News

City proposes all-hours ban on RV parking

Restrictions would affect most suburban neighborhoods

The Mountain View City Council will consider a sweeping ban on oversized vehicles parking along most streets across the city at its meeting Tuesday, Sept. 24. The new ordinance is being presented by city officials as a traffic safety measure, but the action is largely perceived as an effort aimed at sequestering the city's homeless population living out of RVs and trailers.

The ordinance being presented by city staff goes far beyond previous iterations of parking bans. The city was previously considering an overnight parking ban, but this new proposal calls for prohibiting oversized vehicle parking for all hours of the day.

Prohibited streets would include any that have bike lanes, or streets that are deemed too narrow because they are less than 40 feet in width.

According to the city's prepared maps, this change would end up blocking off dozens of miles of streets across Mountain View. Nearly all of the city's single-family-home neighborhoods, including Waverly Park, Cuesta Park and Old Mountain View, would be off-limits for large vehicle parking.

Meanwhile, the maps indicate the ordinance would leave various pockets throughout town with no parking restrictions. These pockets, where homeless individuals would likely end up assembling, are located mostly in the city's industrial, commercial and apartment districts.

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As written, the ordinance may set the stage for city officials picking which neighborhoods will shoulder the city's encampments of inhabited vehicles. In past meetings, City Council members made it clear they were trying to avoid this kind of decision.

The proposed ordinance and staff report make little mention of homelessness; instead the city's analysis focuses on the traffic dangers associated with large vehicles lining the streets and obstructing visibility. Traffic accidents have been on the rise throughout Mountain View, but city police have not cited oversized vehicles as a contributing factor.

Civil rights attorneys and homeless advocates have called out city officials for using the parking ban as a way to deny a place for people living out of vehicles. In a letter sent to the city earlier this month, various legal groups warned they would challenge the city in court if the vehicle ban goes forward.

If approved, the new city parking ban would likely begin around January. City officials say they would need at least three months to manufacture and install up to 200 new parking signs.

At the Sept. 24 meeting, the City Council is also scheduled to discuss new regulations for opening new safe-parking sites around the city.

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City proposes all-hours ban on RV parking

Restrictions would affect most suburban neighborhoods

by Mark Noack / Mountain View Voice

Uploaded: Fri, Sep 20, 2019, 4:57 pm

The Mountain View City Council will consider a sweeping ban on oversized vehicles parking along most streets across the city at its meeting Tuesday, Sept. 24. The new ordinance is being presented by city officials as a traffic safety measure, but the action is largely perceived as an effort aimed at sequestering the city's homeless population living out of RVs and trailers.

The ordinance being presented by city staff goes far beyond previous iterations of parking bans. The city was previously considering an overnight parking ban, but this new proposal calls for prohibiting oversized vehicle parking for all hours of the day.

Prohibited streets would include any that have bike lanes, or streets that are deemed too narrow because they are less than 40 feet in width.

According to the city's prepared maps, this change would end up blocking off dozens of miles of streets across Mountain View. Nearly all of the city's single-family-home neighborhoods, including Waverly Park, Cuesta Park and Old Mountain View, would be off-limits for large vehicle parking.

Meanwhile, the maps indicate the ordinance would leave various pockets throughout town with no parking restrictions. These pockets, where homeless individuals would likely end up assembling, are located mostly in the city's industrial, commercial and apartment districts.

As written, the ordinance may set the stage for city officials picking which neighborhoods will shoulder the city's encampments of inhabited vehicles. In past meetings, City Council members made it clear they were trying to avoid this kind of decision.

The proposed ordinance and staff report make little mention of homelessness; instead the city's analysis focuses on the traffic dangers associated with large vehicles lining the streets and obstructing visibility. Traffic accidents have been on the rise throughout Mountain View, but city police have not cited oversized vehicles as a contributing factor.

Civil rights attorneys and homeless advocates have called out city officials for using the parking ban as a way to deny a place for people living out of vehicles. In a letter sent to the city earlier this month, various legal groups warned they would challenge the city in court if the vehicle ban goes forward.

