http://paloaltoonline.com/square/print/2013/12/12/palo-alto-may-delay-car-dwelling-ban


Town Square

Palo Alto may delay car-dwelling ban

Original post made on Dec 12, 2013

Palo Alto's vehicle habitation ban should be put on hold for at least a year, according to Palo Alto's city manager, who stated a related case in the U.S. Court of Appeals may affect the ordinance.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, December 12, 2013, 9:45 AM

Comments

Posted by Mr.Recycle, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Dec 12, 2013 at 10:38 am

It's like the job of city government is to directly thwart the will of the residents. How about using some of the money you spent on a sustainability officer to help the homeless, while you enforce the law.


Posted by cgl, a resident of Midtown
on Dec 12, 2013 at 10:46 am

I'm happy to read this... I'm hoping more thought goes into providing solutions for the homeless people before we just ban them form sleeping in their cars. As I learned from a meeting I attended, the homeless who do own cars are quite proud of their cars. Think about it, it is the roof over their head. I encourage the concept to come up with a plan, before we lay down the law.


Posted by anonymous, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 12, 2013 at 11:10 am

I know a family in LA area who lost their home because of medical bills for a very sick baby and have been homeless ever since. It's probably a good thing to do these steps as outlined in the article, but those who want to help should be doing more to get to the root issues. Like in the case I just mentioned, something as unglamorous but difficult as just holding insurance companies' feet to the fire would have saved that family, or better yet, support our transitioning away from a system that uses health insurance as an investment vehicle, as every other advanced nation on earth has done.


Posted by anonymous, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 12, 2013 at 11:10 am

I know a family in LA area who lost their home because of medical bills for a very sick baby and have been homeless ever since. It's probably a good thing to do these steps as outlined in the article, but those who want to help should be doing more to get to the root issues. Like in the case I just mentioned, something as unglamorous but difficult as just holding insurance companies' feet to the fire would have saved that family, or better yet, support our transitioning away from a system that uses health insurance as an investment vehicle, as every other advanced nation on earth has done.


Posted by Mike, a resident of University South
on Dec 12, 2013 at 11:18 am

Will surrounding cities also suspend their ban on car-dwelling?


Posted by Thanks Weekly!, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Dec 12, 2013 at 11:31 am

Did you ever wonder, Weekly, whether the draconian law you endorsed to rid PA of the poor was legal or constitutional? There's no trace of it in this editorial anyway:

"It is not appropriate, fair or safe to openly permit people to live in their vehicles in a way that imposes on other residents of the community." You even concluded that the ban should extend to commercial districts because "It is hard to imagine the owners and tenants of offices or stores being any more accepting of a vehicle with someone living in it parked in front of their building than an occupant of a home or apartment."

Web Link--

So Thanks Weekly for all you do for the poor residents of Palo Alto who could have lived in the building you inveighed against in Measure D, and were on the verge of freezing to death on the streets of Palo Alto. Thank God for our Constitution, and thank God for the ACLU. [Portion removed.]


Posted by Mr.Recycle, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Dec 12, 2013 at 11:33 am

It is ridiculous - Los Angeles won their legal round via summary judgement. There is no reasonable expectation they'll lose appeal, and no reason to delay implementation. And as Mike points out, are any other cities suspending their law? Los Angeles isn't, and their the ones in the lawsuit.


Posted by Craig Laughton, a resident of College Terrace
on Dec 12, 2013 at 12:41 pm

>The Central District Court granted a summary judgment in favor of the City of Los Angeles in November 2011, without hearing the case.

And yet Palo Alto is on the verge of blinking. Liberal guilt in action...always looking for a way to blame someone else. CC needs to stand its ground and ignore Keene's memo, and enforce its own law. If Los Angeles loses its appeal in the 9th circuit, then PA should join LA (and probably many others) to fund an appeal to the Supreme Court.


