News

First-of-its-kind program for people living in RVs debuts in East Palo Alto

Initiative is geared toward families, seniors, disabled persons and veterans

After more than a year of planning, a new city-approved $300,000 RV Safe Parking program launched in East Palo Alto, which offers designated space for up to 20 local RV dwellers to park overnight.

The one-year pilot program, which also offers access to portable showers, restrooms and laundry services, is run and partially funded by Project WeHope, a nonprofit that provides shelter and other services to East Palo Alto's homeless. About two-thirds of the funding is coming from the city's general fund and from the voter-approved business-license tax on residential rentals, Measure O.

The City Council unanimously approved the initiative last July in response to the shelter crisis in East Palo Alto, which under state Government Code 8698 allows cities to declare a local crisis if a significant threat to health and safety is present.

Randolph Parker was one of the first program participants on Wednesday night to arrive at the lot located at 1798 Bay Road.

"I'm happy as a little boy in a candy store," he said, standing in front of his mid-sized camper van filled with all of his worldly possessions, including a twin-size bed and a microwave. He said he's glad to finally have an area where he can park at night and be "quietly left alone."

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Parker said he first learned of the program about a month and a half ago when he stopped by Project WeHope's headquarters on a day they were handing out food.

"They took care of my registration and they helped me get my driver's license straight," he said.

"And, to be here and not to be harassed is a blessing in itself, and I'm liking every bit of it," he added.

Parker said being able to park in the designated lot is a relief -- "like when you're drowning and all of a sudden somebody grabs you."

He believes his RV will be better protected from careless drivers inside the lot, noting that one of his rearview mirrors had previously been knocked off in a hit-and-run incident while he was parked on the street.

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Between the hours of 7:30 p.m. and 7 a.m. RV residents can park in the safe lot, which is monitored by security guards throughout the night. The time limit is set in accordance with zoning laws that prohibit the space from being used as a permanent parking facility.

During the planning stages, city officials aimed to identify a location that could be used for 24-hour RV parking but were unsuccessful, according to Project WeHope Associate Director Alicia Garcia. However, throughout the day the RV owners can drive their vehicles to their workplaces or park on the street, as the city ordinance only bans overnight street parking.

The program was designed as a solution to the city's ban on oversized vehicles parking overnight on the streets, Garcia said.

"For about the last 15 to 18 months, we have been working with the city to develop a safe parking program specifically for RVs," she said, adding that the program's priority is to serve East Palo Altans facing economic hardship including families with children, seniors, people with disabilities and veterans.

Prior to the program's launch, Project WeHope staff interviewed potential candidates to ensure that the program reached the targeted demographics. Selected participants were asked to sign a waiver that outlines the rules of the program. The requirements include observing a 10 p.m. "quiet hour" by which time everyone is expected to be inside their RVs for the remainder of the night, unless they need to use the restroom facilities, and agreeing to work with a case manager to find transitional housing.

"We believe that love is not love unless discipline is in it, so there are guidelines and requirements to participate in the program because we want to change the trajectory of where they are to a more positive state where they are self-sufficient," said Project WeHope co-founder and president Pastor Paul Bains.

East Palo Alto has blazed the trail with this initiative; its RV Safe Parking program is the first of its kind in the region.

"This is something that is replicable in other cities and we're helping other cities work on their safe parking for cars such as Oakland, San Jose and Oroville," Bains said.

Mountain View may soon be following East Palo Alto's lead as the city declared a shelter crisis back in March and has since began taking steps toward securing space for a safe parking lot. The current safe parking initiative is in the hands of two churches that can only provide space for eight small vehicles. On Tuesday, the Mountain View City Council is set to vote on a proposal to lease a 2.091-acre lot, owned by the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority, located at the southwest corner of East Evelyn Avenue and Pioneer Way.

Project WeHope associate director Alicia Garcia discusses the new program on an episode of "Behind the Headlines," now available on our YouTube channel and podcast page.

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First-of-its-kind program for people living in RVs debuts in East Palo Alto

Initiative is geared toward families, seniors, disabled persons and veterans

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Fri, May 3, 2019, 10:24 pm
Updated: Mon, May 6, 2019, 8:34 am

After more than a year of planning, a new city-approved $300,000 RV Safe Parking program launched in East Palo Alto, which offers designated space for up to 20 local RV dwellers to park overnight.

The one-year pilot program, which also offers access to portable showers, restrooms and laundry services, is run and partially funded by Project WeHope, a nonprofit that provides shelter and other services to East Palo Alto's homeless. About two-thirds of the funding is coming from the city's general fund and from the voter-approved business-license tax on residential rentals, Measure O.

The City Council unanimously approved the initiative last July in response to the shelter crisis in East Palo Alto, which under state Government Code 8698 allows cities to declare a local crisis if a significant threat to health and safety is present.

Randolph Parker was one of the first program participants on Wednesday night to arrive at the lot located at 1798 Bay Road.

"I'm happy as a little boy in a candy store," he said, standing in front of his mid-sized camper van filled with all of his worldly possessions, including a twin-size bed and a microwave. He said he's glad to finally have an area where he can park at night and be "quietly left alone."

Parker said he first learned of the program about a month and a half ago when he stopped by Project WeHope's headquarters on a day they were handing out food.

"They took care of my registration and they helped me get my driver's license straight," he said.

"And, to be here and not to be harassed is a blessing in itself, and I'm liking every bit of it," he added.

Parker said being able to park in the designated lot is a relief -- "like when you're drowning and all of a sudden somebody grabs you."

He believes his RV will be better protected from careless drivers inside the lot, noting that one of his rearview mirrors had previously been knocked off in a hit-and-run incident while he was parked on the street.

Between the hours of 7:30 p.m. and 7 a.m. RV residents can park in the safe lot, which is monitored by security guards throughout the night. The time limit is set in accordance with zoning laws that prohibit the space from being used as a permanent parking facility.