If approved, the new city parking ban would likely begin around January. City officials say they would need at least three months to manufacture and install up to 200 new parking signs.

At the Sept. 24 meeting, the City Council is also scheduled to discuss new regulations for opening new safe-parking sites around the city.

Comments

Peter
Cuesta Park
on Sep 20, 2019 at 5:08 pm
Peter, Cuesta Park
on Sep 20, 2019 at 5:08 pm

It’s long overdue and I’m also hoping that the City Council doesn't even allow RV parking in the industrial, commercial, and apartment areas. It’s about time that City Council close Pandora’s Box and simply put a total ban. Enough is enough!
Stay strong, City Council!


Finally!
Cuernavaca
on Sep 20, 2019 at 5:34 pm
Finally!, Cuernavaca
on Sep 20, 2019 at 5:34 pm

About time! Listening to the clear and strong message from residents in the last election! Hope the Council stands strong at the meeting and finally finishes this!

No doubt this "pre-billing" will bring out RV supporters to the meeting, but the large majority of residents support this.


Let’s get real
Another Mountain View Neighborhood

on Sep 20, 2019 at 5:51 pm
Name hidden, Another Mountain View Neighborhood

on Sep 20, 2019 at 5:51 pm

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Being real
Another Mountain View Neighborhood

on Sep 20, 2019 at 5:53 pm
Name hidden, Another Mountain View Neighborhood

on Sep 20, 2019 at 5:53 pm

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Im not being real
Blossom Valley
on Sep 20, 2019 at 9:50 pm
Im not being real , Blossom Valley
on Sep 20, 2019 at 9:50 pm

Due to violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are only visible to people that believe in the first amendment right of free speech. The editors regretfully delete any post that they disagree with.
[Editor's note: Actually, all opinions are welcome as long as they are respectfully stated. Lacing a post with insults violates the terms of use and will result in removal.]


Is this a good thing?
Bailey Park
on Sep 20, 2019 at 10:49 pm
Is this a good thing?, Bailey Park
on Sep 20, 2019 at 10:49 pm

It would have been helpful for the writer of this story to point out what color on the city map indicates the areas that will be allowed to have the RV's legally parking on those streets. The blue shaded areas says multi-family. That's a lot of blue areas!

Mountain View has a lot of apartment districts in the city. Is it just me but maybe this new ordinance would open up more street parking for these RV's?


Joel Lachter
Registered user
North Whisman
on Sep 20, 2019 at 11:57 pm
Joel Lachter, North Whisman
Registered user
on Sep 20, 2019 at 11:57 pm

As @Is this a good thing? says, it is a little hard to tell the impact of such a measure from the story without going around measuring the nearby streets. Yet I find this approach problematic. Yes, there are some vehicles causing some problems, but the examples people come up with are covered by existing laws. On the other hand, we have a few RVs that switch off parking next to our house. None of them have been a problem. I don’t know the owners of the other two, but one of them actually belongs to the family across the street from us. They are living in an RV while they replace their house. Mostly it is parked in their yard, but, depending on the construction phase, they sometimes park it on the street. Do we really want to outlaw this? Again, most of the RVs I encounter don’t seem to be causing any problems, and the examples I hear of RVs causing problems seem to be ones where the owners are breaking existing laws. It seems to me the obvious solution is to try enforcing the existing laws before adding new ones.


Shame on MV
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 21, 2019 at 7:16 am
Shame on MV, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 21, 2019 at 7:16 am

“These pockets, where homeless individuals would likely end up assembling, are located mostly in the city's... apartment district.”

Shamefully elitist, MV should be better than concentrating the hardship on the city’s poorest in order to help it’s more affluent homeowners.

I hope every renter remembers how their city council votes.