Posted by Stooge, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Dec 12, 2013 at 12:50 pm

Right on , thanks weekly. Yu are correct. The weekly is a stooge for whomever pays it the most or whomever it wants to curry favor with. And I am so glad that Craig Laughton is not getting what he wants


Posted by Craig Laughton, a resident of College Terrace
on Dec 12, 2013 at 12:58 pm

>And I am so glad that Craig Laughton is not getting what he wants

It warms my heart that you are happy. However, the Cubberley neighborhoods may not be so happy, when the de facto homeless center returns (probably for good). What will our CC do then?


Posted by Good news, a resident of Community Center
on Dec 12, 2013 at 1:27 pm

Makes sense. Why waste taxpayer dollars defending a lawsuit that may well be determined by the appeals court? As for those who don't care whether it's legal or not, luckily you're not running our city government.


Posted by Craig Laughton, a resident of College Terrace
on Dec 12, 2013 at 1:57 pm

>Why waste taxpayer dollars defending a lawsuit that may well be determined by the appeals court?

Banning car camping is note illegal...it is completely legal. Our surrounding cities do it. Los Angeles does it. Now it is time for Palo Alto to follow through with its own ban.

If the 9th circuit rules against it, that will be the time to help fund the appeal to the Supreme Court...without giving up enforcement of the ban.

If frivolous lawsuits are brought against PA, then we need to counter sue against those lawyers and entities who bring it. Thus far, such a suit has not been brought.


Posted by Good news, a resident of Community Center
on Dec 12, 2013 at 2:16 pm

Supreme Court appeals and counter suits? As I said I'm glad you're not running the show.


Posted by Stone hearted CT resident, a resident of Midtown
on Dec 12, 2013 at 2:47 pm

Craig repeats his claims of frivolous suits in every thread-- he just ignores the facts. Did he read the story that states a case before a court may affect implementation of the law???? Does it matter to Craig. Probably not, his stone hearted hatred of those less fortunate than him has blinded him to reality.. Of course if Craig wants to see this case go before the court, perhaps he should have some skin I he game-- he can mortgage/ sell his house and help,pay for the costs of taking the case to the Supreme Court. But I bet you Craig will not do that- he is all talk ( and then more talk) and no action.


Posted by Craig Laughton, a resident of College Terrace
on Dec 12, 2013 at 3:33 pm

>Did he read the story that states a case before a court may affect implementation of the law????

There are commonly cases before the courts. It does not mean that the current law should not be enforced. Our CC is on the horns of a dilemma: Is it willing to have some stone in its heart? Or will it cave, and allow Cubberley to, once again, become a de facto homeless center?

I want our CC to get tough, if that is possible. For those CC members who refuse to enforce the current law, I request that they welcome car campers in front of their own houses.


Posted by Stone hearted CT resident, a resident of Midtown
on Dec 12, 2013 at 3:59 pm

Here is Craig again with another one of his favorite comments-- welcome car campers in front of their homes. Well, Craig, hate to burst your bubble, but they can "camp" in front of anyone's home now-- the streets are public and the law will not be enforced. Until February, if at all. Dah.
The council will wisely, defer, for a year despite the bleatings of stone hearted haters . This could end up costing us plenty of money.
Craig-- will you sell your home to pay for court costs to take this to the Supreme Court. Time for you to put some skin in the game. Otherwise, we will just have another arrow in our quiver to use against you when you complain endlessly.


Posted by 50 Plus year , a resident of Greenmeadow
on Dec 12, 2013 at 4:59 pm

For the last month or so Cubberly has been safer and better smelling then it has had been in years. The effect of the ban has been to improve the quality of life for my family. If we must go back to having car camping we should have the car campers register. Then each car camper would be assigned a different neighborhood in the city and as long as they are sleeping in their assigned neighborhood the would not bother them. This would allow all the GOOD people in Palo Alto who complained about the Cubberly neighbors a chance to prove how much better they care.


Posted by Craig Laughton, a resident of College Terrace
on Dec 12, 2013 at 5:07 pm

>Well, Craig, hate to burst your bubble, but they can "camp" in front of anyone's home now-- the streets are public and the law will not be enforced.

You seem pretty confident that the law will not be enforced. I have my doubts, too...liberal guilt thing. However, they cannot violate the parking rules. I completely support parking regs, like we have in CT.

