News


RV parking program proposed, again

Council members Tom DuBois and Lydia Kou suggest launching 'safe parking' program on San Antonio Road site

More recreational vehicles have appeared along El Camino Real and other major streets in Palo Alto, where two City Council members have proposed establishing a safe RV parking program in the city. File photo by Ben Hacker.

Following the lead of East Palo Alto and Mountain View, two members of the Palo Alto City Council are proposing an overnight parking area for recreational vehicles (RVs), whose growing presence along El Camino Real, in residential neighborhoods and near local parks has become a source of concern for residents and city leaders.

In a memo that the City Council will consider on June 10, council members Tom DuBois and Lydia Kou suggest the city consider a pilot program on public land at 1237 San Antonio Road, east of U.S. Highway 101. Often referred to as the Los Altos Water Treatment Plant, the site was previously eyed as a possible location for a new and bigger animal shelter. Under the proposal, the city would explore either constructing bathrooms or bringing portable bathroom and shower services to the lot.

Kou told the Weekly that she proposed establishing an RV program several years ago to help people living in RVs, though the idea did not gain traction at that time. Palo Alto staff talked with churches about opening their parking lots to RV, but few stepped up and the program quickly fizzled.

Meanwhile, other cities have moved ahead with their own programs. East Palo Alto this month opened a pilot Safe Parking program, just as a city ban on oversized vehicles went into effect. Funded by the city and the nonprofit Project WeHope, the program allows residents to park their vehicles in a lot at 1798 Bay Road between 7:30 p.m. and 7 a.m.

The Mountain View City Council on May 7 approved a deal to lease and eventually buy an unused 2-acre property from the Valley Transportation Authority to provide safe parking for homeless residents. The city adopted in March its own ban on overnight RV parking, though that restriction will not take effect until at least late 2020.

All three cities are trying to balance residents' concerns about safety and sanitation around RV encampments with the goal of helping residents who are unable to afford permanent housing. Earlier this month, a biennial census released by Santa Clara County showed a 31% increase in the county's population of homeless residents between January 2017 and January 2019, up to the current total of 9,706.

DuBois and Kou's memo notes that the number of people living in vehicles has "grown substantially in the last decade.

"The effort must be made to find immediate and short- and long-term solutions," their memo states. "The ultimate goal is to provide assistance to people to get them back on the path to stable housing."

Kou and DuBois request that city staff identify large lots that could be used for a managed overnight parking program, including areas on Bayshore Road and at Stanford Research Park. It proposes that the city initiate the program at the San Antonio site and ask Santa Clara County to fund employment and housing services for RV residents.

The memo also recommends that the new program be run by an organization supported by the city, directing staff to explore potential partnerships with area nonprofits including Project WeHope, Samaritan House, Life Moves and Abode Services.

Kou said that one of her goals in proposing the RV program is to establish a balance between the city's existing plans to build new housing and the need to take care of current residents who are struggling to get by. She and DuBois both see the issue of RV encampments as one that the city should "not sweep under the rug or turn our eye away from.

"At this point, we have a housing plan that really addresses new production," Kou told the Weekly. "I want to make sure that the people who are living here now (in RVs) are given some consideration as well."

DuBois said the memo aims to reopen the conversation about both helping the RV residents and gaining a better understanding of who they are. It underscores the need to "understand if there are higher-income or transient workers who are using vehicle dwelling as a lifestyle choice who should be directed to other types of residences or location," the memo states.

It also directs staff to reserve spots in the new parking program for low-income individuals.

DuBois said he believes local businesses can play an important role in addressing the problem, particularly if they are located in commercial and industrial areas.

"I'd really like to see the business community step up, particularly ones with some of the larger parking lots," DuBois said. "There are potentially large lots in places where it wouldn't bother anyone."

Even if the council agrees to explore using the San Antonio Road site for RV parking, the city will need many more sites to accommodate the potential demand, he noted.

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Comments

36 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Evergreen Park
on May 31, 2019 at 8:06 am

Thank you to council members Kou and DuBois who demonstrated that they care about the most pressing housing needs in our community!!!
Let’s see how the council majority responds; will they demonstrate the same concern or refuse to discuss this Like they refused to discuss renter protections a few years ago!



20 people like this
Posted by RV Dweller
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 31, 2019 at 8:16 am

> Thank you to council members Kou and DuBois who demonstrated that they care about the most pressing housing needs in our community!!!

Palo Alto doesn't care about homeless RVers. They would rather see them eradicated.

PA just trying to avoid some bad PR & a possible lawsuit.

Web Link


12 people like this
Posted by Transit? Schools?
a resident of Palo Verde
on May 31, 2019 at 8:48 am

Transit? Schools? is a registered user.

I think this is a start -- we need a better option than parking all over the city. But it will need to be coupled with transit. (I assume at least some of the RV'ers choose to live here because they work here.) I'd also like to understand residency and taxes. For example, can kids living there go to Palo Alto schools? We don't have to decide that right away, but it matters. With ADUs, RVs, etc, we are adding people without adding to our tax base, which is not sustainable, especially given the city's financial problems with pensions.


7 people like this
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 31, 2019 at 8:56 am

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

IAW the SFC 05.29 - "Bill intended to aid those living in cars" - Assemblyman David Chiu wrote bill 516 which would bar cities from citing cars and RV's for setting up house on streets - with some qualifications. This no-tow law is supported by the Committee for Civil Rights but opposed by the League of California Cities. Each city can develop their own policies. This bill was approved by the state assembly with 20 members abstaining. The bill now goes to the senate.

Mr. Chiu appeared at the Presidio Memorial Day Services, as did Nancy Pelosi - both not on the announced schedule - both giving lengthy speeches. Mr. Chiu spoke to the fact that his relatives were discriminated against when they came to the US long ago. Ms. Pelosi talked to her relatives - father the mayor of Baltimore and then assembly person back at a time when Baltimore was the second biggest port on the east coast. She will be taking a pack of Presidio sand to France for the D-day celebrations in June.
Question I have is why 20 members abstain. Do we pay people to abstain? Where is Mr. Berman in all of this? Suggest that you get this new policy in place quickly and establish this as the cities policy for the RV's and publish the existing policies regarding RV's in residential areas and cars on street for more than 72 hours. Also no sleeping in cars on residential streets. Suggest that the RV park also provide services to people in cars that are parked in the same 101 east section of town.
We need to advise our local assembly people and senator that they need to be front and center on issues that affect our quality of life because any silence on their part will not further their political career.


9 people like this
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 31, 2019 at 9:18 am

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

Our City of Palo Alto web-site needs to provide the following information:
State of California Senate District 13 - Jerry Hill
State of California Assembly District 24 - Marc Berman
US Congressional District 18 - Anna Eshoo.

We need to understand on the number of bills being processed by Mr. Chiu and Mr. Weiner and others who our representatives are, addresses for offices, and contact information for business purposes. I should not have to go to Wikipedia for that information. We need notification as to how Mr. Berman is voting, as well as Mr. Hill. We do not pay people to abstain or resist - Ms. Eshoo. I realize that these people are all trying to get along and further their political careers but their career is representing the city that votes them there in the first place.


17 people like this
Posted by Pat Burt
a resident of Community Center
on May 31, 2019 at 10:18 am

Pat Burt is a registered user.

Thanks to Tom and Lydia for bringing forward general and specific opportunities to address this large, growing problem. While not all of the sites will prove feasible, several are likely to be. I hope that city staff will engage the community in a thoughtful process that can build broad support.


18 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 31, 2019 at 10:35 am

Let me preface this by saying that generally I support Tom DuBois and Lydia Kou. And, I'm very liberal.

