Town Square

Mountain View defends its RV parking ban in court, dismissing claims that it targets and harms the poor

Original post made on Aug 23, 2021

The city of Mountain View is asking a judge to throw out a legal challenge to its RV parking ban, arguing that the parking restrictions really are about traffic safety and not a ploy to banish low-income residents living in vehicles.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, August 23, 2021, 1:49 PM


Posted by Otto Maddox
a resident of Monta Loma
on Aug 23, 2021 at 2:59 pm

Otto Maddox is a registered user.

You know.. even if you think people have the right to live in their vehicles while located on public streets there are still laws that require those vehicles to be registered, to pass smog checks, and to move every 72 hours etc.

I promise you at least half the rigs parked in these areas would fail at least 2 of those laws easily.

Some look like they couldn't move it there was an earthquake to help them.

Plus all the junk some people store underneath, on top, all around their rigs. BBQ pits.. generators.. whether you live in an RV or an actual building you need to take cure of the place.

Anytime I run into someone who thinks RV dwellers should be left alone I find out those people don't have an RV camp on their street. Easy to say when it's not in your front yard.

Posted by Ok
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Aug 23, 2021 at 3:19 pm

Ok is a registered user.

Probably RV slumlords do not want to properly maintain these RVs, so they sponsor this lawsuit that allows them to preserve the current status quo. Did anyone check who these RVs belong to?

Posted by Local
a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on Aug 23, 2021 at 3:25 pm

Local is a registered user.

Mountain View has done more than any surrounding city to aid people living on the streets. We have safe lots, have partnered with Project Home Key, offered free sewage and trash removal (which had such little cooperation that it was discontinued), offered rental assistance, have assisted the street dwellers with Community Services Agency and has spent nearly $28 million to aid the people involved. What has been done by other cities?
This generosity has often come back to bite us, as a large percentage of people living on our streets came here from other cities that do nothing for them in their home city. Should Mountain View taxpayers be responsible to help the homeless of OTHER cities (and other states, as several come her from out of state for the free services) as well as our own? Why is this lawsuit being brought against the one city doing the most to help? Why aren't the attorneys suing Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Sunnyvale, Menlo Park, etc.- cities that outright BAN any street dwelling and refuse to help in any significant way? The inconsistency of this lawsuit is pathetic - why punish the ONE city sincerely trying to help?
The people of Mountain View have been more than patient, and clearly more than helpful and compassionate with the homeless than any surrounding city. The interference of clear sight at corners, the blocking of bike lanes, the sewage left on the streets and poured in street drains, the garbage left on and around these vehicles, the noise evident from many generators, as well as the criminal element obvious in some street dwellings (ask your local police) has been overwhelming. Mountain View has done so much, yet we are the city being attacked, and the patience of residents has been sorely tested.
It's past time for other cities to step up and do their share.

Posted by Peter
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Aug 23, 2021 at 5:42 pm

Peter is a registered user.

@Local: well said and I couldn’t agree more!

Posted by LauraR
a resident of another community
on Aug 23, 2021 at 7:16 pm

LauraR is a registered user.

I applaud the City of Mountain View. They are doing the right thing in the right way. People who work hard to pay for their homes and try to maintain a safe place for their children to play outside should not have to deal with RVs and their garbage. There are plenty of good alternatives.

Posted by Randy Guelph
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Aug 23, 2021 at 7:40 pm

Randy Guelph is a registered user.

It's darkly comic that as the city attorneys try desperately to make the case that, no, this definitely isn't targeting low income people, the usual suspects come in here to talk about how they really want to get rid of the poor people in these vehicles.

I'm surprised the city's motion didn't have the quote: "In its majestic equality, the law forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, beg in the streets and steal loaves of bread." The City Council members who signed off on this should be ashamed of themselves.

Posted by Longview
a resident of Slater
on Aug 24, 2021 at 8:51 am

Longview is a registered user.

Thanks to Otto Maddox for his unwitting support of the lawsuit against the RV ban. It's not about safety, its about aesthetics!

Posted by afp
a resident of Stierlin Estates
on Aug 24, 2021 at 3:38 pm

afp is a registered user.

I agree with Otto Maddox. Try walking down Terra Bella where the RV's park, it reeks of urine. Garbage all over the place. Cars double parked by owners of these RV's, car's zooming in and out of the neighborhood. Car stereo's blaring. Is this the kind of neighborhood you would want to live in? Unfortunately, I do now. If they were respectful, I would welcome them, but unfortunately they are not. To the people who do not support the RV ban, try living where they are located (specially here at Stierlin Estates). I guarantee you that your view would change after a few days!

Posted by Tim
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Aug 25, 2021 at 10:44 am

Tim is a registered user.

The attorneys for the city of Mountain View are full of baloney. Mountain View is not targeting the poor? Rest assured, the folks living in those RVs are not making 6-figure salaries. Intentional or not, it targets the poor.

Granted, the issue of finding affordable housing for residents is very complex. However, the path that the city of Mountain View has chosen is not the right way to go.

Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Aug 26, 2021 at 9:54 am

Steven Nelson is a registered user.

Otto is stating the obvious - there ARE PROBLMS- which almost anyone can observe or smell with unsafe (72 hr move) illegal RV use of the streets. The city ban however is excessively beyond that. Enforcement of the reasonable rules of the road (72 hour move, no leaking fluids other than water, registered vehicles) is a first step - not the BAN.

My rec RV will be banned on-the-streets near me. It's within the 7ft. wide by 22 ft long limit - but taller than 7 ft. Please tell me one sedan or mini-van or SUV that has a driver seat over 4 feet above the ground (so a driver could look over a seven foot roof/BAN limit).

The RV general ban is clearly - by the "legislative record," which includes staff reports - discrimatory toward some 'residents' of MV. The council (majority) apparently thinks it must legally protect the City electorate's bad decision (to vote to support the partial RV BAN). Like the Biden administration's decision to not 'support in court' some of the Trump administration's bad rules and laws, the Council majority (I think) can 'change it's Public Policy mind. Let the RV banners pick up the tab for the BAN's legal fight - THEMSELVES.


Posted by Old Steve
a resident of Rex Manor
on Aug 26, 2021 at 10:43 am

Old Steve is a registered user.

We must be on to something, Mr. Nelson and I found something to agree on! Oversized parking could also be handled by enforcing the existing 72 hr rules. Indeed requiring enforcement resources. The new ban will also require enforcement resources, assuming it survives the challenge. On Mr. Nelson's behalf, I'd like to ask Ban supporters how he can load his Rec RV for travel, if he can't park it in front of his house for a couple of hours. IMO Rec RV's are better stored at storage facilities, but location and costs are considerations for many.

My bet is RV Ban will be a can of worms, eventually overturned or not enforced. $1 Million in signs, plus enforecement resources, problem will likely remain in some form.

Posted by sonnyt650
a resident of Castro City
on Aug 27, 2021 at 7:51 am

sonnyt650 is a registered user.

Those living in RVs are not homeless: they can take their homes with them when they run up against Mountain View's laws; they are not being deprived of anything that they actually own. That spot on city streets is not guaranteed to them as evidenced by the three day parking limit on city streets going back literally decades. Does the new law go too far? In my opinion no, again referring to the three day parking limit which has not been struck down after several decades. This lawsuit does need to be dismissed since the plaintiffs are just throwing up arguments to see what sticks.

Posted by Old Steve
a resident of Rex Manor
on Aug 27, 2021 at 8:13 am

Old Steve is a registered user.

If the three day ordinance is already in place, why (except for enforcement priorities) do we need a new one.