During the planning stages, city officials aimed to identify a location that could be used for 24-hour RV parking but were unsuccessful, according to Project WeHope Associate Director Alicia Garcia. However, throughout the day the RV owners can drive their vehicles to their workplaces or park on the street, as the city ordinance only bans overnight street parking.

The program was designed as a solution to the city's ban on oversized vehicles parking overnight on the streets, Garcia said.

"For about the last 15 to 18 months, we have been working with the city to develop a safe parking program specifically for RVs," she said, adding that the program's priority is to serve East Palo Altans facing economic hardship including families with children, seniors, people with disabilities and veterans.

Prior to the program's launch, Project WeHope staff interviewed potential candidates to ensure that the program reached the targeted demographics. Selected participants were asked to sign a waiver that outlines the rules of the program. The requirements include observing a 10 p.m. "quiet hour" by which time everyone is expected to be inside their RVs for the remainder of the night, unless they need to use the restroom facilities, and agreeing to work with a case manager to find transitional housing.

"We believe that love is not love unless discipline is in it, so there are guidelines and requirements to participate in the program because we want to change the trajectory of where they are to a more positive state where they are self-sufficient," said Project WeHope co-founder and president Pastor Paul Bains.

East Palo Alto has blazed the trail with this initiative; its RV Safe Parking program is the first of its kind in the region.

"This is something that is replicable in other cities and we're helping other cities work on their safe parking for cars such as Oakland, San Jose and Oroville," Bains said.

Mountain View may soon be following East Palo Alto's lead as the city declared a shelter crisis back in March and has since began taking steps toward securing space for a safe parking lot. The current safe parking initiative is in the hands of two churches that can only provide space for eight small vehicles. On Tuesday, the Mountain View City Council is set to vote on a proposal to lease a 2.091-acre lot, owned by the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority, located at the southwest corner of East Evelyn Avenue and Pioneer Way.

Project WeHope associate director Alicia Garcia discusses the new program on an episode of "Behind the Headlines," now available on our YouTube channel and podcast page.

Comments

Winifred
East Palo Alto
on May 4, 2019 at 8:36 am
Winifred, East Palo Alto
on May 4, 2019 at 8:36 am
55 people like this

In many ways EPA is far more progressive in its actions compared to the many wealthy, so-called liberal-minded Palo Altans who seem to spend most of their energies debating costly high-rise dwellings and parking lots to accomodate shoppers and local employees.

Most of them detest the caravans of transient RVs parked along ECR yet not one of these 'liberal-minded' residents or PACC members have proposed or offerred an alternative parking site. Instead they advocate eradication measures because it 'cramps their style' and many would just as soon see the BV trailer park gone as well.

An intelligent and compassionate mindset might involve coordinating with Stanford University an alternative parking area as Stanford has plenty of land but unfortunately most Palo Altans and Stanfordites are SNOBS.

The PA liberal platform seemingly involves getting on the 'conventional' Pelosi, Speir political bandwagons while criticizing the current POTUS...and outside of their petty high-rise housing, parking garage and traffic gridlock concerns, most PA residents cannot see much farther than that.

A good number of Palo Altans are in essence, 'conservative Democrats' and I've encountered my fair share of them while growing up in rural Alabama during the 1960s. Palo Alto is not a liberal bastion...it is a conservative city that likes to portray itself as liberal & progressive due to its proximity to a university.

And rest assured, Stanford University is not a liberal environment either. It was founded by a conservative and is perpetuated by conservative, business-leaning directives.

The measures undertaken by EPA to assist transient RV dwellers is commendable. This will not occur in Palo Alto because Palo Alto is essentially the Confederacy of the mispeninsula based on its continued efforts to keep certain people either DOWN of out of their fair city.












Winifred
East Palo Alto
on May 4, 2019 at 8:46 am
Winifred, East Palo Alto
on May 4, 2019 at 8:46 am
7 people like this

Typo/Correction: DOWN [OR] out of their fair city.


RV Dweller
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 4, 2019 at 12:12 pm
RV Dweller, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 4, 2019 at 12:12 pm
31 people like this

Agreed. Palo Alto is a town with no soul or compassion...just a preoccupation with being upscale.

It must be tiresome devoting all of one's life energies to self-importance.

Then again, those who do are seldom even aware of it.

As a result, myself and others will refuse to move our RVs until further word.

Better get used to it.


Kenny
University South
on May 4, 2019 at 1:30 pm
Kenny, University South
on May 4, 2019 at 1:30 pm
18 people like this

"In many ways EPA is far more progressive in its actions compared to the many wealthy, so-called liberal-minded Palo Altans"

Many, if not most, Palo Altans are limousine liberals - smug, elitist, oh so perfect and politically correct. Behind that facade, the reality is that they are generally unsophisticated, unenlightened, boorish and totalitarian.

This Huffington Post article calls out limousine liberalism, and by extension Palo Alto, for what they really are:


The Culture Of The Smug White Liberal
Web Link

"Most of them detest the caravans of transient RVs parked along ECR yet not one of these 'liberal-minded' residents or PACC members have proposed or offerred an alternative parking site."

It's Palo Alto. Let them eat cake, right?

"Instead they advocate eradication measures because it 'cramps their style' and many would just as soon see the BV trailer park gone as well."

That is because Palo Altans are more concerned with inflating their property values than with letting the rabble into town. Why do you think NIMBYism is so prevalent here? We should be building plenty of affordable housing. But then there's still that pesky rabble thing.

"Palo Alto is not a liberal bastion...it is a conservative city that likes to portray itself as liberal & progressive due to its proximity to a university."

I disagree with you there. Shallow Alto is anything but conservative. It is anti-business, tax-and-waste and politically correct. Those are not at all conservative values. Charlton Heston, a conservative icon, put it best: "Political correctness is tyranny with manners". Palo Alto seems to have replaced the manners part with entitlement, though. What we need is humanity with manners.

Palo Altans don't realize it, but they are what got Donald Trump elected.