This is a very bad idea. It doesn't scale. It isn't "affordable housing". Let's start building actual affordable housing on, e.g., the Fry's site, and, resettle actual Palo Alto residents stuck in RVs into that housing, and, tow the rest of the RVs out of town or to the junkyard. RVs are not urban housing. RV "supporters", please ask yourselves what the endpoint to this is.


19 people like this
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 31, 2019 at 10:36 am

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

Note that Mr. Hill's office on El Camino in San Mateo. Mr. Berman's office is on El Camino in Los Altos. There are no RV's on El Camino in San Mateo or Los Altos. Do you find it strange that there are a huge number of RV's on El Camino in Palo Alto? Possibly both of these gentlemen have already arranged their city policies concerning these problems and feel no driving need to address the problem. Time to make this their problem.


16 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 31, 2019 at 10:37 am

Posted by RV Dweller, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood

>> Palo Alto doesn't care about homeless RVers. They would rather see them eradicated.

Wrong. I don't want -you- to be eradicated. I want you to have a real home. I just want your RV to be towed to the junkyard and recycled. It doesn't work as urban housing.


13 people like this
Posted by Pat Burt
a resident of Community Center
on May 31, 2019 at 11:09 am

Pat Burt is a registered user.

@Anon
The need for affordable housing in our city and region is not an either/or issue. There is a big need for short term and long term housing for low and moderate income workers. Creating good locations with services for RV dwellers is part of the solution.
Permanent affordable housing requires land and funding. Preserving Buena Vista, building Mayfield Place and the recent approval of the Wilton Court development have all been important affordable projects. Contrary to repeated claims otherwise, they were all supported by the adjacent neighborhoods. The current North Ventura Area Plan also has strong neighborhood support for low and moderate income housing.
Unfortunately, the city's affordable housing fund is now largely depleted. That's why the city needs to move forward with higher housing impact fees on commercial development. And more importantly, we need a tiered business tax, focused on big companies and developers, to fund local transportation and mitigate the housing impacts of their growth.


28 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 31, 2019 at 11:35 am

I think there are several questions that should be addressed while discussing this.

1. Are all RV dwellers the same? Are all RVs the same? For example, do these RV dwellers become permanent residents or do they live in them during the week and go home to wherever at weekends? Are these RVs roadworthy and licensed? Are they fully functioning with plumbing and cooking facilities? Does this type of thing make a difference when we are discussing this subject?

2. If we are then calling these RV dwellers Palo Alto residents, what does it mean for things like schools and similar services? Will the residents be getting drivers licenses with Palo Alto addresses? Will these things matter when we are discussing this?

3. Will we become a magnet for even more RVs than we have now already on our streets? If the RVs from say El Camino move to a permanent site, will that make the space available for new RV dwellers to move in? I am not sure how or if we can take all the possible influx of those who want to dwell in RVs in Silicon Valley.

These may not be "nice" things to talk about, but the reality is that we have to take them into account while discussing the possibility of a permanent site.


4 people like this
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 31, 2019 at 12:35 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

Good questions. New RV's have bathrooms that presumably work. They are then suppose to dump that collection at a sanitary site. Same with garbage. There are some RV's on El Camino which are propped up - presumably they have no working sanitary equipment and maybe do not even run.
A person slept in his van on my street and when I went out he was peeing in the gutter outside the van. Not a pretty site. Later there was other outflow on the street. If we respect science we know this is not right - people are getting all types of diseases that were presumably cured long ago. Most modern science assumes that proper sanitation is the rule of running a modern city. We are suppose to be an educated, well-running city. So expect that the city will maintain the common sense rules that people are not sleeping in their cars anywhere and everywhere. RV's are not parking everywhere and anywhere.


4 people like this
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 31, 2019 at 12:36 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

Good questions. New RVs have bathrooms that presumably work. They are then suppose to dump that collection at a sanitary site. Same with garbage. There are some RVs on El Camino which are propped up - presumably they have no working sanitary equipment and maybe do not even run.
A person slept in his van on my street and when I went out he was peeing in the gutter outside the van. Not a pretty site. Later there was other outflow on the street. If we respect science we know this is not right - people are getting all types of diseases that were presumably cured long ago. Most modern science assumes that proper sanitation is the rule of running a modern city. We are suppose to be an educated, well-running city. So expect that the city will maintain the common sense rules that people are not sleeping in their cars anywhere and everywhere. RVs are not parking everywhere and anywhere.


32 people like this
Posted by Neighbor
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 1, 2019 at 8:55 pm

How about using our tax money to improve the lives of those paying taxes and financially contributing to the city? There are plenty of potholes to fill, streets to repave and the city just jacked up fees. Where is the funding for this coming from?! Why is it benefiting people who aren't tax paying citizens of this city??

If I clearly can not afford a Tesla it is no one's responsibility to purchase it for me or provide it for me. I will buy a car within my means. Same with housing. I would like to live in Hillsborough or Atherton or in some fancy tower in Upper East Side but I live within my means.


19 people like this
Posted by Pfft
a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 1, 2019 at 11:45 pm

This is just politics, not a solution. The RV parking lot will fill up and the politicians can say they addressed the issue. There is a Palo Alto Online article which states that most of these RV owners do not work in Palo Alto.

Too bad the Palo Alto City Council members don't have the courage to ban overnight parking for RVs as the Mountain View City Council has done. Mountain View City Council is always a step ahead of Palo Alto.


13 people like this
Posted by Let's Welcome Our New Residents!
a resident of Ventura
on Jun 2, 2019 at 7:43 am

A marvelous idea and a progressive approach towards welcoming our new mobile neighbors!

A permit program will need to be initiated & RVs should provide verifiable proof that their dwellings have operational toilet & sewage disposal systems. A city RV inspector may need to be appointed/hired to confirm mobile dwelling public health & safety ordinances.

If PA can offer a low-rent trailer park, there is no reason they cannot provide a KOA parking area for RVs...transient or permanent.

It is time for Palo Altans to stop & think about people other than themselves. We do not want our community to become a Danville or Orinda type of town where people only worship the dollar sign & their own self-serving interests.That is a white Republican mindset & not reflective of PA as a whole.


5 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 2, 2019 at 8:24 am

Posted by Let's Welcome Our New Residents!, a resident of Ventura

>> A marvelous idea and a progressive approach towards welcoming our new mobile neighbors!

How many?

>> If PA can offer a low-rent trailer park, there is no reason they cannot provide a KOA parking area for RVs...transient or permanent.

Where?

>> It is time for Palo Altans to stop & think about people other than themselves.

Why focus our generosity on RVs-- of all things?


10 people like this
Posted by Let's Welcome Our New Residents!
a resident of Ventura
on Jun 2, 2019 at 9:19 am

@Anon

> How many?

Refer to below site.

> Where?

North of PA (east to some) off Embarcadero past golf course & near old landfill site. Plenty of space & away from public view.

Palo Alto residents can then have their cake & eat it too in terms of projecting their oftentimes misleading liberal & humanistic 'appearances'.

A place for the displaced where they cannot be seen or ordinarily dealt with by the magnanimous citizenry of Palo Alto!


4 people like this
Posted by Out Of Sight
a resident of Barron Park
on Jun 2, 2019 at 11:59 am

^^^This makes sense. Just situate the homeless RVs near the old PA dump yard site & be done with it.


23 people like this
Posted by enforcement?
a resident of College Terrace
on Jun 3, 2019 at 12:05 am

I am generally in favor of Palo Alto providing RV lots with appropriate sanitation facilities but do have some concerns:
1) Would PAPD enforce the 72-hour parking ban on RVs (and other vehicles) outside the lot? Or would Palo Alto enact a law like that of Menlo Park banning overnight street parking of all nonresident vehicles?
2) Would RV owner/landlords who rent their RVs to others be able to use the RV lots?
3) Who would have priority for use of the RV lots if demand exceeds the available space?


