anyway. How many babies died in the Iraq War? How much compassion do we have for those children? Having constant regime-change Wars is expensive. If we really don't care at all about murdering millions of men women and children then possibly the many trillions of dollars of your tax money spent on these wars will get your attention. Or do we only have compassion for the masters of War and their need for ever more wealth and power? Flash Forward to today and we are in Venezuela killing babies. And like the war in Iraq the news media / government propaganda arm is telling us it's the right thing to do. It is possible that there are ramifications to looking the other way while we destroy millions of Lives and spend trillions of your hard-earned tax dollars on Wars that benefit no one except those who profit from them.


13 people like this
Posted by RVs Are Here To Stay
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 21, 2019 at 8:35 am

The RVs will simply find other places to park in Mountain View (i.e. shopping center parking lots) which is private property. If the owners of the property do not take measures of their own to abate this, there will be colonies of RVs making it more difficult for legitimate shoppers to park their cars.

An example...Go to the back of the Grant Road Plaza (Nob Hill, 99 Ranch etc.) parking lot. The owners of the shopping center have erected a cyclone fence to close off a large section that had become a squatter's village for transient RV dwellers.

The remaining RVs now park in back of the former karate studio at Grant Plaza.

It is a convenient site as they can recycle their bottles/cans nearby on a daily basis & periodically re-charge their AC generators without having to move their RVs.

Once the RVs are off the city streets, they will proliferate in strip/shopping malls.


14 people like this
Posted by Cyclist
a resident of Willowgate
on Mar 21, 2019 at 8:43 am

Kind of a ham-fisted way of doing it, but something had to be done to protect the safety of bicycle commuters. But really, we're just playing a game of whack-a-mole here until we address the root of these problems.


36 people like this
Posted by JR
a resident of another community
on Mar 21, 2019 at 8:46 am

Regardless of how you feel about RV dwellers, this is a safety issue. Roads were not designed for sight lines to be blocked. Some turns (such as right turns onto Shoreline coming out of downtown) are completely unsafe now that vision is blocked by RVs.

If you want to help RV dwellers, STOP approving construction of office space and luxury apartments. Instead build more affordable housing.


46 people like this
Posted by AllYouCanEat
a resident of Monta Loma
on Mar 21, 2019 at 8:54 am

Voting works!

Now, lets start getting Chris Clark and Alison Hicks out of office as well!


20 people like this
Posted by James Thurber
a resident of Shoreline West
on Mar 21, 2019 at 9:23 am

James Thurber is a registered user.

Here's a radical thought for Mountain View's council to consider: Make being poor illegal. That would instantly clean up the mess and prevent homeless encampments.

We could become the model for future America.

And everyone living in Mountain View would simply be . . . perfect.


19 people like this
Posted by Seriously!
a resident of North Whisman
on Mar 21, 2019 at 9:24 am

Wow. Really. Those of you heartless 'humans' should be ashamed of yourselves! These are people. Anyone could wind up in that situation. Just because we homeowners are millionaires by mere luck due Google's take over of our once quiet, quaint city, doesn't mean we all can forget what's important. Our citizens. Especially if the economy tanks. Those of you celebrating these evictions of families from the streets are a bunch of rich, spoiled people who only care about themselves. I hope they do open the parking lots as they stated as where else will they live. They're probably all terrified. Think about how they feel instead of how your insensitive selves feel!


18 people like this
Posted by A resident
a resident of Gemello
on Mar 21, 2019 at 9:45 am

Why favor the rich RV dwellers vs the poor tent inhabitants? I know acouple of people living in tents. Should MV have a tent city?
The other cities are pushing their RVs to Mountain View. Some of the people have jobs here and the city should look at city housing. The three RV/car dwellers I interact with were 1) Lived in his camper truck, hard core homeless 2) Had a brain injury and had moved up from LA. He had heard MV had good services 3) Woman stealing flowers from my front yard.

The housing problem is bigger than Mountain View and RVs are not the solution. Neither are tent cities.


48 people like this
Posted by WhyDoYouHateThePoor
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 21, 2019 at 11:08 am

To everyone who is in favor of keeping the RVs in Mountain View -- why do you hate the poor so much?