MVResident2008
Monta Loma
on Sep 21, 2019 at 7:31 am
MVResident2008, Monta Loma
on Sep 21, 2019 at 7:31 am

This is not a sweeping parking ban. We already have a law that prohibits parking, but it is not enforced by our Council.
This is an introduction of legislation to legally permit overnight parking - in certain areas and at certain vehicle sizes initially, but when it has passed it will doubtless be expanded in the following years.
Those of you saying "Enough is enough!" and "About time" are being misled by the way this is presented as a 'ban'. It's actually the ennoblement of full-time RV dwellers on the streets of Mountain View.


The YIMBY Voice of Reason
another community
on Sep 21, 2019 at 2:29 pm
The YIMBY Voice of Reason, another community
on Sep 21, 2019 at 2:29 pm

If housing were plentiful, this might be a reasonable policy. Unfortunately, like most cities and towns in the area, Mountain View has long allowed the NIMBYists to run rampant, blocking badly needed housing on the specious "argument" that it would wreck the neighborhood "character" (the new euphemistic code phrase for "there goes the neighborhood"). The results are as shameful as they are predictable: people can't afford conventional housing, despite their hard work, and as a result, they resort to alternatives, such as RVs.

Instead of making Mountain View livable, the city wants to shunt the untouchables aside. Let them live in Stockton, and spend several hours a day commuting in. Then, we shall complain about the (also predictable) horrendous traffic.

Despite the "progressive" self-image that people around here like to have about themselves, this is the kind of backwards semi-feudal society that the Bay area has become. It's all based on an incredibly selfish attitude: Now that I have my piece of the California dream, the rest of you can bugger off! Shut the gates! Let no more enter, lest they disturb my paradise!

It's no surprise that the gate is leaky, because, as the Good Book says, you reap what you sow. That is, if you make housing unavailable, people will resort to RVs. Kind of an obvious one, actually, but it bears repeating, since plenty of folks evidently can't seem (or are unwilling) to grasp it.


IT'S A LIE PEOPLE!!!!!
Castro City
on Sep 21, 2019 at 3:30 pm
IT'S A LIE PEOPLE!!!!!, Castro City
on Sep 21, 2019 at 3:30 pm

This story is deliberately misleading people.

This will make parking RV's legal in many, many more areas than is currently allowed.

The story says allowable in apartment districts, but that only means MULTI-FAMILY zoned areas, which also includes Condo's, Row Houses-Town homes.

Do not fall for this trick people.

Tell the city council that it must be banned in all areas, or put this on the ballot and let the citizens vote to settle this once and for all!!


Lenny Siegel
Registered user
Old Mountain View
on Sep 21, 2019 at 8:00 pm
Lenny Siegel, Old Mountain View
Registered user
on Sep 21, 2019 at 8:00 pm

Please take a careful look at the map. The red streets are defined as narrow and off-limits to oversized vehicles. Many of the other streets would be off limits because of their bike lanes. Still others (in the areas some people are interpreting as open to oversized vehicle) already have signs outlawing overnight parking or parking by oversized vehicles. Very little curb space would be available for the residents of oversized vehicles.


IT'S A LIE PEOPLE!!!!!
Castro City
on Sep 21, 2019 at 10:49 pm
IT'S A LIE PEOPLE!!!!!, Castro City
on Sep 21, 2019 at 10:49 pm

Here is your proof that this story is a lie, cover up, a dishonest story.

Lenny Siegel just posted, saying in effect, that you should not listen to what other people are saying about this as being a lie.

Lenny Siegel has posted in the past saying that if the council voted to ban RV's he would get a ballot initiative going to overturn the ban.

Notice he did not say in this last post that he objects to this RV ban in the story, but that people should believe what the story says, and not what others are saying..

This means that we WILL HAVE MORE RV street parking thru out our city!!!


Rex
Rex Manor
on Sep 21, 2019 at 11:27 pm
Rex, Rex Manor
on Sep 21, 2019 at 11:27 pm

Those advocating a total ban reveal a lack of empathy or interest. May they never use appeals to "community" as an argument again, as they're clearly uninterested in any such thing. There but for the grace of God goes you. May you find your neighbors kinder if such hardship ever befalls you.