13 people like this
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jun 3, 2019 at 7:06 am

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

Menlo Park is in San Mateo County. That county appears to be dealing with the RV problem in a much better fashion. No RV's on El Camino. RV parks in locations designated for that purpose, many east of 101 in RWC and Foster City. So why is one county working these issues in a far more comprehensive manner? Does proximity of FB provide some assistance in this matter? Was in Google territory this weekend and noticed a back street filled with RV's in the middle of that complex.
Maybe our city fathers can figure out what the policies are in San Mateo County that appear to be more effective than Santa Clara County. This county in general is missing the mark. Figure out what the policies are there so we can more efficiently deal with this problem. Sanitation is a big factor - no law passed is going to allow that issue to be ignored. We are suppose to be a civilized community and we all know that sanitation is part of being civilized.


2 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 3, 2019 at 1:07 pm

Posted by Let's Welcome Our New Residents!, a resident of Ventura

>> North of PA (east to some) off Embarcadero past golf course & near old landfill site. Plenty of space & away from public view.

>> A place for the displaced where they cannot be seen or ordinarily dealt with by the magnanimous citizenry of Palo Alto!

Please set aside some of the apparently copious space for tents. Perhaps the city can provide shopping carts for people to keep their stuff together. You may not like this, but, I'm prejudiced. I would much rather see a nice, brightly colored tent city than a sea of RVs. Better for the environment, too.


54 people like this
Posted by Fed Up With RV Campers
a resident of South of Midtown
on Jun 3, 2019 at 1:24 pm

There are 24 street parking spots in front of our office.

Since 2012 almost 18 a day are taken up by RV campers. Each RV has up to FIVE vehicles associate with it also parked on the street.

Almost all of the vehicles have expired tags.

Our staff is constantly complaining about the lack of street parking and the RV squatters.

Our friendly community Service Officer stated that there are no towing companies willing to move the RVs for the following reasons:

1. They make their money storing and charging rent to release the RVs and the owners will not pick them up if towed.

2. Hassle moving someone's home. We have heard it is dangerous for the towing companies and the police don't like to tangle with these folks.

3. City Council has told the Police that this is not a "priority"

Since there are no towing companies that will do it for free, the ones that might charge up to $2k for removal. The City does not have budget for this and only move the worst of the worst.

The RV squatters do not pay taxes. We do. It is 100% unfair that these RVs take up our parking spots, damage the ground under them, are a noise nuisance (generators running all the time), sanitary issue (dumping the waste tanks in the storm sewers), and hogging parking spaces used for legitimate businesses.

We are very compassionate. In year one through seven...we were compassionate. But in year 8...we have reached our limit.

We are at the point to paying the RV folks to go park their RVs up in Crescent Park or Professorville and see if we can get the City to take action.

Providing a "safe" parking lot will do ZERO to fix the problem as it will simply invite more RV campers to take up residence where others were previously since Palo Alto is so accommodating.

We have even considered asking the City to install parking meters.

UGH!




8 people like this
Posted by The Old Professor
a resident of Professorville
on Jun 3, 2019 at 1:58 pm

> Please set aside some of the apparently copious space for tents. Perhaps the city can provide shopping carts for people to keep their stuff together. You may not like this, but, I'm prejudiced. I would much rather see a nice, brightly colored tent city than a sea of RVs. Better for the environment, too.

^^^A good idea. Not everyone has an RV. Porta-potties should be added too.

> We are at the point to paying the RV folks to go park their RVs up in Crescent Park or Professorville and see if we can get the City to take action.

Why Crescent Park or Professorvile? South of Midtown provides far more ease of access to shopping & public transit for some Palo Alto-based RV residents. Apparently your neighborhood is a very attractive site to nest their weary wheels.

Why not simply knock on the door of their RVs & politely ask them to leave? You might even consider presenting them with a thoughtful going away gift of your choosing.

Then after they depart, instruct your employees to park their cars in these 24 spaces 365/24/7. Problem solved!


4 people like this
Posted by 2 Prongs
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jun 3, 2019 at 2:20 pm

1)Set aside space for a SPECIFIC number of RVs.
2)Make street dwelling illegal but give them a wait-list number to come back when space in the approved area opens up.

We cannot cater to an infinite or continuing stream of RVs, but we can do our part for some of them.


27 people like this
Posted by Appearances Mean Everything
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 3, 2019 at 3:24 pm

> We are at the point to paying the RV folks to go park their RVs up in Crescent Park or Professorville and see if we can get the City to take action.

Consistent with my egalitarian mindset, I actually let a decrepit-looking RV park in my front driveway for a couple of days just to piss the some neighbors off. One of those parasitic RE agents was conducting an open house next door & since I've had a few run-ins with the seller over some trivial matters, I thought I'd enhance the prospective sales experience.

Everyone clutching their sales brochures asked the agent, "Who lives next door?"

I could actually overhear these queries in my backyard while I was having a few beers & smoking a joint.


19 people like this
Posted by YP
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 3, 2019 at 3:38 pm

YP is a registered user.

It's depressing we have to even have this conversation. Bleeding heart liberals that run almost all of California can talk all they want about their concern for the homeless but where is the action?? It's NIMBYISM let's admit it.

As someone who has lived in the Bay Area for close to 50 years it's become a mess of traffic, trash, graffiti and homeless thank you Democrats. Good riddance!


16 people like this
Posted by Same Old Story
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jun 3, 2019 at 3:55 pm

> Bleeding heart liberals that run almost all of California can talk all they want about their concern for the homeless but where is the action?? It's NIMBYISM let's admit it.

They only do it play opposite sides of the political coin. It's like the wall, Obama proposed sealing off the borders when he was POTUS but when #45 encourages the same measures, the Democrats call it inhumane & immoral. Go figure.

To take either party seriously is ludicrous & to take certain Palo Alto leaders (or the PACC as a whole) seriously & laughingly falls into the same category.

All politicians are buffoons trying to steal your vote of confidence.


6 people like this
Posted by 99PercentAusterity
a resident of another community
on Jun 3, 2019 at 4:36 pm

Rents have soared and with that comes increased homelessness. Incomes are not keeping pace with rents, to say the least. The rental market is corrupt as hell and needs to be tightly regulated so there is zero homelessness owing to being rent burdened into the streets. Public housing tied to incomes is another option, with no farming out of management for private profit, if private rentals don't comply with strict regulation of pricing. And real estate market is corrupt as all hell too - the cost to buy a home ANYWHERE in the Bay Area, in much of California, and the country, wherever there are jobs, is INSANE. (e.g. my childhood home cost parents around 30K and is now worth, I mean valued at $2M, but it's in no way worth that! Utter madness.)

RVs aren't the answer (just like sleeping rough anywhere isn't, nor shelters), but until private owners of rentals are no longer allowed to go rogue on pricing, they won't go away--there will be more and more. Homeless people with or without jobs can't cease to exist simply because people don't wish to see them around, so banning them from one place to the next just pushes a homelessness situation on to the next place with no resolution.

The number of churches in the Bay Area, let alone the country, boggles the mind, and so perhaps the feds, in response to the homelessness crisis nationwide, as a temporary measure while a permanent housing solution is sought, should withhold a church's tax-exempt status if it refuses to allow its parking lot to be used when there are no services taking place. This could be the case with universities (all non-profit educational campuses) as well when there are no classes or activities in session. And any business/corporation operating with the help of public subsidies, in any form, could forfeit those subsidies, if it doesn't allow lots to be used when business is closed.

