Monday, January 10, 2011

San Francisco neighborhood struggles with RVers camping on city streets

"Residents of the West San Francisco Sunset neighborhood, and especially along Great Highway, are raising complaints about RVers parking (camping) on the streets, using them as a campground sometimes for months at a time says the San Francisco Examiner. One resident reports as many as 30 RVs parked on the Great Highway overnight.

"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

8 comments:

  1. These are probably the same ones that leave other areas looking like trash dumps when they leave. Some may not be able to afford RV parks, but that is no excuse to disrespect landowners rights. There are Walmarts that do not allow overnite parking for this reason, truckers were blamed until no trucks, just campers and trash everywhere they parked.
    One solution would be to boot the rv, then require a temp parking permit signed by the property owner, for their visitors.

    ReplyDelete
  2. The underlying issue of wealth distribution must be addressed. Cities should be compelled to set aside places to sleep and park for their residents who are homeless or near homeless, such as those with RV's. There are people who can afford an RV but cannot afford campgrounds or payments to dump sewage. Passing laws and criminalizing behavior necessitated by economic conditions, however caused. Should cities be permitted to only allow the "landed gentry" to inhabit their cities?

    ReplyDelete
  3. As to Chuck's comment, the property owners are objecting to the RVs parking on public rights of way going in front of the property owned by the owners. Should a property owner have the right to control who parks on public property next to theirs? Maybe so, that is sort of what zoning is about.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Frisco welcomes illegal immigrants and offers them sanctuary from federal immigration laws, welcomes and shelters the truly homeless, but wants to drive out dollar poor US citizens barely making it in RVs. What a fine city.

    ReplyDelete
  5. These freeloaders are not RV'ers. They buy junker RVs and have no intention of maintaining them, and they have no idea about camping.

    A response to "Wandering Mike" who mentions wealth redistribution. Affording an RV means you have to have means to store, park, maintain, and put gas in it. Don't feel sorry for people who want to live like 3rd-world refugees when they have enough wits to skirt the law and choose to live irresponsibly. The reasonable use for an RV is for camping which is away from cities, not using an RV for cheap housing within a well maintained neighborhood.

    It is ironic that the city that wants to be a host to illegal immigrants can't figure out a politically correct way of throwing these bums out of their city.

    ReplyDelete
  6. LYRX has the correct facts ... people have to remember, there is a big difference between being 'homeless', and just being a 'filthy BUM' ...

    ReplyDelete
  7. I AGREE WITH WMIKE THE CITY SHOULD SET UP SOMETHING FOR RV'S WE HAVE SO MANY PARKS IN S.F ITS CRAZY WHILE WE HAVE SO MANY HOMELESS AND NO JOBS AND SO MANY RESTRICTIONS ON MAKING MONEY YOU NEED A PERMIT FOR THIS PASS INSPECTION FOR THAT PAY TAX FOR THIS AND RENT INCREASE YOU FONIES NEED TO GET REAL I WAS BORN AND RAISED IN S.F I SAY LET EM BE ONE OF THEM GAVE ME FIVE BUCKS OUT THE BLUE ONE DAY AND I WAS WALKING AND

    ReplyDelete
  8. First of all;if you are traveling in a Huge Rv with ALL the amenities of home and are dragging along 3 dogs or cats then you better be ready to pay up and stay in parks or walmarts that allow camping.Otherwise switch to an average or small sized "stealth van" with no bikes,kayaks or ridiculous junk hanging off of it.If you are smart enough about where to park any city should not be a problem. Common sense prevails.

    ReplyDelete