Town Square

Post a New Topic

Mountain View hits pause on enforcing its RV parking ban

Original post made on Jan 10, 2022

Mountain View won't enforce its sweeping restrictions on oversized vehicle parking until this spring, as part of an agreement to delay a legal challenge over the impacts on homeless residents living in RVs.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, January 10, 2022, 10:33 AM

Comments (23)

Posted by Tal Shaya
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Jan 10, 2022 at 11:06 am

Tal Shaya is a registered user.

I was homeless for years. Really homeless. Not "living in an RV" homeless. There are three types of homeless people: mentally ill, drug users (including alcoholics), and people who are trying to beat the system.

Those are the chronically homeless. The rest are short-term. They get jobs. Any answer which doesn't include mental health counseling, drug treatment or job placement isn't a solution.

There's no expectation or right to sleep on city streets. If you allow that, you will only get more homeless.

Posted by Dirk Peterson
a resident of another community
on Jan 10, 2022 at 11:42 am

Dirk Peterson is a registered user.

"There are three types of homeless people: mentally ill, drug users (including alcoholics), and people who are trying to beat the system."

You neglected to add those who are homeless due to economic circumstances (a lost job, rent increases/eviction etc.).

Posted by Ashley Nguyen
a resident of North Whisman
on Jan 10, 2022 at 12:58 pm

Ashley Nguyen is a registered user.

Transient RVs are kind of like the covered wagons of the 19th century...people trying to find a place to eventually settle and being ostracized as squatters during the course of their pitstops.

As long as these RVs are not parked on someone's private property, what is the big deal?

Posted by Tal Shaya
a resident of another community
on Jan 10, 2022 at 1:00 pm

Tal Shaya is a registered user.

@dirk, yes I did mention that. People who are homeless due to job loss find another job. They are not chronically homeless. Nobody says, "I got fired, so I'll buy an RV." The RV homeless are there by choice.

Posted by Polomom
a resident of Waverly Park
on Jan 10, 2022 at 2:24 pm

Polomom is a registered user.

Ashley, maybe you should have a few RV squatters in front of your house. Offer them your water spigot, sewer clean out and MV Recology trash can. Thats what is wrong with living on the streets. You have no services. You use shopping center trash cans and bathrooms. Hope the storm drain dumping goes unnoticed and find an accessible water spigot, like a car wash or gas station. You are smooching of other people who pay for these services.
@Tal Shaya thank you for sharing your perspective.
@Randy who only comments here when he can accuse me of something: Save yourself a posting, this thread is about squatters, people playing the system because our City still welcomes RV dwellers from everywhere.

Posted by Johnny Yuma
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jan 10, 2022 at 2:36 pm

Johnny Yuma is a registered user.

Frankly, I’m tired of the pissing war between those who are sympathetic to RV dwellers and those who aren’t. I would like the moderators to suspend the comments on this topic. How many times do we need to read the same arguments from the same people? For those compelled to grind on with this topic, post it on Nextdoor…

Posted by Otto Maddox
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jan 10, 2022 at 3:06 pm

Otto Maddox is a registered user.

If you don't like a topic, or the comments, don't read them. Why do you want them banned?

Posted by Dan Waylonis
a resident of Jackson Park
on Jan 10, 2022 at 3:07 pm

Dan Waylonis is a registered user.

Nice to read a civil discussion. I agree with @Tal Shaya about the categorization of homeless people. No amount of money is going to change it (just look at SF after spending $1B/yr). Restricting the RV camping is a safety and health issue. Voters decided and the city has placed signs. No one in a RV will be uninformed of the policy.

Posted by Randy Guelph
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Jan 10, 2022 at 3:31 pm

Randy Guelph is a registered user.

Polomom, I'm glad you're thinking of me! Still, I'm at a loss why everyone is categorizing and discussing homeless people. As the city is stating in court, these bans are targeting oversized vehicles for traffic safety concerns! They've stated over and over that they are not doing this to get rid of homeless people in our town.

Why are you so confused about this?

Posted by LongResident
a resident of another community
on Jan 10, 2022 at 3:37 pm

LongResident is a registered user.

Not to mention these people aren't homeless! They live in an RV is all.

Posted by Randy Guelph
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Jan 10, 2022 at 4:01 pm

Randy Guelph is a registered user.

LongResident, if you think you've made a good point, perhaps you should consider this: home is where the heart is, so can *anyone* even be considered homeless?

Posted by Greg David
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jan 10, 2022 at 4:33 pm

Greg David is a registered user.

What’s another million dollars down the drain? We can afford it, right? Mountain View has plenty of our taxpayer dollars to waste.

Frankly, I oppose people living in RV’s on the streets, but I voted against the measure because it was a misguided blanket solution to a very particular problem. It does nothing to get those you want to be in permanent housing into such housing. It does nothing to stop tradesmen from living in their high end RV’s while working here and living permanently elsewhere. It doesn’t even stop commuting City of Mountain View employees from living in RV’s despite the fact they can stay for free in city provided housing. What it does do is discriminate against tax paying residents. The size limits are arbitrary and the safety issue is questionable. If I want to park my travel trailer in front of my residence for a few days to prepare it for a trip, I am unable to do that, despite nobody caring otherwise and no parking issues where I live. Technically speaking, I can’t even park my little Sprinter van, which has the same footprint as a car, because it happens to stand over 7ft tall. But I guess we’re “doing something”, right. What we’re doing is wasting money. But don’t get me started…..

Posted by Concerned
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jan 10, 2022 at 7:38 pm

Concerned is a registered user.

Greg David - if you read the street signs in the small print you can read that exemptions are available for your Travel Trailer and Van.