The cost to meet one's basic needs for living (housing, food, transportation, healthcare, etc.) has risen astronomically owing to insatiable greed and our government, at every level, has aided the flow of money into the hands of a small percentage of the population and allowed the majority to work harder for less and pay more for less for WAY TOO LONG. The growing disparity of wealth is bearing its unpleasant fruits, like homelessness.


11 people like this
Posted by Pfft
a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 3, 2019 at 5:29 pm

@99PercentAusterity: Several years ago, the city asked churches to volunteer to allow car dwellers to live in their parking lots. ONLY ONE church volunteered.

The left are NIMBYs. Sure, it's okay to be sympathetic and accepting until it affects them.

As far as Appearances Mean Everything's story, yes, we pay high mortgages here for a reason. RVs should be banned immediately.

Can't we take this to a vote? Then the politicians cannot be blamed, it's the residents deciding.

@Pat Burt, can you answer? You live across from the Childrens Library. Let's send the RVs there, great area for RVs! Help your residents, we are complaining.


6 people like this
Posted by Samuel L
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 3, 2019 at 5:35 pm

Samuel L is a registered user.

How about a trial program but with stipulations such as any resident must show proof of employment. Also, how about in their application for a space they write a letter stating why they "need" to live in the Bay Area. Do they have family in the area? Do they have a job that can only be done in the Bay Area? Or, do they just like the Bay Area?


8 people like this
Posted by Pfft
a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 3, 2019 at 5:47 pm

@Samuel L: Great posting! It's mostly that they just like the Bay Area. Even if they have a job or family in the area, they can commute like everyone else. It's basic stubbornness and they aren't paying taxes. Why move elsewhere when they can live here?


9 people like this
Posted by to fed up
a resident of College Terrace
on Jun 3, 2019 at 5:56 pm

>no towing companies willing to move the RVs [because] ...they make their money storing and charging rent to release the RVs and the owners will not pick them up if towed.

Perhaps they should focus on towing RVs that are being used as rentals. I imagine the owners would be willing to pony up the fees to release their "cash cows."


5 people like this
Posted by ZeroZero Win
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 3, 2019 at 6:41 pm

While everyone here is arguing about the value of the proposed, what I am hoping this is, is a baby steps we need towards pushing our community into creating ACTUAL affordable housing near REAL public transportation. The housing shortage issues are very real. Our children cannot afford to live here, and it separates families due to the economics. And we cannot add more housing and become more affordable and denser without a consideration of public transportation.

I appreciate that we as a community want to keep our RV neighbors safe and clean, I support this idea only as a temporary band-aid solution.


6 people like this
Posted by Logical
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 3, 2019 at 6:55 pm

@2 prongs
How can we limit people? This isn’t logical. It’s politicians pandering to a particular segment of the population. Employment is available and if you can’t afford nearby or outer areas of SF Bay Area, one surely can’t afford Palo Alto(!) - much like I sadly can’t afford Beverly Hills where Hollywood stars live in huge mansions. But we taxpayers are expected to subsidize unknown persons from wherever. I anticipate an argument when a van is requested to move, as in your time’s up. This whole thing isn’t logical.
Tell your friends- I expect a never ending stream of RVs to the Baylands and significant law enforcement and administrative headaches, all at our expense!


2 people like this
Posted by House The Needy & Maintain Your Property Values
a resident of Stanford
on Jun 3, 2019 at 6:59 pm

Another alternative to the proliferation of RVs would be to allow for a shantytown of makeshift dwellings in Palo Alto. Not everyone can afford to own a run-down looking RV & by providing for a community of homeless tent & scrap wood dwellers perhaps the unlawful parking of RVs along Palo Alto streets and thoroughfares could be reduced somewhat.

In time, with state & federal grants this delapidated assortment of mishmash housing could eventually 'redevelop' into a viable sub-community along the lines of 'My Man Godfrey'.

There are several areas that immediately come to mind...the baylands as someone mentioned earlier, perhaps the back parking lot at Town & Country Village, parts of Stanford property and maybe even somewhere in the Ventura/Barron Park vicinity.

That way Palo Alto residents would be able to maintain their residential appearances while providing for (and tolerating) the squatters they have come to detest.

If you have been to Santa Cruz lately, there are literally hundreds of homeless roaming along Ocean Street because the city shut down a homeless encampment that accommodated...hundreds of homeless and most of these homeless are not from Santa Cruz.

By providing a secured area for transient RVs and homeless residing in tents and
dwellings from makeshift materials, Palo Alto could maintain both its appearance of having liberal, humanitarian values while keeping the deplorables they despise away from public view.

These RVs are not going away & more homeless will be working their way into PA town including the mentally ill, impoverished and substance abusers. Why not provide a place for them as long as it is NIMBY?





6 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 3, 2019 at 7:07 pm

Posted by House The Needy & Maintain Your Property Values

>> There are several areas that immediately come to mind...the baylands as someone mentioned earlier, perhaps the back parking lot at Town & Country Village, parts of Stanford property and maybe even somewhere in the Ventura/Barron Park vicinity.

Actually, Crescent Park is the first place that immediately comes to mind.


5 people like this
Posted by revdreileen
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jun 3, 2019 at 10:55 pm

revdreileen is a registered user.

"Palo Alto staff talked with churches about opening their parking lots to RV, but few stepped up and the program quickly fizzled."

This is inaccurate. Several churches spent a lot of time researching parking programs and met with city staff about it. We described programs that have worked well in other cities. These programs depend upon a partnership between faith communities and government. Interested churches told city staff that we would need to partner WITH the city for a program to work, as there would need to be programmatic support similar to what DuBois and Kou are now proposing. City staff made it clear that the churches would be on our own, including dealing with neighbors who might be opposed to such a program. (It was clear at the time that the city council would not have supported such an effort, so it is understandable that the staff would not want to take this on.) When we realized that the city would not partner with us in a way that would make such a program workable, "the program quickly fizzled."

If the city were now to develop a program for RV dwellers, I have no doubt that some of our faith communities would be willing to explore participating.


17 people like this
Posted by Marc
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 4, 2019 at 8:37 am

Why are people living in RV's considered "residents"? Do they pay taxes to Palo Alto like residents who live in fixed dwellings?

I don't understand this "wet foot/dry foot" logic. That as soon as someone enters the city limits they are "owed" a place to live.

If we open RV parks, why are we not charging rent? Are the RV locations open to anyone? People that once resided in Palo Alto? People who work in Palo Alto? People complain about a job/housing imbalance, then why do we let people have RV's in Palo Alto that don't work here? If they are employed, why don't they park their RV's in the same town that they work in?

/marc


6 people like this
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jun 4, 2019 at 8:50 am

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

A church is an organization that has insurance liability based on specific assumptions. Once you introduce people in RV's on your property with the intent of overnight parking and use of kitchen and bathroom facilities for people you may - or may not know then you just increased the cost of managing the facility. And the members of the church are not interested in having "their church" become a landing place for unknown people who are using the facilities. And the cost of this activity then increases the church's insurance liability.


4 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 4, 2019 at 9:03 am

The church uses have been discussed before. Most churches with parking lots need their full parking lot for sunday usage and all RVs would have to be gone by 8.00 am on Sunday mornings and possibly other times such as large weddings, memorial services, etc.

There is also the fact that insurance companies would get involved and that would make it very complicated.

One other aspect that is not being discussed in this debate is whether these RVs are roadworthy and would be used as transport during the day or take their owners home to wherever at weekends. Are we talking about a dumping ground for old RVs that can't be moved and are just no more than tents on wheels, or are we talking about usable transportation that need overnight parking facilities for their owners. These are two different scenarios in my opinion and lumping them together as having one solution makes little sense to me.