Anon
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 4, 2019 at 1:48 pm
Anon, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 4, 2019 at 1:48 pm
29 people like this

Posted by Winifred, a resident of East Palo Alto

>> In many ways EPA is far more progressive [...] wealthy, so-called liberal-minded Palo Altans

>> Most of them detest the caravans of transient RVs parked along ECR yet not one of these 'liberal-minded' [...] advocate eradication measures because it 'cramps their style' and many would just as soon see the BV trailer park gone as well.

>> [...] unfortunately most Palo Altans and Stanfordites are SNOBS.

I guess I'm the problem, then, because I'm a political liberal who is very unfavorable towards RVs. RVs on public streets are using the public streets rent-free. They clog up parking that residents and businesses need to use-- the people who pay the taxes that maintain those street parking spaces. Who decides who gets to "capture" a public parking space? But, rationally speaking, RVs are a very inefficient use of land.

RVs and trailers are very low density. A much better approach is to build affordable apartments at 30-40 units/acre. Assuming we have the land identified. Unfortunately, right now, "they" seem to want to build offices on all available land. That is the real problem.

-No new office space.-


RV Dweller
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 4, 2019 at 3:15 pm
RV Dweller, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 4, 2019 at 3:15 pm
16 people like this

> Shallow Alto is anything but conservative. It is anti-business, tax-and-waste and politically correct. Those are not at all conservative values.

With the possible exception of its Veblen-oriented businesses (i.e. Stanford Shopping Center and the numerous upscale restaurants around town).

Many Palo Altans like to (1) brag about nothingness, (2) be pampered by various service businesses, and (3) show-off on a superficial basis...

Yet they are proud of their PC sensitivities and have a profound disdain for the POTUS who enjoys the same outlets they do!

Palo Alto is a peculiar city but an accessible venue to park one's RV. It's actually kind of entertaining (at times) to be impoverished while watching all this self-importance on the part of so many PA residents.

If this were late 18th century France, their days would be numbered.


Confused
Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 4, 2019 at 4:31 pm
Confused, Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 4, 2019 at 4:31 pm
29 people like this

I’m confused. I just don’t see this as a long term solution.
What’s to stop the many thousands of RVers in all the states from driving here and just moving in? Some travel around the US, stopping at amenable Walmart parking lots and parks.
What are the limits?


Xiao Ming
Crescent Park
on May 4, 2019 at 6:33 pm
Xiao Ming, Crescent Park
on May 4, 2019 at 6:33 pm
21 people like this

I wish I could put in-laws in a motorhome rather than them staying at my house.

Problem is that my father-in-law is a very poor driver and would endanger other motorists.


Biting the hand
Registered user
Fairmeadow
on May 4, 2019 at 10:02 pm
Biting the hand, Fairmeadow
Registered user
on May 4, 2019 at 10:02 pm
31 people like this

I don't understand what is to be gained from excoriating the Palo Altans if that is where you want to live.

That said, I don't understand why so many people want to live here in the first place. It is far too expensive, too competitive, too fast-paced. Most kids would do much better in other schools, where there is no culture of hyper-tutoring and 5.0 GPAs. Most seniors would do better in a more affordable place with more diversity and better access to affordable care. Most young couples would do better in a place with more and more affordable childcare.

Jobs must spread out. This is not sustainable.

Finally, if people really do want to live here in RVs, because they like the parks and trees, maybe even the schools, then we need to find a way to build basic infrastructure for them -- restrooms, showers, lighting, trash/recycling, some security measures -- and then find a way to assess the residents for those services and more generally for city services, just as all other residents are assessed. I don't think freeloading at this kind of scale is going to work.

I also agree with @Anon that RVs are not nearly dense enough. But people who like RVs, like many other people, may not like stack-and-pack apartments. So they are demanding better. Where should we invest our affordable housing dollars?


M&M
East Palo Alto
on May 5, 2019 at 10:36 am
M&M, East Palo Alto
on May 5, 2019 at 10:36 am
15 people like this

Confused, you bring up a crucial point. This other an isn't intended to be permanent. It's supposed to run for a year, offering a safe place to park while participating in the program. This means abiding by the rules while availing themselves of services to help get into permanent housing. As participants get into housing they'll move out of the program and the next accepted applicant will enter the program. There are about 50 accepted into the program, which has room for 20 RVs at a time.

What bothers some of us residents is that non-residents are in the program. While EPA and Belle Haven residents had priority, many of the RVs that flocked into our city weren't residents. IMO, on one hand I'm glad they're getting help, residents or not, but on the other hand, we are a small, understaffed city with many *residents* in need of assistance. I'm glad we have Measure O funds available to partially fund this, but again, we have many other residents in need. But the 60 vehicles that have taken over an area of our city have caused ongoing ecological damage and public health and safety issues, so creating this program became a priority.

The bottom line is that RV dwelling is becoming an issue across the state, and it's not an easy problem to solve. What should be happening on the Peninsula is a regional approach so that we can combine problem-solving and funds. It's unfair that not only has EPA born the burden of providing low cost housing for the area for decades (and now that's no longer really the case), but now we're hosting many RV residents from outside the area and they don't work here, either. Hopefully this program will be a success, will serve as a model AND spark a commitment to a regional approach.


BV Is Not A Real PA Neighborhood
Barron Park
on May 5, 2019 at 12:26 pm
BV Is Not A Real PA Neighborhood, Barron Park
on May 5, 2019 at 12:26 pm
16 people like this

> What bothers some of us residents is that non-residents are in the program...we're hosting many RV residents from outside the area and they don't work here, either.

^^^ Aha. So even EPA residents don't want these run-down RVs and homeless people in their neighborhoods as well, especially if they are from out-of-town.

EPA = PA.


M&M
East Palo Alto
on May 5, 2019 at 2:08 pm
M&M , East Palo Alto
on May 5, 2019 at 2:08 pm
4 people like this

Lol at you, BV. I don't like precious funding intended for use on residents having to be prioritized for non-residents so early into the funding cycle since the measure only came about a couple years ago. This is why a regional approach and regional funding is needed, rather than just one lower income city doing what your city should've thought of ages ago. Your city and the other surrounding cities should be ashamed of not doing more during this long-term, unprecedented housing crisis.