We shall see if the CC has the intestinal fortitude to enforce their own car camping ban. If not, back comes the Cubberley thing. How confident are you, Stone?


Posted by Stone hearted CT resident, a resident of Midtown
on Dec 12, 2013 at 5:24 pm

[Portion removed.]
First of all your parking regs in CT are only from 8am -5pm Monday to Friday. So people can now camp on any street in CT evenings and all weekend. The city will postpone implementation of the law for the reasons cited in the story.
Cubberly is a separate issue-- the city already banned setting foot on community center properties from 10:30pm to sunrise. Read the comment above by 50 plus year and this story:
Web Link

Really, Craig, you do not know what is going on. Try to keep up with the real story.
And when are you sellng your house to help finance the fight to the Supreme Court-- otherwise you do not have any skin in the game.


Posted by anonymous, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 12, 2013 at 5:32 pm

"So Thanks Weekly for all you do for the poor residents of Palo Alto who could have lived in the building you inveighed against in Measure D, and were on the verge of freezing to death on the streets of Palo Alto."

This is just characteristic of the same ideological and imaginary thinking that kept people from hammering out something that would have worked. Those who pushed through that project and weren't willing to compromise bear the brunt of the responsibility, because some of those involved on the neighborhood side told them early on what the neighborhood would accept and wouldn't. Between you and me, they could have exceeded the zoning even and been okay if they had listened to where the line was and designed with a real safety analysis. If they couldn't build under that line, they could have taken the neighborhood up on a working group to hammer something out, as the very same people have been involved in a working group that brought another large affordable housing complex to the same neighborhood and saved the school site from being developed. The proponents insisted on a winner-takes-all approach and they lost. That was their doing as much as anything.

More to the point, none of those car dwellers would have been eligible for living in that property, even if it could have been built overnight, and it wouldn't have been. That was one of the reasons the justifications came across as untrustworthy, the City and PAHC kept saying that the justification was for the 20% of seniors living below the poverty line, but looking at the income range served by the property, it wouldn't have served anyone below the poverty limit.

The Maybell conflict was a zoning issue, and those who pushed for it are only doing the poor a disservice by alienating those who would otherwise be allies. It's like the monkey who put his hand in the jar of treats, grabbed way too many, and can't get his hand out because he won't let go of any of it. Ultimately, he gets none, which is what happened here.

BTW, I think extending the deadline was the humane thing.


Posted by Craig Laughton, a resident of College Terrace
on Dec 12, 2013 at 5:53 pm

>First of all your parking regs in CT are only from 8am -5pm Monday to Friday. So people can now camp on any street in CT evenings and all weekend. The city will postpone implementation of the law for the reasons cited in the story.

Stone, you are right about the parking regs in CT. However, that will probably only bolster my view in CT...all those silent liberals will complain, once they are confronted with it. Go ahead and give it a try. Trust me, I will be on top of it.

You are only speculating about the CC response on the car camping ban. Your own link states that the car camping ban came first, then the restrictions at Cubberley.

BTW, that guy in the green van, on Cambridge, between Panda and Jack in the Box, who violates the parking restriction in CT...I have decided to complain about him. I was going to wait until the car camping ban went into legal effect...but not now.


Posted by Stone hearted CT resident, a resident of Midtown
on Dec 12, 2013 at 6:01 pm

"You are only speculating about the CC response on the car camping ban. Your own link states that the car camping ban came first, then the restrictions at Cubberley. "
Yes and they are not related, so if the car camping ban is put on hold, there will still be the ban on. Community center campuses, so the cubberly thing will not " come back"
[Portion removed.]


Posted by Aha!, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Dec 12, 2013 at 7:31 pm

Delaying the ban = delaying the lawsuits ( they think)


Posted by Wolfgang, a resident of Professorville
on Dec 13, 2013 at 2:09 am

[Post removed.]


Posted by Hey people, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Dec 13, 2013 at 10:29 am

This is what one judge asked in the recent Los Angeles vehicle habitation ban lawsuit:

"So you can't just sit in your car and nod off?" Judge Harry Pregerson asked Bock.