LackingEmpathy
Old Mountain View
on Sep 22, 2019 at 3:52 am
LackingEmpathy, Old Mountain View
on Sep 22, 2019 at 3:52 am

I do like how "lacking empathy" is defined as letting people live in squalor on the streets so you can have cheap labor.

Or how "lacking empathy" is defined as being fine with luxury RVs being used instead of paying for housing, which would be taxes and revenue for supporting city services.

What is the plan for people living in an RV? Are they waiting for housing prices to collapse? Why have they come from so far away to just live on Mountain View streets?


Billy Bob
Bailey Park
on Sep 22, 2019 at 6:34 am
Billy Bob , Bailey Park
on Sep 22, 2019 at 6:34 am

Lenny You created this problem to begin with


Mark
Monta Loma
on Sep 22, 2019 at 6:58 am
Mark, Monta Loma
on Sep 22, 2019 at 6:58 am

It's great having a community where your neighbors care about you. But if you happen to lose the ability to keep your home, due to rampant greed and monopoly businesses seeking a tony "redevelopment" of your neighborhood to better service their own employees, and are forced to move into a mobile home, your neighbors apparently don't have to give a F about you any longer. No matter the years of contributions you have made and whatever you've done to be a responsible member in that community. The callousness of attitude reflected in many of these comments is frustrating to say the least. Don't believe your life is so high and mighty that it could not happen to you, too. Perhaps as a form of karmic payback, it just might. And then you might understand the frustrations of your neighbors who dwell in RV's, a majority of whom once WERE your Mountain View neighbors, with a homestake. Lose your home, lose the respect and consideration of your neighbors. Obscene is barely the word for it.


Lenny Siegel
Registered user
Old Mountain View
on Sep 22, 2019 at 11:52 am
Lenny Siegel, Old Mountain View
Registered user
on Sep 22, 2019 at 11:52 am

I thought I hit send late last night, but I don't see my latest message on Town Square. So here it is again.

I've been pretty clear all along that I oppose restrictions on street parking for vehicle residents if there is no place else for vehicle residents to go. And that's what the ACLU says, too.

The new Council proposal is a transparent attempt to ban motorhomes from most of Mountain View in the name of traffic safety. I don't know who is charging me with lying, but you can check for yourself. Go to Web Link and take a look at the maps. There are very few streets in Mountain View that don't qualify as "narrow" or "adjacent to bike lanes." Then go out to (or view on Google Maps) other streets like Linda Vista, Terra Bella, and Independence. They already have parking restrictions.

If the Council goes ahead with its plan, then there are dozens of volunteers ready to circulate referendum petitions. See Web Link

Mountain View has long been a community that values people of all backgrounds and income levels, and the Housing Justice Coalition aims to keep it that way.


Ok
Sylvan Park
on Sep 23, 2019 at 9:51 am
Ok, Sylvan Park
on Sep 23, 2019 at 9:51 am

@Lenny, why do you think you are above the law?
Mountain View, California - Code of Ordinances CHAPTER 19 - MOTOR VEHICLES AND TRAFFIC* ARTICLE IX. - VEHICLE PARKING AND STORAGE RESTRICTIONS IN RESIDENTIAL AREAS.
SEC. 19.111. - Regulation of storage or parking of vehicles in residential areas.

c.No vehicle parked upon any public street shall be occupied or used for dwelling purposes.


Randy Guelph
Cuernavaca
on Sep 23, 2019 at 9:54 am
Randy Guelph, Cuernavaca
on Sep 23, 2019 at 9:54 am

"Ok",

In its majestic equality, the law forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, beg in the streets and steal loaves of bread.


Lenny Siegel
Registered user
Old Mountain View
on Sep 23, 2019 at 10:00 am
Lenny Siegel, Old Mountain View
Registered user
on Sep 23, 2019 at 10:00 am

@ok

The city stopped enforcing the anti-vehicle-dwelling language because the courts ruled it unconstitutional. And there have been stronger court rulings since then.