Xiao Ming
Crescent Park
on May 5, 2019 at 4:33 pm
Xiao Ming, Crescent Park
on May 5, 2019 at 4:33 pm
11 people like this

>> This is why a regional approach and regional funding is needed, rather than just one lower income city doing what your city should've thought of ages ago. Your city and the other surrounding cities should be ashamed of not doing more during this long-term, unprecedented housing crisis.

^^^ Your comment makes complete sense. Palo Alto needs to step up to the plate on this issue.


Anon
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 5, 2019 at 10:25 pm
Anon, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 5, 2019 at 10:25 pm
3 people like this

Posted by M&M, a resident of East Palo Alto

>> I don't like precious funding intended for use on residents having to be prioritized for non-residents [...] This is why a regional approach and regional funding is needed, [...] Your city and the other surrounding cities should be ashamed of not doing more during this long-term, unprecedented housing crisis.

Posted by Xiao Ming. a resident of Crescent Park

>> Palo Alto needs to step up to the plate on this issue.

I didn't see where the lot size was described, and from Google it looks like an irregular lot. Somewhere between 1 and 2 acres I would guess. So, how about zoning that lot for RM-40 and building 40 affordable/below-market-rate low-rise housing units (low-rise is generally the lowest cost)? I would much rather do that than build an RV park. With adequate parking, BTW. RVs are not a scalable urban housing solution.


Marc
Midtown
on May 6, 2019 at 7:58 am
Marc, Midtown
on May 6, 2019 at 7:58 am
29 people like this

Can someone explain to me how this "wet foot, dry feet" concept came to be the norm here? Without getting vitriolic?

It seems that somehow, by stepping over the boundary into Palo Alto, Mountain View, EPA that somehow people are "owed" a place to live even if they can't afford it or are employed in the area. That somehow it is everyone's "right" to live in Palo Alto.

I could understand opening a park and renting people space to park their vehicles. I could understand opening high density housing and renting units.

I am not trying to be heartless. But any one city doesn't have the resources to support everyone that steps over the line and says they need a place to live. How do you prioritize? Do you support them forever? Getting homeless off the street and then using public funds to support them forever is not sustainable.

/marc



HavenWorks
East Palo Alto
on May 6, 2019 at 11:46 am
HavenWorks, East Palo Alto
on May 6, 2019 at 11:46 am
5 people like this

This is a step in a direction good or bad...it needs to happen. www.havenworks.org has been working on this issue long before it became an crisis. Since 2006 we have been trying to bring awareness to cities and counties that an RV has the same footprint and infrastructure as a granny unit, or tiny home, and should have a place in the region to help solve the housing crisis. We started with military veterans, primarily, but have expanded to include more groups from the public to support the remarks by CONFUSED and XIAO MING...We need a longer term solution as CONFUSED states, but also we need to prepare for life's certain eventualities as MING states too...One of our platforms involves building the infrastructure for Private Home Owners to install "Hook Ups" where setbacks allow to place an RV on their property so that it becomes ALT housing for Elderly, Veterans, Homeless, etc. If we give give a RV dweller only 12 hours 7/7 to "keep Moving" that is not a long term solution...We'd like you support on this www.havenworks.org...Our 501C3 has been a two/three person shop and we are working hard to remain viable. We are in particular need for any 501C3 tax specialist...If you have time and energy, we'd like your help...


Advocate For The Homeless In PA
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 6, 2019 at 12:00 pm
Advocate For The Homeless In PA, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 6, 2019 at 12:00 pm
5 people like this

Getting Palo Altans involved with resolving the RV issue will be difficult

As RV dweller noted, the majority of them are caught up in appearances and do not want transient RVs denigrating their fair city. It looks bad and makes speculative residential property values go down.

They are more concerned with people wearing red ball caps with white letters as it makes them 'appear' open-minded and progressive.

It's all about projected images.


Pepe Le Peu
University South
on May 6, 2019 at 12:42 pm
Pepe Le Peu, University South
on May 6, 2019 at 12:42 pm
7 people like this

"They are more concerned with people wearing red ball caps with white letters as it makes them 'appear' open-minded and progressive."

They are also concerned about THAT STUFF which the RV-ers leave behind in the gutters. You used to have to go to one of those s-h countries (per the inventor of the red ball caps with white letters) to see that.


no where
College Terrace
on May 6, 2019 at 4:54 pm
no where, College Terrace
on May 6, 2019 at 4:54 pm
4 people like this

How about bringing in a naval carrier to house the homeless vets at a reduced cost to them? Then set up a real RV park where people can rent at a reduced cost for the working drug free homeless. Set a sunset clause to make sure that it does not permanently change the area.

House the drug addicted in semi-rural areas where drugs are not easily accessible like Salinas, Gilroy, or very South San Jose. Housing is cheap there and it will remove them from an environment that is toxic and drug accessible.


Another Option
Crescent Park
on May 6, 2019 at 5:01 pm
Another Option, Crescent Park
on May 6, 2019 at 5:01 pm
5 people like this

> How about bringing in a naval carrier to house the homeless vets at a reduced cost to them? Then set up a real RV park where people can rent at a reduced cost for the working drug free homeless. Set a sunset clause to make sure that it does not permanently change the area.

How about using a naval aircraft carrier for the transient RVs?


A concerned citizen
Southgate
on May 6, 2019 at 7:52 pm
A concerned citizen, Southgate
on May 6, 2019 at 7:52 pm
1 person likes this

Great way to offer some employment (self or otherwise) services and mental health services to the homeless. I believe google or other companies who offer contract employees sub wages should provide overnight parking too?


M&M
East Palo Alto
on May 6, 2019 at 9:27 pm
M&M, East Palo Alto
on May 6, 2019 at 9:27 pm
6 people like this

Anon, the city has stated several times that they aren't going to create a permanent RV park. This isn't our city's problem to solve alone.

