Public streets are not meant for people to live on just as they are not meant for the storage of property.
The City of Santa Cruz has seen an increase in complaints regarding the parking and/or storage of Over-sized Vehicles in residential and commercial areas throughout the City.
- Safety issues such as inadequate sight distance from driveways and intersections result when such Over-sized Vehicles are parked on public streets or rights of way in the City.
- Health concerns resulting from the illegal dumping of sewage waste and gray water waste from over-sized vehicles into our storm drains.
- The parking and/or storage of over-sized vehicles causes visual blight in the City and monopolizes residential parking in condensed neighborhoods.
- Complaints about RVs in residential, commercial and public areas have dramatically increased. The SCPD recently reported that in one night they cited 68 illegally parked RVs within the City Limits.
- These vehicles are being used for the sale and manufacturing of illegal and dangerous drugs, for prostitution, and for the storage of stolen property.
- Allowing this to continue does not help solve homelessness in our community. It enables criminal behavior and endangers the safety of our residents and the environmental health of our marine sanctuary.
The State of California has strict health and safety codes for RV parks.
The City of SC has extensive health and safety codes for residential housing. Why should these RVs be able to camp in our residential areas without comparable regulation? RVs are not designed and not intended as a means of housing. “An RV is a vehicle designed as temporary living quarters for recreational, camping, travel or season use. ” Yes there may be full time RVers but they have both the ways and means to maintain this lifestyle. They can afford a RV that is safe, structurally sound and have the means to find private RV campgrounds – many who require that a unit be no older than 10 years.
Forty Six cities along the California Coast have RV parking restrictions in place.
76% of those cities do not allow the parking of a recreational vehicle at ANY TIME with the exception of permits obtained by city residents for TEMPORARY parking only.
Coastal Commission “fears” are unfounded
♦ The City of San Diego delayed implementing their RV ban. It was delayed to give the California Coastal Commission time to approve the ordinance in beach areas. However, the California Coastal Commission staff subsequently notified the city that their consent is unnecessary.
♦ In 2009, an appeal was made to the Coastal Commission over RV parking restrictions the county had enacted along a section of East Cliff Drive. Excerpts from this report:
- This street area is not designated nor designed for RV parking and use, and the Coastal Act and LCP do not establish a preference for RV users.
- Removing RVs from this equation will free up space for all other users of the beach/park at this location, a much larger group than the specialized RV group, thus increasing public access and recreational opportunities overall.
- Four other beach/shoreline facilities are available in the County and specifically designed for RV parking, thus elimination of RV parking at this location will not result in a significant reduction in public access for RV vehicles overall.
- the appeal contentions do not raise a substantial issue with respect to Coastal Act and LCP conformance, and the Commission declines to take jurisdiction over the coastal development permit.
Options are available for day use RV parking that don’t include on our public streets.
1. Natural Bridges State Park (can pay, park and enjoy the beach and west-side)
2. Boardwalk parking lots (advertise day use parking of RVS for $30.) Visitors can also catch the downtown trolley from Boardwalk from Memorial Day Weekend to Labor Day Weekend Memorial Day Weekend
3. Downtown City paid parking at Lot No. 5: The Calvary Church Parking Lot. “Cruise America” RV Rentals park there so it is already being currently used as such.
4. Nothing stops an RV from parking in a private lot to pick up some groceries or sundry items– Such as Traders Joes/ CVS….even Costco.
5. Santa Cruz Harbor – RV day use parking is available in their lot for $12.50 per day.
6. With over 3 millions visitors to our city each year – how many of those are legitimate RV tourists? Do you really think that limiting free RV parking on our street is going to affect our tourist industry? City streets are already gridlocked during the summer months.
It is not about “criminalizing the homeless”
Homeowners have the right not to have squatters parked outside the residences we pay mortgages and property taxes for. It’s not lack of compassion for those facing a difficult situation. It’s used up patience for those that live this way and think it’s mine or my neighbors duty to clean up after them.
Our focus should be….on safe and environmental sound alternates to RV living.
Rent Assistance (Santa Cruz County Community Action Board)