Why would you insist on telling people that it's better to live in the streets of Mountain View than to have an apartment in Gilroy? Why would you tell people it's better to work for minimum wage on Castro street while living in a camper, than to move somewhere where minimum wage makes living in an apartment possible?

Why would you tell parents that it's better to raise children in an unstable home environment, just to go to a public school, when they can move and attend a school while living in a house with running water?

Why would you want people to run diesel generators -- the least green fuel source possible -- instead of living somewhere with electrical power? Why would you tolerate dumping raw sewage into the bay instead of telling people to get a home with indoor plumbing?

Why do you hate the poor so much, that you want them on the streets? Is having the RV dwellers that much of a benefit for you, personally, that you want your fellow man to stay in such conditions permanently?

I don't know why so many of you pro-RV people seem to despise the unfortunate. It seems quite cruel, honestly.


10 people like this
Posted by fed up
a resident of Rex Manor
on Mar 21, 2019 at 12:54 pm

I am sympathetic to both sides here but the most striking thing about valley politics over the last decade is how little things change. People are willfully ignorant, dig in their heels and double down on business as usual. YIMBYs briefly held some political power, and lost it.

I hear finger pointing and "Mountain View is doing our part" a lot. I hear supply and demand somehow don't apply in the housing market. I hear "move somewhere less expensive". The employed homeless is another valley innovation, manufactured by politics. Mountain View's population grows 50% during the workday, more than a lot of cities we point the finger at. We will be lucky to get 2/3 of the North Bayshore housing allotment built, which will not balance the job growth in the same plan area. SyWest is clearly not interested in building housing.

I see finger pointing at Google, who ironically seem to be doing more than anyone right now to increase housing. I see finger pointing at Palo Alto, who at least had the sense to cap office growth.

Meanwhile, large swaths of naturally affordable apartments are gone to make way for townhomes that are probably not increasing density. Probably accelerated by Measure V incentivizing landlords to dump properties.

Measure V is a superficial solution. BMR lotteries are a superficial solution. RV dwelling is a superficial problem. If you don't like these things AND you care about wellbeing of people who work here, then balance growth, including paying down existing debt, and restore a functioning market.

But history suggests voters are content with the way things are.


12 people like this
Posted by Darin
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 21, 2019 at 2:53 pm

Darin is a registered user.

Re: "townhomes that are probably not increasing density"

In our neighborhood, these redevelopment projects are all 3 stories, which is the maximum allowed by current zoning. Whether that increases density depends on what was there before. If they tear down old 1-story rentals, then the 3-story development has more units. If they tear down old 2-story rentals, then the 3-story development has about the same number of units.

It also depends on how you define density. Is it just the number of units? Or is it the number of bedrooms? Does replacing 40 two-bedroom apartments with 30 three-bedroom townhomes increase density or decrease density?


35 people like this
Posted by William Hitchens
a resident of Waverly Park
on Mar 21, 2019 at 3:20 pm

William Hitchens is a registered user.

The devil is in the details. If MV really wants to end this huge public health and safety issue, then it would be wise if it were to study and copy ordinances that other CA cities have passed --- ones that have survived the inevitable court challenges that will plague any attempt by MV to "take back its streets". Lenny may not be mayor anymore, but he still remains a huge threat.


21 people like this
Posted by Ramone
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 21, 2019 at 4:18 pm

Ramone is a registered user.

I can also see both sides but believe the answer does not lie in allowing all vehicles to park on our roads. When I go to another community and camp, I pay a fee. Cities, faith based organizations and businesses must all do their part -- not just in Mountain View but beyond.

The 8 parking spaces provided by the faith based communities are not even full -- and why would they be if anyone can park on the streets? Prohibiting street parking will lead to more demand in the safe parking initiatives and more demand will lead to greater involvement by businesses and other churches. When more businesses sign up to host 2-3 vehicles (which have regulations and are enforced), then that program will grow beyond Mountain View because it will be harder for cities like PA and LA to prohibit vehicles from parking on private property.

Finally - a question for anyone from Foothill: Why can't you park at Foothill? I know they charge a parking fee but it's not too steep and I'm sure there are organizations that could defray the cost.