Posted by Concerned
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jan 10, 2022 at 7:54 pm

Concerned is a registered user.

Mountain View is working overtime to turn our fair city into a failed city such as many parts of San Francisco. In SF people and businesses are leaving and the honeymoon with tech workers is over. This will happen in MV if you have oversized vehicles by your home, apartment or business.

The county is pushing its issues into Mountain View and the city council says come on down. A regional approach is needed where all cities do their bit to work on these serious issues. Right now most local cities are giving the County the finger and pushing oversized vehicles to MV.

Posted by David Theil
a resident of Whisman Station
on Jan 10, 2022 at 10:05 pm

David Theil is a registered user.

“ these bans are targeting oversized vehicles for traffic safety concerns! ”

That’s how it was marketed to get votes and it suckered me in too…until I went out and measured some streets. 40 feet Could easily accommodate two 7 foot wide vehicles and still permit two semi tractor trailer trucks to get past one another with room to spare. 40 feet -14 ft = 26 fee. 16 wheelers are restricted to 8.5 feet width). “ Traffic safety” was a deceptive fig leaf to get more votes. And it worked.

Meanwhile near my house is a street (Annie Laurie) that’s maybe 25 feet wide, and the are no rules against passenger vehicles parking on both sides. There is often 12-13 feet available between them for 2 lanes of traffic. Traffic safety was not the motive for this ordinance!

Posted by Alexander
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jan 10, 2022 at 10:19 pm

Alexander is a registered user.

@Tal Shaya It's not a question of "buying an RV" to beat the system - many RV residents do not own the RVs in question - they rent them from predatory "landlords". Many are working in Mountain View as gardeners, nurses, etc., and this is simply the only way they can afford to live here.

I understand the frustration of people with the downsides of RV street dwelling. I hope the city addresses issues with the safe parking program to make it more broadly appealing (when I last checked the lots were not running at capacity). This would enable us to move forward with the ban while still ensuring this is a place that working people can live.

If we want Mountain View to remain a viable place to live, we need to reframe our thinking - it's not a homelessness problem, it's an affordability problem. If the only people who can afford to live here are tech workers and people who bought homes 40 years ago, Mountain View will die. This is why I support higher density housing in future planning areas (North Bayshore, Charleston Plaza, etc.).

Posted by Tal Shaya
a resident of another community
on Jan 11, 2022 at 8:04 pm

Tal Shaya is a registered user.

Alex, speaking as someone who's been there, I don't think allowing people to sleep in their cars is noble, or any kind of a solution. We have a high minimum wage in this town. Anyone who works 40 hours a week can afford to share a room or even rent a studio like I do.

According to Indeed, a nurse in Mountain View earns over $60/hour. So the idea that nurses, etc. must lve in RVs on public streets is laughable. You're making stuff up.

I'm not going to pretend this issue is only about bike lane hazards. It is not kind to "allow" homelessness. If people want to camp, then go to a campground.

Posted by Tal Shaya
a resident of another community
on Jan 11, 2022 at 8:14 pm

Tal Shaya is a registered user.

Most of the vehicles are parked next to Rengsdorff Park because there are showers and bathrooms. And a work center around the corner. 'No question that for the vehicle dweller, it's paradise. But it's not fair to residents of the city. It's not safe. (There was gunfire in the park just a few weeks ago.) The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Posted by MV Resident
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jan 11, 2022 at 9:16 pm

MV Resident is a registered user.

If you support the RV folks parking on public streets then you should also support the poor homeless with tents being allowed to park their tents on sidewalks. I have met many homeless and bought them meals. One I recollect had moved to Mountain View from Los Angles as he had heard the services in Mountain View were good.

Posted by Randy Guelph
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Jan 11, 2022 at 10:55 pm

Randy Guelph is a registered user.

MV Resident, as the city says, the RV ban has absolutely nothing to do with homeless people parking on public streets. It's about traffic safety! Stick to the right message!

Tal, I know it's a side point, but I wonder: which of your three categories of homeless people do you belong to?

Posted by Greg David
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jan 12, 2022 at 9:58 pm

Greg David is a registered user.


You have no idea what you are talking about.

I order to “legally” park my Van or Travel Trailer in front of my residence, I would have to apply 4-6 days in advance and pay $16 for a one day parking permit. That is hardly an “exemption”

Web Link

Posted by Harvey Chen
a resident of St. Francis Acres
on Jan 15, 2022 at 12:50 pm

Harvey Chen is a registered user.

A true Christian would have empathy for the homeless whether they are out on the streets or living in an RV.

Compassion and assistance are paramount to being a civilized society.

And to have contempt for the homeless is neither Christian nor civilized.

As Americans we can do much better than chastising those less fortunate than ourselves.

Then again, no one ever said America was a true Christian society that follows the paths and teachings of Jesus.

Just self-serving hypocrites.

Posted by minor character
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jan 24, 2022 at 5:59 pm

minor character is a registered user.

I wonder if the ban would have been voter approved if voters knew ahead of time that it involved installing so many (ugly) additional posts and signs in front of their homes, at substantial cost.
Next time I hope this will be made clear.

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


Post a comment

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Stay informed.

Get the day's top headlines from Mountain View Online sent to your inbox in the Express newsletter.

Palo Alto location of popular Austrian restaurant Naschmarkt opens May 17
By The Peninsula Foodist | 1 comment | 2,783 views

We need stable, climate-forward land use policies
By Sherry Listgarten | 3 comments | 2,568 views

Dehydrating for Backpacking and Camping
By Laura Stec | 2 comments | 1,315 views

Use Your Words!
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 1,314 views