Marc, you ask very good questions that are at the heart of the matter. Cities can turn a blind eye to this behavior for only so long before there are public safety or health crises. As for responsibility. You will get varied answers from people.


Common sense
Stanford
on May 7, 2019 at 6:25 am
Common sense , Stanford
on May 7, 2019 at 6:25 am
7 people like this

Asking why they don’t do affordable housing apartments instead of RVs is like asking why they don’t just eat cake. Are you that out of touch with why RVs are a solution? Sure, limos can be another solution! Why didn’t we think of this???!???? Smh


Sgt Peppers
East Palo Alto
on May 7, 2019 at 7:41 am
Sgt Peppers, East Palo Alto
on May 7, 2019 at 7:41 am
13 people like this

Easy solutions...people that support the RV dwellers should allow RVs to park in their driveway and clean up after them when the RV leaves. Everybody wins and maybe the city can allocate the $200k towards repaving our streets. #WINNING


Anon
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 7, 2019 at 9:40 am
Anon, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 7, 2019 at 9:40 am
6 people like this

Posted by Common sense, a resident of Stanford

>> Asking why they don’t do affordable housing apartments instead of RVs is like asking why they don’t just eat cake. Are you that out of touch with why RVs are a solution? Sure, limos can be another solution! Why didn’t we think of this???!???? Smh

Bad analogies. Any solution, including RVs, is going to require public resources, both land (the streets, or, temporarily vacant lots), as well as sanitation, policing, etc. RVs look "free" only to people who refuse to see the big picture.

As a taxpayer, if I'm going to subsidize someone else's housing, I want what I'm paying for to be a scalable, long-term approach to -urban- housng. RVs are not. I'm not sure about EPA, but, I'm guessing 200-ish RVs in Palo Alto along ECR, Park, near the Fry's site, etc. Let's find a 3 acre site (maybe in SRP?) and build 200 apartment units at public expense, house the folks in RVs, and get the RVs off the streets once and for all; let's not allow this situation to occur again. RVs are not a rational solution for -urban- housing.


Gregory G. Campbell
Old Palo Alto
on May 7, 2019 at 9:47 am
Gregory G. Campbell, Old Palo Alto
on May 7, 2019 at 9:47 am
7 people like this

Safe parking lots are a great start. They are not a long term solution. Zoning changes to allow for RV parking on Private Property with proper hookups needs to be put in to place. No one is talking this way but it is one of the best options to provide for the employed and pensioned RV dwellers able to pay some rent and utilities. The top percentage of RV dwellers are contributors to the community and need to be helped. The middle of this RV bell curve will require more work and services. This is not a one size fits all silver bullet issue. The remaining bottom of the barrel unable to conform to the norms of society need to be cited, arrested, institutionalized, moved into government housing, or run out of town. They are always going to be a state responsibility. Help the ones that can be helped and get rid of the remaining. Sorry hard choices need to be made. I am sorry to say that is why government will never solve this problem. This is a community problem get involved.


Anon
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 7, 2019 at 10:40 am
Anon, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 7, 2019 at 10:40 am
3 people like this

Posted by Gregory G. Campbell, a resident of Old Palo Alto

>> Safe parking lots are a great start. They are not a long term solution. Zoning changes to allow for RV parking on Private Property with proper hookups needs to be put in to place.

Even better-- the RV dwellers could just move inside and dump the RV.

RV "supporters" out there-- do you realize that your rationalizations are demonstrating that RVs are a "solution" looking for a problem? For some reason, you like RVs. The answer why must lie in the realm of psychology. But, there are a bad -urban housing- offering. Let's work on the best way to provide affordable urban housing, instead of trying to find a way to utilize RVs even though they are a poor housing method.


House The RVs
Adobe-Meadow
on May 7, 2019 at 1:48 pm
House The RVs, Adobe-Meadow
on May 7, 2019 at 1:48 pm
10 people like this

How about erecting a multi-level parking garage in Palo Alto for transient RVs?

It could have shower facilities, restrooms and perhaps even a commons.

Barron Park would be an ideal site. Maybe something along the ECR.


Anon
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 8, 2019 at 9:26 am
Anon, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 8, 2019 at 9:26 am
8 people like this

Posted by House The RVs, a resident of Adobe-Meadow

>> Barron Park would be an ideal site. Maybe something along the ECR.

I'm interested in housing -people-, not RVs. But, if you insist, Adobe-Meadow would work I suppose, although I think Crescent Park would be ideal. Let's share the wealth with surrounding communities, too. Los Altos Hills, Woodside, and Atherton should all build such RV garages.


Palo Alto Could Take Some Lessons From MV & VTA
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 9, 2019 at 1:06 pm
Palo Alto Could Take Some Lessons From MV & VTA, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 9, 2019 at 1:06 pm
8 people like this

Mountain View & VTA just created a transient RV park at Evelyn and Pioneer.

Though originally slated for a low-income housing development, the City of MV and VTA are taking progressive measures.

Why can't Palo Alto do the same? There's room somewhere in town.

Maybe even in or near your immediate neighborhood!

Now don't be a snob and/or overly concerned about your property values as most of you have already made a tidy sum from an eventual/future sale.

Though the MV/VTA park is in a commercial zone, Palo Alto also has a few of its own to pacify the hordes of uptight PA residents.





musical
Palo Verde
on May 10, 2019 at 3:29 am
musical, Palo Verde
on May 10, 2019 at 3:29 am
6 people like this

"... most of you have already made a tidy sum from an eventual/future sale"

Huh? I guess I've already passed away too, eventually.


Only White Folks Live In RVs?
Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 10, 2019 at 10:24 pm
Only White Folks Live In RVs?, Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 10, 2019 at 10:24 pm
8 people like this

Ironic. I see mostly white people living in RVs and have never seen an African American residing in one yet they are going to have this RV park in EPA?