6 people like this
Posted by The Old Professor
a resident of Professorville
on Jun 4, 2019 at 9:58 am

> Are we talking about a dumping ground for old RVs that can't be moved and are just no more than tents on wheels,

^^^ In many cases, yes. RV landlords will often park a dilapidated, inoperable RV on a certain street & simply hand over the door keys to the renter as they do not want renters driving off with their rental 'property'.

In other instances, RVs that are barely operable & to avoid mechanical breakdown while mobile are often parked on various streets semi-permanently.

There are two types of homeless...RV dwellers and non-RV dwellers (those who seek their shelter in tents, behind strip malls etc.). Both are a sad reflection on our society as no one in America should remain homeless or hungry.

The solution to this problem rests with the power elite who are running this country & control vast sums of money. They are the ones who can easily step-up & alleviating this chronic social problem...not the taxpayers, churches or municipalities.

The mega-rich are the ones who should be held accountable for the disparity of wealth and living resources in the United States. Unfortunately, it is the American middle class bearing the burden of social services & various accommodations through heavy taxation & many are rightfully angry.

The founding fathers having witnessed the French Revolution were well aware of this potential problem & thus promoted middle class ideals to serve as a buffer between the extreme poor & extremely wealthy.

The middle class ensures the wealth & lifestyles of the power elite through taxation, their commitment to employment, purchasing power & in general, playing by the rules.

The uber-wealthy & poverty-stricken homeless in turn break many of the rules to suit their individual purposes and in many ways they are cut from the same cloth in striving to fulfill their goals at the expense of THE MIDDLE CLASS.

The two economic extremes are what's wrong in America. If everyone was middle class, there would be no major disparities of wealth and many of these social problems could be addresssed & resolved because the available tax funding would be procured on a more egalitarian basis. Everyone knows that the mega-wealthy rely on every trick in the book to avoid paying their fair share of the taxes.

Unfortunately most Americans worship the dollar sign & it is the ongoing goal of many to become mega-wealthy so they can become a card-carrying member of the power elite. With membership comes certain privileges.

It is an ongoing delusion as most of these money-grubbing efforts are being undertaken over far smaller amounts of money and that is why we have attorneys...to enable those continuing efforts & illusive pipedreams.





9 people like this
Posted by Rick
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jun 4, 2019 at 12:29 pm

I would like to see an example of a honeless/RV lot that is successful. I think it is an excellent idea, but wasn't the use of Cubberly as an RV lot scrubbed because of misconduct there?

The horse may be out of this barn, but we -must- limit development in the interests of our service workers. The influx of well salaried tech workers is setting fire to our community and the plight of the RV dwellers is a clear and obvious symptom.


7 people like this
Posted by Me 2
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 4, 2019 at 1:49 pm

" The influx of well salaried tech workers is setting fire to our community."

Well-salaried tech workers have been here for almost 40 years (Apple IPO was Dec 1980). Where have you been?


14 people like this
Posted by Rick
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jun 4, 2019 at 4:12 pm

@Me 2 Yeah, yeah - and before that Hewlett Packard, Ampex, Varian, Fairchild, etc. Unlike you, I've actually been alive for more than 40 years ;)

It is Palantir, Facebook, Alphabet and their Developer Groupies that have become the attractive nuisance behind the issues we face today. Well salaried tech workers started out as a balanced proportion of our population. They are now a cancer feeding on our infrastructure and pushing out service workers, creating RV favelas, and causing Uber-slaves to drive in endless circles in order to eke out a meager living. This is not a health economy. Not healthy at all.


3 people like this
Posted by 99PercentAusterity
a resident of another community
on Jun 4, 2019 at 4:16 pm

Me 2: "tech workers have been here for almost 40 years"

Yes, there have always been people who have worked in the field of technology, but there have not always been tech giants like Facebook, Google etc. And Apple become a behemoth - its new "campus" visible from space. And, most importantly, these giants rely on the visa worker schemes that kicked off in the 90s and ensure suppression of wages by flooding the country year on year with predominantly male Indian, then Chinese, then Eastern European and so on workers aged mid-20s to mid-30s who have in toe spouse, one to two kids, and often grandma and grandma from the home country helping out. And with the rise of these visa workers there has been the rise of rental and housing costs in general and massive investment in aviation to move this labor to tech jobs in the West overnight if need be. The visa program plays no small role in the housing crises. Let alone traffic issues. Check out the numbers added to the population year on year.

But a small percentage of the population is cleaning up and so...


3 people like this
Posted by 99PercentAusterity
a resident of another community
on Jun 4, 2019 at 4:26 pm

There are cities of visa workers arriving every year. Of interest, the program kicked off after US citizens working in the tech industry fought being exploited as contract workers rather than being hired as company employees with full benefits.

Anyways, the numbers pouring in are astronomical. But the industry owners and investors don't give a fig how their greed and desire for the utmost control of labor impacts the greater society, or even the city in which the HQ resides.

And these giants are subsidized to the eyeballs. No problem finding the land and money to throw at these guys.


4 people like this
Posted by Me 2
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 4, 2019 at 4:28 pm

"It is Palantir, Facebook, Alphabet and their Developer Groupies that have become the attractive nuisance behind the issues we face today. "

Actually most of them want to (and live in) San Francisco, not Palo Alto. That's why all these tech companies have opened large offices in SF. Missed the boat on that one.

"Well salaried tech workers started out as a balanced proportion of our population."

Give me a break. Everything feeds on tech money here. That includes all you attorneys, accountants and random boutique owners or bagger at Safeway. Just because your title doesn't say "engineer" doesn't mean you are not part of the tech ecosystem.

As for 99PercentAusterity, your post sounds strangely xenophobic. Afraid of immigrants?


6 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 4, 2019 at 4:36 pm

Posted by Rick, a resident of Adobe-Meadow

>> Unlike you, I've actually been alive for more than 40 years ;)

I wonder which one of us has been living here for the longest? But, I'm not posting PII. ;-)

>>It is Palantir, Facebook, Alphabet and their Developer Groupies that have become the attractive nuisance

Sure, everything you say. But, the difference between now and not-that-long-ago when HP was expanding is that HP expanded to local big facilities further south in Sunnyvale, Santa Clara, Cupertino, and, to Loveland, CO, Fort Collins, CO, Corvallis, OR, Santa Rosa, CA, Roseville, CA, San Diego, CA and, other locations. IBM had facilities in multiple cities as well. Of course, HP and IBM and so on assumed that tech workers and companies hired and fired carefully and avoided random layoffs.

Now, companies and employees have zero commitment to each other. The gig economy and all that. So, we are reduced to a few giant flexible labor pools. one right here in the Bay Area. Under current conditions, it apparently makes financial sense for one ginormous city in the world to have all tech companies/workers. But, that makes no social sense.

We need a corporation tax&etc law policy change that slows down the churn enough to allow companies and employees to make rational decisions to live in other places, like the old HP and its employees. Otherwise, we are going to have 7 Billion people living in the Bay Area instead of 7 Million.

Some "Silicon Valley" folks keep telling us that we "must" keep concentrating the world's population here. -Why?- Let's change the law to greatly discourage such giant concentrations.


7 people like this
Posted by Rick
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jun 4, 2019 at 5:12 pm

@Me 2:

"Actually most of them want to (and live in) San Francisco, not Palo Alto. That's why all these tech companies have opened large offices in SF. Missed the boat on that one."

Most of them might -want- to, but they actually live right here. The busses only move a small percentage of tech employees to and from SF.

"Give me a break. Everything feeds on tech money here. That includes all you attorneys, accountants and random boutique owners or bagger at Safeway. Just because your title doesn't say "engineer" doesn't mean you are not part of the tech ecosystem."