15 people like this
Posted by Jeremy Hoffman
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Mar 21, 2019 at 5:12 pm

Jeremy Hoffman is a registered user.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
-US Declaration of Independence

"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
-Statue of Liberty

"Buh-Byeeeee. I've actually knocked on doors of some RVs and let them know personally on more than one occasion. Now...scat, shoo!"
"So I need to wait 18 months till I can safely go to a park without seeing questionable characters all over it?"
-MV Voice comment section


8 people like this
Posted by No Compassion from 5 MV Councilmembers!
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 21, 2019 at 5:24 pm

No Compassion from 5 MV Councilmembers! is a registered user.

@Ramone - I'm not sure if you went to the Council meeting on Tuesday night but it was made clear that the 8 parking spots available at the 2 churches are only available for passenger vehicles and not RVs because the church parking lots are not big enough for RVs. So those 8 spots are only available for people sleeping in their cars because that of course is actually happening in this ridiculously expensive city and will only continue to increase if a city-wide parking ban is enacted on oversized vehicles.

@Alex - I appreciate you sharing your theory on why Lucas voted Yes in order to make the best of a bad situation. I agree that he and Ellen Kamei advocating for the 20 short-term safe parking spots at Shoreline was in the category of good. Was it the "most possible good" he could have advocated for? And he still could have voted NO after MAK added the Shoreline parking option to the motion. I really do want to know the Lucas you have described who "makes decisions based on what he believes will provide the greatest amount of good to the greatest number of Mountain View residents" and I'm hoping that he does the right thing and votes NO on the ordinance for a city-wide ban once its before the Council for a vote. Honestly, Lucas lost my confidence in him even before public comments began when he urged the MVPD outreach officer to share his anecdotal stories about Sunnyvale police officers telling RV dwellers to go to MV which was of course was denied by the Sunnyvale Police Capt. according to the MV Voice article. Lucas did use the hashtag #HoldMeAccountable in a Jan 8 post on his campaign FB page so I'm happy to oblige his request. I'm sure you would agree that in a functioning democracy, people should feel free (and some would even say people should feel required) to both thank their elected officials as well as criticize them - it doesn't need to be one or the other. And if Lucas doesn't want to be lumped in with the other neoliberal Democrats on the Council, then it will help if he doesn't vote with them to criminalize poverty. I think that is a reasonable expectation.


11 people like this
Posted by No Compassion from 5 MV Councilmembers!
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 21, 2019 at 5:49 pm

No Compassion from 5 MV Councilmembers! is a registered user.

@WhyDoYouHateThePoor - What an important question that you raise for yourself in the title of your post since you want all the RV residents to leave Mountain View and move to Gilroy. A more potent question might be what happened to you in your childhood that has caused you to have such little capacity for empathy? The culture in our country does little to teach or even show compassion to children so I just want to say I'm sorry for whatever you endured that has caused you to be completely unable to understand the perspective of anyone else but yourself.


14 people like this
Posted by Marcin Romaszewicz
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 21, 2019 at 8:45 pm

Marcin Romaszewicz is a registered user.

I'm very disheartened to see members of my community so proud of kicking out the RV's.

People don't live in RV's for the glamour of it, or the freedom of living just off El Camino or Shoreline; they do it because our housing is not affordable to them, and they have reasons to be in Mountain View which outweigh the discomfort of RV life - family attachments, jobs.

Our housing costs are a result of short sighted housing policy which constrains supply. When we have population and job growth, but little housing growth, this is the inevitable outcome, it's economics 101. In the lack of supply, prices go up based on people's ability to pay, and our high paying industries sure produce enough people willing to pay a lot.

Talk to some local restauranteurs or shops, one of their biggest issues is being able to hire low wage employees. By driving out those few who live in RV's, we're making that problem even worse!

Shame on you people.


11 people like this
Posted by Jeremy Hoffman
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Mar 21, 2019 at 9:08 pm

Jeremy Hoffman is a registered user.

@WhyDoYouHateThePoor, your argument would only make sense if I supported FORCING people to live in RVs. I support LETTING people choose to live in RVs if that is the best option available to them, given their work, family, and community circumstances.

And, even more importantly, I support local, regional, and state level action to bring jobs-housing balance, affordable housing, and tenants' rights to our area, so that we fewer members of our community face such grim choices.