Come to think of it, I've never seen an Asian living in one either.


ECR RVs
College Terrace
on May 11, 2019 at 12:38 am
ECR RVs, College Terrace
on May 11, 2019 at 12:38 am
19 people like this

My understanding is that a number of the ECR RVs are rentals, some through Airbnb.


Only White Folks Live In RVs?
Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 11, 2019 at 7:24 am
Only White Folks Live In RVs?, Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 11, 2019 at 7:24 am
9 people like this

my quote:

"I see mostly white people living in RVs and have never seen an African American residing in one...I've never seen an Asian living in one either."

> My understanding is that a number of the ECR RVs are rentals, some through Airbnb.


Is this a possible example of race-related rental discrimination?

And do RV rentals apply?

If so and in violation, a class action lawsuit or fair housing hearing could get most of these RVs off ECR.


RV Landlord
another community
on May 11, 2019 at 12:22 pm
RV Landlord, another community
on May 11, 2019 at 12:22 pm
4 people like this

" My understanding is that a number of the ECR RVs are rentals, some through Airbnb."

We rent RVs in various town and cities for approximately $600-$1000 per month. It is a very lucrative business and requires less capital investment than an apartment complex.

For around $4500 one can purchase a used RV in fair condition and after about 6 months it is fully amortized.

We purchase and park them and then advertise on Craigslist in various locales.

Palo Alto and Mountain View are in high demand and we can generally get about $900-$1100 per month per RV.

It is a great way to generate extra income and the police tend to look the other way in terms of citations and tow-away as some of our rental RVs are not operational.

The main thing is to have a current DMV tag on the rear license plate.


Anon
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 11, 2019 at 1:40 pm
Anon, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 11, 2019 at 1:40 pm
2 people like this

Posted by RV Landlord, a resident of another community

>> We rent RVs in various town and cities for approximately $600-$1000 per month. It is a very lucrative business and requires less capital investment than an apartment complex.

Why don't I see RVs parked on the streets in Los Altos Hills or Atherton? Do you ever try to locate your RVs there? What happens?

>> It is a great way to generate extra income and the police tend to look the other way in terms of citations and tow-away as some of our rental RVs are not operational.

Why do you think the police look the other way, even if the vehicle is clearly not roadworthy/mechanically operational?

>> The main thing is to have a current DMV tag on the rear license plate.

Are they exempt from the every-two-years smog check? Why?


RV Landlord
another community
on May 11, 2019 at 2:50 pm
RV Landlord, another community
on May 11, 2019 at 2:50 pm
Like this comment

> Why don't I see RVs parked on the streets in Los Altos Hills or Atherton? Do you ever try to locate your RVs there? What happens?

They have stricter ordinances. Palo Alto and Mountain View are far more humanistic communities and my tenants are grateful for their compassion. I am too for the available parking opportunities!

> Why do you think the police look the other way, even if the vehicle is clearly not roadworthy/mechanically operational?

Most likely because they have been advised to by your council members who realize that everyday life can be difficult for some, even in an affluent city such as Palo Alto.

> Are they exempt from the every-two-years smog check? Why?

Of course not but I just get extensions & tape them to the front windows. You know, those square red papers with the big numbers.

I am a responsible landlord.


Xiang
Charleston Meadows
on May 11, 2019 at 3:15 pm
Xiang, Charleston Meadows
on May 11, 2019 at 3:15 pm
11 people like this

"We rent RVs in various town and cities for approximately $600-$1000 per month. It is a very lucrative business and requires less capital investment than an apartment complex."

this sounds like good investment. maybe buy 5 to start and leave them parked around city, not on ECR...too obvious. then advertise on craigslist.

many people looking to live in palo alto.


rsmithjr
Registered user
Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 11, 2019 at 4:08 pm
rsmithjr, Duveneck/St. Francis
Registered user
on May 11, 2019 at 4:08 pm
2 people like this

The idea of RV parks ("permanent" or "temporary") is interesting but has a number of legal problems.

The EPA plan appears to allow people to stay for some temporary time, at the end of which they must leave.

The state of CA, however, has an RV park law, which makes it very difficult to evict people other than for cause. The provisions of the law cannot, however, be overridden by a waiver.

My guess is that EPA, MV, or other cities will find that people staying in the
RV parks will object to being made to leave. They may also request sanitary facilities to be provided by the city. In short, they will discover that they have rights as human beings and will secure the help of public-advocacy attorneys to obtain their rights.

This idea is a half-measure that will be found to be lacking legally and otherwise.




Brown & Kaufman = Nice MB RV + Wads Of Cash!
Midtown
on May 11, 2019 at 6:24 pm
Brown & Kaufman = Nice MB RV + Wads Of Cash!, Midtown
on May 11, 2019 at 6:24 pm
5 people like this

"My guess is that EPA, MV, or other cities will find that people staying in the
RV parks will object to being made to leave. They may also request sanitary facilities to be provided by the city. In short, they will discover that they have rights as human beings and will secure the help of public-advocacy attorneys to obtain their rights."

This is a valid reason for me to unload my house in Midtown to some wealthy Chinese family willing to pay CASH and then buy a motorhome (but a really nice one as in Merceded Benz) and I'll still have money left over. Wads of it.

Then I could still reside in Palo Alto at a fraction of the cost.

Upscale RV dwelling could be the next PA phenomena. How cool is that?


Victoria Smith
Old Palo Alto
on May 12, 2019 at 1:28 pm
Victoria Smith, Old Palo Alto
on May 12, 2019 at 1:28 pm
3 people like this

If you can't afford to live in Palo Alto, why not move to a place where you can afford to rent or buy a house and raise your family in a better environment than living in a run-down RV? I don't see why the homeless are allowed to have their children attend school at PAUSD if they don't have to pay property taxes like the rest of us. The City needs to enforce stricter rules to not allow RVs to park in our neighborhoods. Palo Alto will soon resemble San Srancisco if nothing is done.