Not giving you a break. Regardless of who is on the tech gravy train there are too many people who can't afford to eat gruel, much less gravy. Why are you supporting what is so obviously a blatantly regressive system? The random baggers at Safeway are -not- getting any part of the gravy - hence the RV favelas.

Travis Kalanick made his billions from the Uber unicorn and won't shed one tear when the scam that is Uber collapses as unsustainable.

You just can't justify this...


6 people like this
Posted by Rick
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jun 4, 2019 at 5:21 pm

@99PercentAusterity, @Me 2,

and I should point out that the H-1B workers are also being exploited, though not so much and in a different way than our service workers.

One of the upsides is the diversity. I was commenting to a co-worker as we went to the cafeteria on our (yes, tech) campus that I had heard conversations in 8 different languages during that 10 minute walk. Not too many places on the planet where that happens peacefully.


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Posted by Me 2
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 4, 2019 at 5:52 pm

"Regardless of who is on the tech gravy train there are too many people who can't afford to eat gruel, much less gravy. Why are you supporting what is so obviously a blatantly regressive system?. "

Tech is much less regressive than Prop 13, which is the foundation of our housing problem. Not tech. At least with education, you can get a tech job. With that same education, you can't afford to live in the Bay Area.

It's easy to blame the 1%, but the real problem are the beneficiaries of a regressive property tax system in California.


5 people like this
Posted by Rick
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jun 4, 2019 at 6:10 pm

@Me 2

Agreed about Prop 13, of course. Glad you conceded the argument about tech since it was really indefensible. So is Prop 13, and Prop 13 is also contributing directly to the rise in tech salaries. I'm a beneficiary, of sorts. I doubt I could live here if I had to pay property tax on today's valuation of my house. It's all intertwined. Houses typically -depreciated- in value over time. This mad increase in home values is unique to this time and dependent on location.


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Posted by Me 2
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 4, 2019 at 6:15 pm

"Glad you conceded the argument about tech since it was really indefensible."

I didn't concede anything. Just redirecting you to the right place of blame.


4 people like this
Posted by Rick
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jun 4, 2019 at 6:29 pm

"I didn't concede anything. Just redirecting you to the right place of blame."

Misdirection, rather. Prop 13 is bad for society, but Tech exacerbated the fallout from Prop 13. You can call a tail a leg, but a dog still only has four legs. There is no position from which it can be argued that tech isn't directly responsible for the social and economic problems we are experiencing today. The only question is - how do we fix it? Given Prop 13 is a third rail in politics, we need to rein in development and hence tech.

So, I'm done here. The obvious doesn't need defending, unless it is to deal with anti-vaxers.


2 people like this
Posted by Strandwolf
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 4, 2019 at 6:34 pm

My family moved from San Jose to a Greenmeadow Eichler in 1955 and I went through PA public schools K-12. Two schools I attended closed due to insufficient enrollment: Terman and Cubberley. The tech business is cyclical. Why Facebook figures on hiring another 20,000 employees I do not understand. One would think that both the advertising and software components could be streamlined to cut labor overhead since these whippersnappers each cost the shareholders $150,000 annually what with added benefits. When will the hiring binge slack off and the layoffs begin? My parents' 4 bedroom Eichler cost $21,000 in '55 and they happily sold in 1980 for $160,000, thinking that amount was insane. I remember once around 1975 I guess it was when a real estate investor knocked on our door wanting to purchase the joint and confided to my father that the average price on a home on the Peninsula by 1990 would be $250,000. My old man laughed at the preposterousness of that notion--as would have many others.
I've downscaled; my dog and I operate out of nicely unassuming compact SUV.
Yes, most of the street-ensconced RVs appear somewhat down at the heels, colors faded, bumpers perhaps knocked slightly askew. My advice would be to regard these devices as unique organic rolling sculptures, adorned with facades worthy of a museum grade Matisse or Rothko...


2 people like this
Posted by Don't Judge A Man By His RV
a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 4, 2019 at 6:51 pm

> I've downscaled; my dog and I operate out of nicely unassuming compact SUV.
Yes, most of the street-ensconced RVs appear somewhat down at the heels, colors faded, bumpers perhaps knocked slightly askew. My advice would be to regard these devices as unique organic rolling sculptures, adorned with facades worthy of a museum grade Matisse or Rothko...

^^^ Very cool insights. The issue (or problem) today is that most of the nouveau (post 1980) Palo Altans are caught-up in superficial appearances and stubbornly clinging to their shallow world of yuppie-inspired pretentiousness.

Comparing contemporary life in PA to what transpired 40 years ago is ludicrous as one cannot go back in time.

It is unfortunate that most of the transient RVers cannot afford to buy Mercedes Sprinter RVs. Chances are they would be more acceptable to the PA upscale mindsets & perhaps even be cited in Time Magazine as pioneering a new way of life in PA town.


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Posted by 99PerrcentAusterity
a resident of another community
on Jun 4, 2019 at 6:54 pm

Pray the IPO rush afoot signals a major tech crash on the horizon. Then maybe those who wish to live in a world outside the ethos of move fast and break things can get some much needed relief.

Dot-com crash may end up looking like a dress rehearsal.

Rents, as happened then, will go down.

Still, we need regulation of rents and home prices to protect us ongoing. We shouldn't have to pray for a tech crash to catch a break.


1 person likes this
Posted by 99PercentAusterity
a resident of another community
on Jun 4, 2019 at 7:24 pm

Me 2:
"xenophobic" "afraid of immigrants" - well then I'd have to be afraid of my own family. No, I'm neither. That's been a more recent and clever trick of industry owner-investors and politicians to conflate labor policies like the visa worker program with anti-immigrant sentiment. Read labor history and you will see that flooding a country with people whose standard of living is markedly poorer is key to suppressing the power of labor in recipient nation. And the suppression of standards fans out beyond the workplace, to housing and so on. The more people there are scrambling for work, homes, and so on, the more the owner-investors of all means for survival can dictate the terms.

Everyone in the U.S., except perhaps the native Americans, descend from immigrants. The point is, people fight and achieve standards of living, then those who hold the most power and want more bring in waves of people in numbers that cannot be easily assimilated or readily adjusted to those higher standards in pay and living and so, understandably, lower standards rather than fight to keep existing standard or further progress on standards achieved.

Labeling people who question this labor policy as racist, or who question people being in the country illegally as racist is denying legitimate concerns.

Rick:
Diversity is great. I'm all for it. But I don't limit it to languages. You heard 8 different language in 1 tech campus cafeteria. How about people speaking 8 different languages of different career, age, gender and so on all able to thrive in the Bay Area. I don't find the tech bubble world everything and everyone is being engulfed in as diversity.


8 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 4, 2019 at 8:24 pm

Posted by Don't Judge A Man By His RV, a resident of Downtown North

>> It is unfortunate that most of the transient RVers cannot afford to buy Mercedes Sprinter RVs. Chances are they would be more acceptable to the PA upscale mindsets & perhaps even be cited in Time Magazine as pioneering a new way of life in PA town.

Totally wrong about that. I don't care if the RVs are plated with Rose Gold and cost $2M. They still don't belong on public streets, they still make terrible use of scarce urban land, and, they waste lots of energy. RVs are bad urban housing, new or old.


2 people like this
Posted by Rick
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jun 4, 2019 at 8:32 pm

99PercentAusterity:

Number of languages per unit time is one metric of diversity, but of course you are 100% correct and that has been my main point in this thread.

Prop 13 has been a force multiplier for the accelerated ultra-gentrification of the Bay Area. Development needs to be restricted, quickly. Prop 13 needs to be phased out, gradually. How we fix the existing debacle I do not know, but for hecks sake, we need to stop digging.