51 people like this
Posted by psr
a resident of The Crossings
on Mar 21, 2019 at 10:10 pm

psr is a registered user.

An open question to those of you attempting to shame residents who wish to protect their safety and keep their streets clean -

I stated in an earlier post on this thread that anyone is free to invite an RV dweller to move in with them should they so choose. How many of you have done that? If you haven't, then how are you in any position to cast aspersions on those of us who want the laws enforced and our streets kept clean and safe?

You are very happy to call those who wish to simply enforce the law names like "cruel" and "heartless" and "selfish" but I have yet to hear that even one of you has actually done anything of substance to alleviate the situation. I submit that, since you have done nothing requiring any personal sacrifice on your part to help, that you should look to yourselves to see those qualities.

Allowing people to live on the street in front of my house creates no sacrifice for you. You have decided that you will take no responsibility for assisting anyone yourselves but you are happy to insist that everyone suffer as you see fit. If you are willing to put up with the situation, you think you are entitled to insist that everyone else tolerate the situation as well. Nothing could be more selfish.

People around here have worked hard for the homes they have (yes, even the rich ones) and they have a right to peaceful enjoyment of them. You have no idea what sacrifices were made by the people in any house on any street in this city in order for them to live there. To castigate them because they aren't willing to give up the environment they moved here to have is wrong if you have given up nothing yourself. Rather than seeking to pass the burden onto others, take some initiative and do something rather than trying to force your neighbors to sacrifice in order to balm your own conscience.


6 people like this
Posted by a MV resident
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 22, 2019 at 12:03 am

a MV resident is a registered user.

6 foot height limit, doesn't that also limit working class residents who need to park their work trucks on the street?


9 people like this
Posted by mv dweller
a resident of Shoreline West
on Mar 22, 2019 at 12:25 am

mv dweller is a registered user.

@MV renter, I think it would definitely limit work trucks. And tall SUVs. So I feel awful for all the folks who are reduced to RVs being targeted. But I'll be calling the parking-police on every vehicle over 6' once this beging. So though it's a bad decision for many, the silver lining is much more available parking! And probably fewer oversized gas wasting vecihles too. Unintended consequences...


9 people like this
Posted by Question for Homeowners in MV
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 22, 2019 at 10:27 am

Question for Homeowners in MV is a registered user.

@psr - I'm so sorry to hear how much you are suffering as a homeowner living in a multi-million dollar property in The Crossings where my family can't even afford the rent. Right now half our income goes to rent in order to live in this city so our child can attend a school that provides an educational style that meets her learning needs. But of course you are the true victim in all this with having to see RV residents living on the streets in your neighborhood because they can't afford rent at all.

And meanwhile, this City Council that you seem to agree with in criminalizing poverty will most likely be rubber-stamping the demolition of yet more naturally affordable housing as the first agenda item for their meeting on March 26, 2019.
Dividend Homes (apparently the same company tearing down apartments on Rock Street) is proposing to demolish existing 34 apartment units and remove 22 heritage trees to construct a 33-unit ownership row house development at 1950 Montecito Ave., between Sierra Vista and Rengstorff. A similar, but larger proposal to demolish the apartments at 2310 Rock Street is scheduled to come before the Council on April 2.

So let me propose this question to the Homeowners of Mountain View who don't want to be called cruel, heartless and selfish: Will you show up at the Mountain View Council meetings on March 26 and April 2 and demand that the Council impose a moratorium on the demolition of affordable housing in this city until they can enact a policy on NO NET LOSS of affordable housing? Will you demand that this City Council stops this truly unjust and cruel gentrification process and show us that you do have compassion and empathy for the most vulnerable in our community? What are the homeowners of Mountain View doing to ensure that the City Councilmembers stop making the housing crisis in Mountain View even worse than it already is?


29 people like this
Posted by psr
a resident of The Crossings
on Mar 22, 2019 at 10:05 pm

psr is a registered user.

@ Question for Homeowners in MV

I might have been willing to do that, if you had anything but contempt for me and the other homeowners here. I suppose I can also add landlords to that list too. I imagine you think your own landlord should be giving you lower rent because he is probably a "millionaire" because he owns your building.