RV Landlord
another community
on May 12, 2019 at 2:13 pm
RV Landlord, another community
on May 12, 2019 at 2:13 pm
9 people like this

"If you can't afford to live in Palo Alto, why not move to a place where you can afford to rent or buy a house and raise your family in a better environment than living in a run-down RV?"

How judgmental. Is this the prevailing attitude of most wealthy Palo Altans?

"I don't see why the homeless are allowed to have their children attend school at PAUSD if they don't have to pay property taxes like the rest of us."

It's also very reassuring to know that you and perhaps a few others believe public education a privilege and not a right.

" Palo Alto will soon resemble San Srancisco [sic] if nothing is done."

The Tenderloin or Pacific Heights?

Your compassion towards those less fortunate is touching.


Sue Harkin
Fairmeadow
on May 12, 2019 at 4:53 pm
Sue Harkin, Fairmeadow
on May 12, 2019 at 4:53 pm
2 people like this

RV Landlord: So the RVs belong to you? Now I understand why you are bullying others who are opposed to having RVs in their neighborhood. You have a vested interest to keep the RVs in town - protecting your business and $$$$. LOL

I don't know a single person who would like RVs, rundown or otherwise, parked in their neighborhood. Homeowners have a pride of ownership mentality and want to keep their neighborhoods kept and maintained. Run-down RVs are an eyesore and bring down the value and enjoyment of our community. Homeowners pay a bundle to the City for all the gas, electric, waste and other services. AND we pay high property taxes to support our schools, so why should the homeless people should have all the benefits and not have to pay their share or any share, in this case.

BTW, being "wealthy" is not a crime. You are offending hardworking PA renters and homeowners alike.





RV Dweller
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 12, 2019 at 7:02 pm
RV Dweller, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 12, 2019 at 7:02 pm
2 people like this

>> Homeowners have a pride of ownership mentality and want to keep their neighborhoods kept and maintained.

You have apparently never driven through other lesser maintained parts of PA.

>> Run-down RVs are an eyesore and bring down the value and enjoyment of our community

You probably meant real estate values. Just guessing. For some, an RV is their castle.

>> Homeowners pay a bundle to the City for all the gas, electric, waste and other services. AND we pay high property taxes to support our schools,

You chose to reside in a more costly locale and can't rightly complain of the expenses. As you are apparently advising RVers, did you ever consider living in a less costly city yourself? Probably not.

>> why should the homeless people should have all the benefits and not have to pay their share or any share, in this case.

Living in a run-down RV as you put it is not a benefit but a necessity and we pay for the indignity more than you will ever know.

>> BTW, being "wealthy" is not a crime.

Agreed. But being arrogant and condescending with wealth is.


MVresident2003
Registered user
Mountain View
on May 12, 2019 at 7:45 pm
MVresident2003, Mountain View
Registered user
on May 12, 2019 at 7:45 pm
1 person likes this

“Pay for the indignity more than you will ever know”. Really? Interesting as all of your posts brag about taking advantage of regulations.

Don’t get me wrong, if you’re following laws then “good” for you, run with it. If that’s the way you’re choosing to live your life, preying off others taxes and taking advantage of things you didn’t earn, hey, that’s your choice.

Being arrogant and condescending apparently isn’t just for the wealthy.


RV Dweller
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 12, 2019 at 8:45 pm
RV Dweller, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 12, 2019 at 8:45 pm
2 people like this

@MVresident2003

>> Interesting as all of your posts brag about taking advantage of regulations.

I believe you are confusing or mistaking my posts with those of 'RV Landlord' who
is a purveyor of rental mobile housing units along the peninsula.

I am not a mobile landlord, just a poor person who bought a dilapidated used RV off Craiglist for around $3500 and now live in it wherever I am allowed. My primary income is derived from my SSI and various recycling endeavors (including salvageable materials).

I eat simply and bathe whenever I can. It is a simple life and one that I can afford.

Your apparent contempt for the RV landlord is understandable as he is profiteering and unecessarily adding to the visual blight that some residents find so offensive. But he provides a service.

BTW, the reason so many of these RVs are inoperable is because the RV landlords only provide a key to the motorhomes & the vehicles themselves will not run due to not having a battery or ignition key. In that manner, the RV landlords are protecting their rental properties from potential thefts.


RE: RV Landlowr
College Terrace
on May 12, 2019 at 9:03 pm
RE: RV Landlowr, College Terrace
on May 12, 2019 at 9:03 pm
25 people like this

[Portion removed.] I imagine that there are a number of people like him who are making a great return on a small investment: buying semi-operational RVs, parking them illegally on ECR (taking advantage of the lax enforcement of the 72-hour parking rule) and renting them out to low-income folks who are attracted by the high wages and/or good PAUSD schools and willing to reside in sub-standard housing.

[Portion removed.]


Home Dweller
Esther Clark Park
on May 12, 2019 at 10:02 pm
Home Dweller, Esther Clark Park
on May 12, 2019 at 10:02 pm
11 people like this

Residential lots are zoned residential. The streets are not zoned residential.

These RV dwellers are circumventing the law. They may provoke sympathy, just as hungry grocery store thieves may provoke sympathy. But they don’t have the “right” to abuse that sympathy.


A Future RV Landlord
Ventura
on May 13, 2019 at 1:08 pm
A Future RV Landlord, Ventura
on May 13, 2019 at 1:08 pm
8 people like this

I've got an old RV parked in my driveway and it is not being used.

Can it be rented out as a detached ADU?

For $800.00-$900.00 extra bucks a month I could care less what the neighbors think.


A Campaign Against Transient RVs
Old Palo Alto
on May 13, 2019 at 3:42 pm
A Campaign Against Transient RVs, Old Palo Alto
on May 13, 2019 at 3:42 pm
3 people like this

How about a sticker campaign to eradicate these transient RVS?

Just place "GO AWAY" stickers on every one of these illegally parked crap-mobiles.

All it would take is for an individual to randomly select an RV at his/her discretion and attach a protest sticker to the RV...a personal statement yet united in numbers.