"He was wrapped in a blanket," Bock responded, referring to one of the plaintiffs.

"What's wrong with that?" Pregerson said.

Judges also questioned the rationale for the stepped-up enforcement. Bock said it came in response to a spike in crime by young transients and complaints of trash being dumped on neighbors' property.

"People were coming home and finding refuse on their front lawn," Bock said.

Sobel suggested that gentrification and tension between new and old residents were the real drivers of the heightened enforcement, and Pregerson seemed to agree.

"Tell me if I'm wrong," Pregerson told Bock. "You had a task force of police officers who were told their job was to clean up the Venice area of all these homeless people because people in the neighborhood didn't like it."

Pregerson also suggested there are better ways to handle homeless people than rousting them from their cars.

"Long Beach treats people differently," he said. "If they find a family, they take the kids and get them in a facility and make sure they're enrolled in school.... The next thing they do is try to find housing for them.... Why can't the city of Los Angeles do that?"

"The situation is heartbreaking," Bock answered. "But it is a question for legislators."

"That's a cop-out," Pregerson shot back.


Posted by Faith, a resident of Professorville
on Dec 13, 2013 at 10:56 am

Palo Alto's faith community sent this letter to the City Council last week: Web Link

Seems like many people want more time to come up with humane solutions. What is the harm in that?


Posted by Thanks, a resident of Southgate
on Dec 13, 2013 at 11:02 am

50 Plus year--the vehicle dwelling ban is NOT in effect today--it never went into effect, so the problems at Cubberley that you describe were solved by the separate law closing Cubberley at night. Your statement: "For the last month or so Cubberly has been safer and better smelling then it has had been in years. The effect of the ban has been to improve the quality of life for my family" proves that the community closure law was ALL that was needed and that there is no need for a separate city-wide ban on sleeping in a car.


Posted by bobgnote, a resident of Mountain View
on Dec 13, 2013 at 12:52 pm

True, that above. The Cubberley changes are really positive.

On the other hand, living compression is going to get really bad, as anthropogenic climate change plays out.

I will never understand why zombie-media rose up, after all kinds of Council invitations, for discourse, to rant, against the senior housing, planned, for a long time, by Council.

Have a clue, about ACC! It's on, all kinds of living environs will fail, and we will need compressed housing, as disasters start to get going.

Here's a clue: CO2 leads temperatures, mmm-kay? Actually, CO2 leads H2O and CH4, and humans added a load of industrial greenhouse gasses, so WE WON'T BE SEEING RE-GLACIATION, despite low solar irradiance and a due downturn, in temps, from Milankovitch media.

We will need more housing. But NOT at Cubberley, thank you.


Posted by Scared to put my own name behind my opinion!, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 13, 2013 at 2:53 pm

I respect Craig, because he uses his own name and stands behind opinions he writes and takes. Anyone who opposites a real person makes me suspicious that they are just playing devil advocate or are afraid to be associated with the words they write. No matter how persuasive they are, they just sound hollow ultimately. Scared


Posted by Confused, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 14, 2013 at 7:55 am

Scared to put my own name behind my opinion!,

So doesn't your opinion nullify your own opinion, since you did not use your real name?


Posted by Craig Laughton, a resident of College Terrace
on Dec 14, 2013 at 10:01 am

In yesterday's Daily Post Liz Kniss was quoted as saying that she has not heard from anyone who opposes the delay. This shows what circle of liberal guilt friends she moves in. However, she will hear from me, so that is one.

Her official email address is:

liz.kniss@cityofpaloalto.org

I suggest that those who oppose the delay let her know.


Posted by Faith, a resident of Professorville
on Dec 14, 2013 at 10:56 am

Dear Craig, Apparently you did not read the letter from the faith community to the City Council posted above. Liz may hear from you, but you will hear from God. Where is your heart? Homeless people are dying of hypothermia and you want them to sleep on the ground instead of car?


Posted by fed up, a resident of College Terrace
on Dec 14, 2013 at 12:07 pm

Cubberley's problem was solved at the expense of College Terrace. We now have at least 10 RVs parked on El Camino (Stanford side) day and night.