Once again, you need to know that you have no idea what I, your landlord or any other property owner here has gone through to get that property or the costs involved in keeping it. You assume that everything is easy for people that you view as "wealthy" but you don't see everything.

I think you have a reasonable thing you want to ask for, but you need to go ask for it. You are the one who has the passion on this issue, so go and speak your time and see what comes of it. I have gone on record with the council about my opinions. I suggest you do the same.


7 people like this
Posted by
a resident of another community
on Mar 22, 2019 at 10:56 pm

is a registered user.

@psr - Why don't you go and meet the RV residents you seem to be so afraid of? They are your neighbors after all. Their children go to school with your children. They are long time residents of MV, some living in the parking lots of their old houses from which they've been displaced. Where I'm from (Mountain View), we get to know our neighbors.


28 people like this
Posted by mac33
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 23, 2019 at 2:29 pm

mac33 is a registered user.

@James Thurber :
“If I was in charge of this scenario I'd provide shower trucks, daily sewage pick ups, and extra (and clean) portable restrooms. Of course I'd also provide city parking lots with security and INVITE them to park their RV's there.”

James all of these services obviously would cost a lot of money. How much money are you, personally, willing to donate to the RV Dwellers so that they may enjoy these services? After you decide how much you’re willing to pay I would suggest you start a campaign to find how out how much your friends, family and like-minded neighbors are willing to pay and start there. Once you have an established fund you can begin to decide how your money will best be spent. Perhaps working in this fashion will give you a realistic view of the problem and the solutions to the problem.

As for those complaining about affordable housing being demolished in favor of new expensive apartments and condos, that is a predictable result of the rent control y’all voted for. Providing rental housing is a for-profit business, not a philanthropy so I’m not sure why some of you are labeling landlords “greedy” as they respond to supply and demand. How many of you would be willing to sell your home at a discount to help the less fortunate rather than selling at market rate? For the city to deny property owners the ability to sell their properties to developers after you’ve denied them the opportunity to make a decent profit (due to rent control) would be stomping on personal property rights.

The solution to the housing problem is not to continue to build more housing but to stop the job growth by prohibiting corporate expansion in the area. Rebalancing the supply and demand will help renters as well as homebuyers.


30 people like this
Posted by Interested
a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on Mar 23, 2019 at 3:40 pm

Interested is a registered user.

THANK YOU, mac33, for bringing sanity and reality to this subject. Yes... I think we'd all want to help those former Mountain View residents who are homeless through no fault of their own - but that is a very small number.

We have Foothill students living in vans and cars, because Los Altos Hills doesn't allow this. We have Los Altos and Fremont contractors putting non-working junk RVs on our streets and renting them to their laborers, we have well paid Google engineers who don't want to pay rent, we have people from Los Altos, Sunnyvale, Palo Alto and Milpitas because their POLICE refer them to us as they don't allow them in their own cities. Our police will tell you there is a sizable criminal element as well. NONE of these people pay property taxes to Mountain View.

Mountain View already provides showers, water, clean-up, etc. - to any street dweller no matter their origin city. Margaret Abe-Koga is right when she says this is more than one city can support - it's a regional issue and the other cities are refusing to help, though they gladly send their street dwellers here.

Mountain View has already budgeted an additional $1,666,000 in our taxpayer money to support this situation. I can imagine that amount a money would go a long way in housing the prior MV residents that are suffering these circumstances. We can take care of our own - but one city cannot handle this for the entire Peninsula.

Yes... stop the job growth and corporate expansion. Require other cities to take care of their own, and let us make sense of this. I'm just sorry this is taking so long to resolve, as I imagine we will only be adding to the out of town numbers as the weeks go by.


11 people like this
Posted by James Thurber
a resident of Shoreline West
on Mar 23, 2019 at 5:47 pm

James Thurber is a registered user.

Dear Mac33 and Interested

Mountain View is loaded with housing options that for decades operated in the black (economically speaking). Rents were reasonable. It's been in the last few years that something has driven rents out the window (metaphor). You could call it market forces. However, a lot of Mountain View residents would call it greed.