9 people like this
Posted by eileen
a resident of College Terrace
on Jun 5, 2019 at 5:23 am

eileen is a registered user.

Rick, Prop 13 needs to be phased out for businesses first!
Most pay no tax!


16 people like this
Posted by CP Resident
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 5, 2019 at 8:17 am

> Prop 13 has been a force multiplier for the accelerated ultra-gentrification of the Bay Area...Prop 13 needs to be phased out,

> Prop 13 needs to be phased out for businesses first! Most pay no tax!

Residential Prop 13 was implemented to protect seniors from rising property taxes & government overspending. Unless the property is passed on to descendants, Prop 13 residential is grandfathered out.

Business Prop 13 is the problem as profits from commercial/business interests have escalated since 1976. We're talking over 40 years.

Eliminate Prop 13 for business interests.


2 people like this
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jun 5, 2019 at 8:38 am

^ News says the East Oakland Home Depot store paid over half million dollars in property taxes last year. And it's being driven out by the RV/homeless infestation.


3 people like this
Posted by CP Resident
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 5, 2019 at 8:59 am

^^^ News says the East Oakland Home Depot store paid over half million dollars in property taxes last year.


Good for them. Home Depot is post Prop 13 (1976) so they don't qualify.

It's the older businesses & industries that have been around since 1976 who are reaping the benefits of this property tax break & paying LITTLE while profiteering immensely due to inflation.


Posted by Urban Camper
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood

on Jun 5, 2019 at 11:22 am


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2 people like this
Posted by Me 2
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 5, 2019 at 11:25 am

"There is no position from which it can be argued that tech isn't directly responsible for the social and economic problems we are experiencing today."

Prop 13 is more responsible for California ills than anything from tech. I know it's hard to look in the mirror and understand that you are a lucky beneficiary to what's causing our housing problem, but it's about time to take some responsibility. Tell me how less regressive it is to have a property tax basis from the 80's on a multimillion dollar house? And that someone newer in the neighborhood has to pay 20x for the exact same services you receive?

Talk about being regressive. At least people employed by tech have to pay income tax indexed based on, whoa, income.

"Still, we need regulation of rents and home prices to protect us ongoing. We shouldn't have to pray for a tech crash to catch a break."

No we don't. Rent control (and prop 13) lead to BMRs and other "affordable housing," which leads to squeezing out the middle class. Rich can always afford to pay high prices and only the qualified poor can get the affordable housing? Middle class? You've just drove them to Manteca or Fresno (or Austin, Portland).

"Labeling people who question this labor policy as racist, or who question people being in the country illegally as racist is denying legitimate concerns. "

I said xenophobic, not racist. There's a difference, you know.


3 people like this
Posted by Rick
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jun 5, 2019 at 4:51 pm

@Me 2

"I know it's hard to look in the mirror and understand that you are a lucky beneficiary to what's causing our housing problem, but it's about time to take some responsibility."

What part of my saying that Prop 13 needs to be phased out did you miss?

Tech, in the Bay Area, and specifically the Peninsula, is the driving factor that is eroding the middle class. Exorbitant tech salaries are what allows you to purchase those homes at inflated prices and keep those prices moving upwards. That is the mirror you are avoiding looking into. While I believe that Prop 13 needs to be phased out, it is slowly phasing itself out, for residential properties, as those older homeowners die out and the home are sold. Facebook and Alphabet need to be taxed commensurate with the social damage they have caused.


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Posted by Me 2
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 5, 2019 at 5:38 pm

"Facebook and Alphabet need to be taxed commensurate with the social damage they have caused."

They are being taxed. The $$ comes from tax from income and stock vesting from their employees. It comes from the sales tax and property transfer tax these employees pay when they buy things. And in some jurisdictions, the payroll tax that they pay.

Why do people just pretend that these entities don't contribute to the coffers? Why do you think the State of California is flush with revenue? Why can SF afford a $13B annual budget?

The biggest problem is the peaky nature of income-based taxes and how much more we rely on them because of lack of a good property tax revenue stream. In good years, it's great. In bad years, it's horrible.


17 people like this
Posted by Inflation Is Your Enemy...Not Residential Prop 13
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 5, 2019 at 5:59 pm

> And that someone newer in the neighborhood has to pay 20x for the exact same services you receive?

Simple. They are making more money nowadays than the earlier residents regardless of their income taxes. Chalk it up to inflation.

Back in the day, if you were making $20K per year & residing in a $50K house (mortgaged over 20 years) you were doing OK.

A Porsche 911 ran about $8-9K & you could buy a Ferrari Dino 246 for $16K. That was a lot of money back then (late 60s-early 1970s).

No sympathy for the younger folks as a $100K yearly salary would be considered peanuts to most. BTW, that's what Willie Mays made back in the 60s while playing MLB baseball...and he was a superstar.


3 people like this
Posted by 99PercentAusterity
a resident of another community
on Jun 5, 2019 at 6:29 pm

Me 2: "I said xenophobic, not racist. There's a difference, you know."

Xenophobic = having or showing a dislike of or prejudice against people from other countries. Synonyms: racist, racialist, ethnocentric, ethnocentrist


Also, government regulation that puts a check on and reverses the corrupt inflationary prices on rentals and homes would benefit everyone except those who own, rent and sell purely as investment strategy and so seek the greatest return on investment.

As far as Prop 13, like you said the rich an always afford high prices, though they sure wouldn't like to lose this advantage, nor would those who are looking to sell and clean up on the inflated values move somewhere less expensive to live, but a great many more would be made homeless, or thrown into precarious living situations because many only live in the Bay Area because their modest home (despite its current "value") was passed on at the death of relatives.

You want to balance the scales in terms of who pays what then government must stop subsidizing the corporations--Google, Facebook, Amazon, Apple,PG&E (which made how many homeless?) and countless others. Stop letting corporations not only do business with effectively no taxation, and even surplus owing to the level of public money being pumped into them. And stop letting the tech giants in the Bay Area in particular exploit labor and drive down living standards by flooding the country with visa workers under the banner of "we love diversity" - yeah, more like we love a more pliant labor force of males from India age 20s to 30s (the highest percentage of visas), then males from China (so the males from India don't get too uppity), age 20s to 30s again please, then Ukraine..." 1% races to the top on the backs of the 99% racing to the bottom.

Labor creates wealth, the cheaper the labor the more the wealth, and the wealth has been rapidly concentrating into fewer and fewer hands. Hence the record homelessness EVERYWHERE.


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Posted by 99PercentAusterity
a resident of another community
on Jun 5, 2019 at 7:26 pm

BTW

Homeless in public spaces bad, get them out of my way, out of my sight, but private companies taking up public space with e-bikes/-scooters etc. no problem, private companies externalizing costs to public land absolutely no problem. But please remove these human beings...

There is nowhere near the scorn heaped on these companies for making money on public space like there is scorn heaped on people trying to survive in public space.

What kind of society is that?


2 people like this
Posted by Me 2
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 5, 2019 at 8:55 pm

@Inflation Is Your Enemy...Not Residential Prop 13

Are you serious? That's the lie you tell yourself to justify being a leach on society by having someone else subsidize your life here in California? Just because you bought a property in the late 60's or 70's?

If it's just inflation, a $50,000 home in 1970 is $329,314.43 in 2019 dollars.

Not $3 million.

Not even $1 million.

It's less than $330,000.

If inflation is really your excuse, are you willing to sell your house for $350,000. It's above inflation asking!

Didn't think so.


5 people like this
Posted by Me 2
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 5, 2019 at 9:00 pm

Oh, and by the way, $20,000 in 1970 is the equivalent of $131,725.77 in today's dollars.