Posted by Craig Laughton, a resident of College Terrace
on Dec 14, 2013 at 12:09 pm

>Liz may hear from you, but you will hear from God. Where is your heart? Homeless people are dying of hypothermia and you want them to sleep on the ground instead of car?

Faith, I have no faith in an intervening god, if god actually exists. I also do not think that religious fanatics should be driving social policy. If you claim to have such a big heart, will you open up your home to a homeless person?

A rational social policy would be to criminalize homelessness and force the homeless (against their will, if necessary), into state/national level homeless shelters...similar to what Giuliani did in NYC. Homeless, living in their cars, should drive that car to a region where they can afford to pay rent.


Posted by I Call BS on this , a resident of College Terrace
on Dec 14, 2013 at 12:22 pm

[Post removed.]


Posted by Craig Laughton, a resident of College Terrace
on Dec 14, 2013 at 12:41 pm

[Post removed.]


Posted by Stone hearted CT resident, a resident of Midtown
on Dec 14, 2013 at 2:27 pm

Fed up-- so the RVs are not parked by college terrace. How is that CTs problem?

[Portion removed.]


Posted by Craig Laughton, a resident of College Terrace
on Dec 14, 2013 at 2:59 pm

>Fed up-- so the RVs are not parked by college terrace. How is that CTs problem?

Since our CC appears to be on the verge of delaying the car camping ban, there is another way: Parking regulations (like Menlo Park and Santa Barbara do).

The stretch on El Camino, next to Stanford, is a real eye sore. Stanford puts up signs there, when necessary to provide parking for events. My suggestion would be to have Stanford put up permanent "No Parking 1-5 AM" signs. Let the RVs move into the neighborhoods of those CC members who are now folding on the car camping ban.


Posted by Stone hearted CT resident, a resident of Midtown
on Dec 14, 2013 at 3:42 pm

Craig- contact Stanford with your suggestion. However does Stanford control that part of el camino? Or is it a state road? Am sure you have not actually researched the issue and are just throwing out ridiculous suggestions. If the council defers the car camping ban, those RVs will be free to move into any neighborhood they want-- including CT


Posted by Craig Laughton, a resident of College Terrace
on Dec 14, 2013 at 3:56 pm

>does Stanford control that part of el camino?

It certainly controls the parking signs, when an event is about to happen. When the eyesore that is there now gets enough complaints, maybe Stanford will make its own case.

>If the council defers the car camping ban, those RVs will be free to move into any neighborhood they want-- including CT

All the more reason to enforce the car camping ban, which has already been passed.


Posted by Stone hearted CT resident, a resident of Midtown
on Dec 14, 2013 at 4:05 pm

Craig-- maybe no one is complaining. Maybe it is not really a problem and anyway, if the car camping ban is on hold, then surely Stanford will not limit parking on that stretch of el camino. They are not as cold hearted as some.
All the more reason to wait for a year-- nobody will be hurt by wait g a year.
The name of the Davis traffic engineer, if you please?, Craig.
Now that the cubberly issue has been solved maybe the car camping ban is not needed.


Posted by Craig Laughton, a resident of College Terrace
on Dec 14, 2013 at 4:28 pm

>Craig-- maybe no one is complaining

Wrong! There have many complaints over the years, but CC tried to ignore them. Serious complaints from neighborhoods like Cubberley and College Terrace were, finally, heard. We are not going away.




Posted by Stone hearted CT resident, a resident of Midtown
on Dec 14, 2013 at 4:37 pm

CC did not ignore you-- they implemented the RPPP in CT and the overnight entry ban at cubberley. Just because you do not get everything you want does not mean that you are being ignored [portion removed.]


Posted by Craig Laughton, a resident of College Terrace
on Dec 14, 2013 at 5:35 pm

>CC did not ignore you-- they implemented the RPPP in CT

Only after many years of effort. However, regarding the car camping issue, it was ignored by CC until parking restrictions kicked in...and then only with a whole lot of complaining from individual CT residents. In fact, all those RVs got out of here, once the Cubberley issue came forward...and CC members, like Larry Klein, got a clue.