Name hidden
Another Mountain View Neighborhood

on Sep 23, 2019 at 11:35 am
Name hidden, Another Mountain View Neighborhood

on Sep 23, 2019 at 11:35 am

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?


Jabadie
Registered user
Rengstorff Park
on Sep 23, 2019 at 12:31 pm
Jabadie, Rengstorff Park
Registered user
on Sep 23, 2019 at 12:31 pm

Hey everyone. You do know that families live in these RVs right? We created this problem by not densifying the city, and now we have to live with it. Instead of screwing over the poor yet again, maybe it would be a good idea to replace all those single family homes with dense housing that people can actually afford? Just a thought.


LMBZ
Registered user
Rengstorff Park
on Sep 23, 2019 at 11:28 pm
LMBZ, Rengstorff Park
Registered user
on Sep 23, 2019 at 11:28 pm

"Lenny Siegel just posted, saying in effect, that you should not listen to what other people are saying about this as being a lie...Lenny Siegel has posted in the past saying that if the council voted to ban RV's he would get a ballot initiative going to overturn the ban."

Lenny Siegel was voted out of office for a reason. He no longer represents the legal residents of Mountain View.


JPP
Registered user
Cuesta Park
on Dec 18, 2019 at 8:33 am
JPP, Cuesta Park
Registered user
on Dec 18, 2019 at 8:33 am

Hmmm.,, why has Mountain View become RV land, yet Los Altos doesn't ? Its ridiculous..... This past year, I've corresponded with and called the police multiple times due to noise, trash, alcohol and drug use, related to the "homeless" who reside in their vehicles and/ or RV. I was told by the officers, (plural) many don't have a driver's license nor insurance. Some work under the table and don't pay taxes, and some are undocumented. If these folks insist on being an eyesore, and the Mountain View residents/ lawmakers, insist on being humane, then go out there , make sure these people are legally driving, insured, drug free, and paying TAXES !! Seriously, why are residents who are responsible, having to deal with this thorn. Fact: Visit & observe at 711 on Latham & Escuela, or the park and row of RV on Rengstorff & Central Expwy, the back of 711 by San Antonio & California. The car and trucks there , which the transient reside, are drug addicts and/or alcoholics. Sit there and observe , do these people have a drivers license? Are these vehicles registered? People who support the homeless and rows of RVs', - INSTEAD OF MARCHING & PROTESTING ABOUT GETTING RID OF THESE, GO DO YOUR HOMEWORK AND CHECK IT OUT. HOW MUCH DO YOU REALLY KNOW. WHAT'S THE STATISTIC. and WALK AROUND THE WALMART PARKING LOT WHERE RV'S ARE ALSO PARKED...TRASH EVERYWHERE, COAT HANGERS, BEER CANS, MCDONALDS WRAPPERS, ETC. IRONY IS, ITS IN THE LOS ALTOS SCHOOL DISTRICT NEAR WHOLE FOODS.


JPP
Registered user
Cuesta Park
on Dec 18, 2019 at 8:48 am
JPP, Cuesta Park
Registered user
on Dec 18, 2019 at 8:48 am

Its so easy for the advocates to sit behind their desks and white picket fences and talk about being humane, and human rights. Each advocate should talk to and knock on each RV, and car that is parked BEFORE they go around advocating. Go pick up their trash, needles, and check the pupils of these people who are drug addicts. GO File citations, and ensure these people are legally driving. Get Real. The IRS and Franchise Tax Board, comes after me, for taxes, yet I can barely afford healthcare insurance, yet the
RV / car residents don't pay a dime and they are not insured. TO ADVOCATES: WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THESE PEOPLE HIT MY CAR ? OR HIT ME WHILE I'M WALKING? FYI: THE RV'S MOVE AND YES, THEY DRIVE


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