The cost of providing basic city services to RV residents would be minimal. And would I pay for it? Personally? You bet I would. These folks LIVE HERE. I ride past their RV's daily. I greet them. They are regular people and I will support my neighbors. I'm not joking either. I've got the money. I'm happy to use it to help take care of ALL THE FOLKS.

Economics has been kind to me - but not so kind to many of our service workers.

And since we're talking about money, rents, et al my neighborhood (Old Mountain View) has raised most rents to the point where houses, that normally held a family, now hold two, three, sometimes four unrelated tech workers. They split the rent.

They have to. They don't make enough to pay the rent(s) on their own. And it makes for difficult parking issues as they all own a car. The neighborhood(s) are changing and, in my opinion, not in a good - long term - way.

I'm hoping for the best for Mountain View AND all the Peninsula Cities. But if greed continues to rule the landscape I have my doubts.

Thanks for listening.


43 people like this
Posted by mac33
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 23, 2019 at 6:52 pm

mac33 is a registered user.

@James Thurber- you know nothing about the financials of the property owners who are currently renting in MV so you shouldn’t blindly judge. As I said, start collecting funds to start your philanthropy to help RV dwellers. Put your money where your mouth is and find out how far it goes to cover these “minimal” costs. Since economy has been good to you and market forces/greed shouldn’t govern behavior, please do sell your home at yesteryear’s prices (rather than market rate) to help those less fortunate than you in a meaningful way. Otherwise your do-gooder rhetoric on how others should behave is just that - rhetoric.


7 people like this
Posted by a MV resident
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 23, 2019 at 8:13 pm

a MV resident is a registered user.

Market forces explain the demand, but have little to do with the shortages in supply.

Quite the opposite, local government and NIMBY opposition to market driven new construction is why there's a shortage.

People live in RVs because we don't allow (via zoning and parking requirements) single resident occupancy rooms (other than exploitive motels), large co-habited settings, or anything that is dense, no matter if the project is near public transit.

We say MV can build traditional size homes or if they are lucky, get into one of the token subsidized homes that make the city feel better, but never do we allow true market forces to provide naturally affordable homes (high density). Yet we blame low income residents for not understanding economics, when it's more affluent residents who use regulations to thwart the market. Homeowners blame the poor who suffer from the status quo, when the homeowners benefit from that same status quo.


1 person likes this
Posted by neighbors
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 25, 2019 at 8:08 pm

neighbors is a registered user.

@RVs Are Here To Stay

Not if you complain and suggest boycotting the shopping center as a customer! Where do you think the fence came from?

I highly recommend calling the property manager and expressing your views re: having permanent RV residents in the back parking lot, both pro RV and con. Here is the phone number for the property manager for Grant Park Plaza. 408 331 2303

Good luck 'pro RV' group for coming up with a compelling argument when you leave your message for the private property manager.


3 people like this
Posted by neighbor
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 25, 2019 at 8:27 pm

neighbor is a registered user.

a MV resident

that is not correct. A law was recently passed re: building a housing unit in a homeowner's garage in order to create more low income housing. check it out

Web Link

most homeowners in mountain view do not have lots large enough to do this conversion, rent to a tenant in our garage, and also raise a family. it is perfectly legal to do so, however. the lots in los altos are big enough to do this of course, but most los altos homeowners do not have the motivation to do so.

so the opportunity is there, the motivation is not.


21 people like this
Posted by neighbor
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 25, 2019 at 9:24 pm

neighbor is a registered user.

the more i read these comments, the more I want to sell my property in MV and leave. to all the pro 'RV live wherever they want' posters: we homeowners worked extremely hard to own our properties. we are not all born rich. we scraped to make the down payment. and then we worked hard to afford the mortgage. we are not bad people because the value of the property increased. we had the guts to make the down payment and hope it would payout. we are lucky that it has paid out thus far. we are no different from you, except we had the means and courage and opportunity to take the bet 5 10 15 years ago. do not villify us because of that. you would have done the same. Finally: I have worked in many high cost areas, and I have always been willing to commute if I felt the job was worth it. if the job wasn't worth it, i wouldn't drive in. so let those who want to take low pay jobs and the commute into MV make their own decisions. in a democracy, people vote with their feet. we don't need to make that decision for them. MV is not a unique town in that respect.


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