"On any given day, a brigade of RVs, campers and other large trailers park along the streets surrounding lower Great Highway as their owners sleep inside," The Examiner reports. "Residents in the Outer Sunset district say the campers are overstaying their welcome by conducting illegal activity and leaving behind trash — and even raw sewage — that permanent residents are forced to deal with."
Residents of Venice Beach in Los Angeles County fought the same issues last fall, as I reported in Beach Town struggles with RV parking and L.A. County Warns That Venice RV Operators Who Dump Sewage Into Gutters Could See Jail Time. And this will not be the last place to challenge RVers parking on overnight on city streets.
In places where boondocking is commonplace, such as the Southwestern deserts, the BLM's Long Term Visitor Areas (LTVA), national forests, and other public lands, rules exist to prevent squatters from overburdening any area, leaving trash behind, and dumping wastes.
However, in cities, well-defined rules do not always exist, and unlike with most RVers that may spend a night or two on a city street when visiting the city, conducting business, or keeping an appointment--and where no campgrounds are nearby--there are those who live in their RVs and work within the city, and move around avoiding authorities. These are the RVers that eventually will force city authorities to impose draconian rules that will apply to all RVs, including parking or sleeping in the vehicle on a city street. These same RVers have learned how to circumvent police and game the system, thereby creating difficult situations for responsible RVers.
"The Police Department has stepped up enforcement in response to neighborhood concerns, according to Sgt. Kevin Mannix, but officers can only do so much," The Examiner continues. "When a complaint is received, Mannix said, officers respond and attempt to contact the owner of the vehicle by knocking on the door. However, if there is no response, police cannot issue a citation for illegal camping. We don’t know if anyone is sleeping there, he said.
"Instead, officers can issue a warning that the vehicle needs to be moved within 72 hours — and officers do come back in three days to see that the vehicle is moved, Mannix said."
And even when a 72-hour notice is issued, the vehicle just moves to another location. Attempts by The Examiner to contact vehicle owners were met with silence from within and closed doors. The city is looking at the possibility of requiring permits for parking of over-sized vehicles such as RVs.
Check out Bob Difley's Boondocking and Snowbird Guide eBooks at RVbookstore.com