Safe parking sites for homeless' RVs delayed by insurance snafu | News | Mountain View Online |

News

Safe parking sites for homeless' RVs delayed by insurance snafu

Insurer abruptly backs out, leaving Mountain View nonprofit in the lurch

The opening of new safe parking lots in Mountain View will likely face weeks of additional delays after insurers abruptly pulled out of talks to provide coverage at the sites.

This week, advocates with the nonprofit Move MV said they were blindsided by news that they needed to find new liability coverage for three new safe parking lots for homeless people living in vehicles.

Up to this point, Move MV officials say they thought their liability insurance was secure. Since around August, they said they had been told by insurance agents that getting coverage for the sites shouldn't be a problem.

But something apparently changed just before the Christmas holiday, said Move MV executive director Amber Stime. They received notice from their insurer that the firm's underwriter could not sign off on a policy. Stime declined to name the insurance firm.

"We were given information that we would be covered, but they asked us to let them know when we were ready," Stime said. "I can't get into their thinking exactly, but now it looks like we have to find another insurer."

Since around November, city and nonprofit officials signaled they were ready to launch a trio of new sites that could provide an overnight sanctuary for about 70 inhabited vehicles. Expanding the safe parking program has been a major plank of the city’s effort to rein in the number of people living out of RVs and other vehicles parked along city streets. In tandem with the safe parking program, the Mountain View City Council passed a ban on large vehicles parking along most city streets.

However, efforts to grow the city’s safe parking program have faced a gauntlet of delays. City departments have been criticized for dragging their feet on permit approvals, and for imposing onerous requirements. People living out of their vehicles have said they were reluctant to sign up for the program because the parking sites would only be open overnight. During the daytime hours, they would be required to move their vehicles off-site, likely back onto city streets.

As of last week, only 13 individuals had signed up for the expanded safe parking program.

The new problem of finding insurance for safe parking sites came as a surprise to everyone involved, Stime said. Insurance agents gave little explanation for why they were denying liability coverage, except that Move MV is a relatively new organization, she said. Move MV already provides liability coverage for two local churches that participate in the safe parking program, but Stime suspected that insuring larger parking areas for dozens of vehicles was seen as more risky.

City officials did not respond immediately to questions about the safe parking program.

Stime expressed confidence that Move MV would obtain insurance coverage within a couple weeks.

Timing is critical for the new safe parking sites because they are all only available temporarily, over the winter. The largest site, a parking lot at Shoreline Amphitheatre, must be cleared out by spring for concert season parking.

What is democracy worth to you?
Support local journalism.

Comments

28 people like this
Posted by Polomom
a resident of Waverly Park
on Jan 4, 2020 at 10:15 am

Polomom is a registered user.

While this is an unfortunate set back to help our displaced residents, we should focus on the 13 that already signed up. I am sure among the more than 4000 people that signed the petition we can find 13 households volunteering to host these RV dwellers in front of their house/residence or even in their drive way until the insurance issue is resolved.


22 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jan 4, 2020 at 2:33 pm

Sounds like there is more to this story than Stimes and the Voice are telling. If the insurance company said let us know when you’re ready, it sounds like there were conditions that weren’t being met. The fact that Stimes won’t even name the agency makes it impossible for the Voice to ask them for their side. Unless they volunteered to, but why would they?

Thankfully someone still has some sense and pushes back on these bad ideas.


8 people like this
Posted by neighbor
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jan 6, 2020 at 9:34 pm

neighbor is a registered user.

This issue is the defining issue that will determine whether we stay in MV or move to another city. I hesitate to comment anymore on these articles, since the responses I get are incredibly awful and personal. The last person that responded to my respectful comment stated that my children were going to suffer as a result of my comment. I really hope that we can continue to use the MV Voice comment platform as a way to respectfully discuss community issues.