Would Jesus Bum A Smoke?
Evergreen Park
on May 13, 2019 at 7:07 pm
Would Jesus Bum A Smoke?, Evergreen Park
on May 13, 2019 at 7:07 pm
12 people like this

What I don't understand is that these homeless types always seem to have surplus money for booze, cigarettes and a smart phone.

Due to certain austerity measures, I have had to curtail my intake of beer, marijuana and tobacco (which has probably been beneficial in its own right from a health standpoint) but I have learned to adjust.

What really ticks me off are the disheveled strangers who try to bum cigarettes. Not one has ever asked, "Can I buy a cigarette off you?". Instead they anticipate a freebie at 50 cents a smoke and they can go to hell.

At times I have felt that perhaps I could have been more charitable but I suspect that Jesus would not be bugging others for a smoke and so chances are, I have not encountered the Savior. Just another bum.


musical
Palo Verde
on May 13, 2019 at 8:59 pm
musical, Palo Verde
on May 13, 2019 at 8:59 pm
2 people like this

^ In my experience, someone asking for a cigarette is often just an invitation to a more prolonged conversation. A desire for human contact. Also in my experience, give someone an inch they'll take a mile. No good deed goes unpunished. And taxes only go up.


Joe Camel
Midtown
on May 15, 2019 at 1:13 pm
Joe Camel, Midtown
on May 15, 2019 at 1:13 pm
10 people like this

> ^ In my experience, someone asking for a cigarette is often just an invitation to a more prolonged conversation. A desire for human contact.

Speaking from personal experience, I beg to differ. It is indicative of a freeloader/opportunist/deadbeat trying to score a free smoke.

As for a desire for human contact, that is their problem or issue.

I prefer not to interact with these types of individuals.


Would Jesus Bum A Smoke?
Evergreen Park
on May 15, 2019 at 9:54 pm
Would Jesus Bum A Smoke?, Evergreen Park
on May 15, 2019 at 9:54 pm
5 people like this

Another consideration...Jesus could turn water to wine so he wouldn't be bumming spare change for some cheap booze + he wouldn't need a smartphone because his word is already out.

As for the tobacco, I suspect he might opt to smoke something a tad more relaxing given the hectic trials and tribulations of modern day life...and he wouldn't need a vaping device either.

So all things considered, the Savior is not walking the streets bumming smokes and spare change.


Scrotal Recall
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 18, 2019 at 12:45 pm
Scrotal Recall, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 18, 2019 at 12:45 pm
Like this comment

Been reading the comments and as someone who owns both property and RVs. I prefer my RV life OVER my house. You wonder why? Let me state the benefits.

1. Elimination of work commutes. Saves our planet. Houses are lame bc they are RARELY AT YOUR STATIC HOUSE. The average American drives 1300 miles per month commuting errands and work. I drive 300 or less walking to work from my RV. So I'm saving the planet.

2. Free to customize my house (rv) as permitting is null and void . Try putting solar on your house with battery without a permit. Not allowed. I've had zero utility bills for over a decade. I'm all solar and lithium batts DIY on my rig for over a decade. I'm saving the planet here too.

3. Renting is for suckers always will be.

4. If you hate transient life then you hate humans history of discovery. Transitent living goes back before Christopher Columbus or Lewis and Clark. It can be cutting edge living. It is for us.

5. Fuel taxes go to roads if you are complaining about mobile rigs not paying retarded taxes you are wrong. If you want go complain go after the EVs who have been skirting taxes way more prolifically. Btw I'm all for EVs but not ones with special privledes like subsidy. Car pool. Rebates. Etc. They should pay equal taxes bc frankly they use the roads and are heavier than your average ice car its size.

Now I do not advocate permanent street use or dumping waste. Enforcement should go over rigs not moving after say 48 to 72 hrs. Ticket them. And tow ones that cannot move on their own power. Also cite the illegal dumpers with justifiable evidence minimum $250 per cite and up. These funds should go towards programs to assist the community. Pumpout. Showers. Parking lot. Etc. But someone needs to make sure the funds are used appropriately California has a terrible track record of abuse of funds look at that caltrain extention to LA. What a disaster. If y'all wanna complain I suggest you complain with a solution if not you are arguing zero weight. Ticket. Fine. Enforce and appropriately manage the funds. Peace! terminator out.


Chrissy
Crescent Park
on May 18, 2019 at 3:10 pm
Chrissy, Crescent Park
on May 18, 2019 at 3:10 pm
5 people like this

I think most Palo Altans would be less hostile to the RVs if they didn't look so crappy. Their run-down appearance really cheapens the appearance of our beautiful town.

If these RVs looked more like the ones you see at Stanford tailgate parties it would be different.

I perceive a general lack of personal pride in one's projected appearances and this is very disturbing, especially in Palo Alto.


Keeping Up Appearances
another community
on May 18, 2019 at 5:41 pm
Keeping Up Appearances, another community
on May 18, 2019 at 5:41 pm
4 people like this

"I perceive a general lack of personal pride in one's projected appearances and this is very disturbing, especially in Palo Alto."

Ah yes Chrissy, your deepness of thought/consciousness is perhaps a reflection of Palo Alto in general.

Welcome to LA north!


Chrissy
Crescent Park
on May 20, 2019 at 4:06 pm
Chrissy, Crescent Park
on May 20, 2019 at 4:06 pm
5 people like this

It's true! If most of those homeless RVs were Mercedes Sprinter models, Palo Alto would look so much nicer. Like a vacation resort.

A rusted mundane-looking RV is so gauche. And why are they always beige?


Bon Jovi - Palo Alto Style
College Terrace
on May 20, 2019 at 6:07 pm
Bon Jovi - Palo Alto Style, College Terrace
on May 20, 2019 at 6:07 pm
2 people like this

^^^ "shot through the heart & you're to blame. You give PA a bad name."
@ Chrissy...are you from Westwood/UCLA?


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