I just want to tell the MV City Council: this RV parking issue cannot be the defining issue of the city policy. I hope that you as a city leadership team will line up your city policy priorities, #1-#10, and align your actions and efforts accordingly. Mountain View is a city. It is an important city, but it is not the Most Important City in the USA. Please align your actions, money, and efforts with the top #1-4 priorities, whatever you decide them to be. Then communicate those priorities/actions to the citizens so we can vote and fund candidates accordingly. Thank you!


6 people like this
Posted by @neighbor
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jan 7, 2020 at 12:00 am

I remember reading that comments section. As I remember it, you invoked your child's mental illness and said it wasn't the community's responsibility to help you, and tried to use that to show why the community has no responsibility to help the poor and homeless. What the other commenters pointed out was that attitude of isolation is only going to hurt your child, since you'll be denying them the support they deserve. It's strange that you chose to portray it the way you did here...


2 people like this
Posted by deborah
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Jan 7, 2020 at 2:01 am

HI. THERE IS NO DISCUSSION HERE ABOUT ALL THE SIGNATURES RECENTLY OBTAINED IN MTN.VIEW TO OPPOSE THIS PARKING PROGRAM. IT IS SUPPOSE TO BE ON THE BALLOT FOR VOTERS TO DECIDE.

ALSO IT IS VERY EXPENSIVE IN GAS TO MOVE ONE'S RV AROUND CONTINUOSLY.
HAS ALL THIS EVEN BEEN DISCUSSED WITH PEOPLE WHO LIVE IN RV AND OR VEHICLES.


4 people like this
Posted by USA
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jan 7, 2020 at 4:55 pm

USA is a registered user.

"SNAFU" = Situation Normal, All F-ed Up

Indeed, this is situation normal


9 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jan 12, 2020 at 9:06 am

On Shoreline Blvd, RVs can be seen running their engines bunning gasoline in order to produce eleectricity and heat especially at night. Even once seen to charge a Prius battery. This seems ineffiecient and bad for the air and is actually audible blocks away especially at night. It is most noticable as the night has become sounding more like a freeway at rush hour throughout Mountain View in the past five years. Before, it was quite quiet at night and often in the middle of the day in most Mountainn View downtown areas. Are there any regulations that can be enforced concerning this air and noise pollution?


18 people like this
Posted by @resident
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jan 12, 2020 at 10:50 am

You asked,
" Are there any regulations that can be enforced concerning this air and noise pollution?"

Yes. The best and only way to deal with this is to vote the 2 council members back into city council this November who have worked to end this growing problem in our city.
Vote for
Lisa Matichak and
Margret Abe-Koga

DO NOTE VOTE FOR
Seigel
Showalther
They created this problem and want to expand it. They are running again for council, after being thrown out of office over this issue.

2 years from now, vote out Hicks and Rameriz. They voted against any measure to end this growing problem.


12 people like this
Posted by Quit Being so Lenny Triggered
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jan 12, 2020 at 11:58 am

[Post removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]


25 people like this
Posted by No Seigel
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jan 12, 2020 at 1:53 pm

[Portion removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]


6 people like this
Posted by Quit Being so Lenny Triggered
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jan 12, 2020 at 2:25 pm

[Post removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]


17 people like this
Posted by A Big Hell No to Seigel
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Jan 12, 2020 at 5:53 pm

[Post removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]



4 people like this
Posted by Quit Being so Lenny Triggered
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jan 12, 2020 at 6:17 pm

[Post removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]


2 people like this
Posted by Sad about the anti-lennie guy
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jan 13, 2020 at 2:10 pm

[Post removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]


Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Email:


To post your comment, please login or register at the top of the page. This topic is only for those who have signed up to participate by providing their email address and establishing a screen name.

All your news. All in one place. Every day.

This new Chinese restaurant in Millbrae specializes in live seafood and porridge
By Elena Kadvany | 9 comments | 3,653 views

Can you Pay to Reduce your Carbon Footprint?
By Sherry Listgarten | 8 comments | 2,182 views

You Can Help: Scents and Migraines
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 1,908 views

Truth Matters (and so does good beer)
By Laura Stec | 9 comments | 1,808 views