So someone making $100K today is making even less than the $20K in 1970.


16 people like this
Posted by Inflation Is Your Enemy...Not Residential Prop 13
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 6, 2019 at 8:15 am

> Labor creates wealth, the cheaper the labor the more the wealth, and the wealth has been rapidly concentrating into fewer and fewer hands. Hence the record homelessness EVERYWHERE.

^^^Excellent point & also attributable to a sizable number of the wealthy immigrants arriving from parts of Asia as many are actively involved in the manufacturing process (i.e. operating countless sweat shops in their native countries). Most can afford to pay CASH for their homes & post-Prop 13 taxation is a drop in the bucket...no sympathy here.

Supply & demand for what is perceived as attractive & desirable residential properties is what pushes the price of housing up in addition to inflation. That and the proliferation of big-name companies operating in the area who employ thousands of workers...many at very attractive salaries.

Attributing transient RVs, homelessness & the lack of available housing on older residents capped under Prop 13 is a whiner's excuse. Blame the overdevelopment of commercial businesses in the area & the need to house their employees at the current RE asking prices.

Back in the mid 1970s, the various social & dwelling ills being discussed here were non-existent because we didn't have Facebook, Google et al & their countless employees cluttering up the area along with the many side businesses (i.e. restaurants, coffee shops, retail stores etc.) to accomodate them. We also had more open space and residential properties appreciated in value slowly.

> If it's just inflation, a $50,000 home in 1970 is $329,314.43 in 2019 dollars... If inflation is really your excuse, are you willing to sell your house for $350,000. It's above inflation asking!

As aforementioned, a brand new Ferrari 246 cost $16K back in the 1970s. A suggestion...go down to a Ferrari dealership & discuss your pricing gripes with a salesperson who is now asking $400K for similar albeit updated model. Bring a spreadsheet & PowerPoint display showing how unfair life is & how the numbers just don't seem to add up.

Chances are he will advise you to go buy a Honda and this applies to local housing as well. Stick with what you can afford or go elsewhere to do your shopping.

In many ways, the homeless & transient RV dwellers are being more realistic about everyday life than some of these highy-paid Millennial-aged crybabies burdened with a false sense of entitlement.







3 people like this
Posted by Me 2
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 6, 2019 at 9:42 am

"Attributing transient RVs, homelessness & the lack of available housing on older residents capped under Prop 13 is a whiner's excuse. Blame the overdevelopment of commercial businesses in the area & the need to house their employees at the current RE asking prices."

"In many ways, the homeless & transient RV dwellers are being more realistic about everyday life than some of these highy-paid Millennial-aged crybabies burdened with a false sense of entitlement."

Whiner's excuse? Crybabies? Your arrogance is incredible. From a real dollars perspective, they are not highly-paid compared to what you were making in 1970. In many cases, they are making less. And it's even worse - your sitting on multimillion dollar property that you paid a lot less from, yet these "crybabies" are paying 20x what you're paying in taxes.

You're getting a free ride. And it's all about you, apparently.

What you bought in 1970 in Palo Alto is a Honda. The fact that it turned into a Porsche (Ferrari? That's Atherton) had nothing to do with your own skill. Just luck. Like being born on third base and thinking you hit a triple.

For all the lament of losing the middle class in Palo Alto, now you see why that's happening. We're already seeing it in PAUSD - many schools are reducing the number of classes per grade. At this rate, we need to repurpose bike lanes into golf cart lanes to accommodate the aging of the population.

I guess the branding of the boomer generation as the "Me Generation" still holds.


19 people like this
Posted by The American Way
a resident of Barron Park
on Jun 6, 2019 at 9:59 am

The American Way is a registered user.

> Like being BORN on third base and thinking you hit a triple.

You obviously are not acquainted with baseball. Outside of hitting a triple, the only way to get to 3B is by 'station to station' hitting, a stolen base, sacrifice fly or an error (unless we are talking about something else).

Many of the older established PA residents feel they owe their achievements in life by 'station to station' hitting (i.e. working hard, saving their money, & investing wisely etc.). The fact that their residential properties have increased in value is just a sign of the times and perhaps most significantly...LOCATION.

Some 'steal third base' via access to vast amounts of CASH made overseas in the various manufacturing sectors.

Others inherit their wealth or a descendant's desirable PA property...we'll call this one a sacrifice fly as someone always has to exit the game.

Errors are flukes that don't occur regularly...like winning the lottery.

Right now MLB tickets are relatively inexpensive & easy to procure at AT&T Park.
Go watch a Giants game & perhaps you will realize that yesterdays are yesterdays
and the current situation is often a far cry from the past.

BTW...'triples alley" is in right-center field.


7 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 6, 2019 at 10:56 am

The ageism comments here are truly disturbing.

This last couple of days D Day commemorations have been taking place. The generation that lived through the mid 20th century knew what it meant to live their lives with sacrifice, with purpose and with an identity to be proud of. They made do, worked hard, fought hard and in many cases were willing to give their all.

Those of us in the baby boom generation were raised by this generation. We saw what they had lived through and we were determined to make them proud by following in their footsteps as best we could. We worked hard, made do, lived within our means and were able to plan for the future. We did without to afford to buy a home. We did without all the latest mod cons until we could afford to buy them. Living on credit cards, having the latest I phone, buying expensive coffees and bottled water were unheard of.

Yet, we managed it. We were able to buy our homes in an area where we liked to raise our families, doing what we could afford without any sense of entitlement.

Now it seems we are to blame because entitled millenials can't be bothered to give up their latest I phones, their Teslas, their expensive daily meals out, their Starbucks coffee, and their sense of entitlement, to plan for their futures. They have had too many participation trophies for turning up, too many excuses made why then are exempt from anything that is too hard for them, and no one to make them tidy their room or take out the garbage. Is it really the generation that we have raised who can't allow us to live in the place we have chosen to live without expecting us to move out so that our homes can be demolished to make pack and stack housing for them.

When we bought our homes we had no idea how expensive they would end up becoming. When we bought our homes we had to take the chance that the economy would fizzle and we would be paying back loans on a house worth less than half we paid for it. We took our chances.

Perhaps the next generation needs to learn some life lessons from us without whining about how little we have done to help them out.


5 people like this
Posted by Millennial Whiners Are A Product Of Their Parenthood
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 6, 2019 at 12:04 pm

>> Now it seems we are to blame because entitled millenials can't be bothered to give up their latest I phones, their Teslas, their expensive daily meals out, their Starbucks coffee, and their sense of entitlement, to plan for their futures. They have had too many participation trophies for turning up, too many excuses made why then are exempt from anything that is too hard for them, and no one to make them tidy their room or take out the garbage. Is it really the generation that we have raised who can't allow us to live in the place we have chosen to live without expecting us to move out so that our homes can be demolished to make pack and stack housing for them.

Excellent point BUT it was the Boomer Boomer parents who brought this self-entitled generation into the world. Perhaps their child-rearing practices & pseudo-liberalism should be taken into consideration.

After all the children of the late 1960s became the yuppie parents of the 1980s & beyond. And in many instances, the fruit doesn't fall far from the tree.


18 people like this
Posted by Millennial Whiners Are A Product Of Their Parenthood
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 6, 2019 at 12:14 pm

A footnote...in many ways, the Millennials have taken their yuppie parent's self-serving/self-important ideals to an extreme by becoming uber-super yuppies of the new Millennium (i.e. materialistic wannabes).

A very sad state of affairs for the future.


12 people like this
Posted by Adult Children
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 6, 2019 at 2:55 pm

> I guess the branding of the boomer generation as the "Me Generation" still holds.

And the Millennials can be branded as "Me Too".

> Like being born on third base and thinking you hit a triple.

The Millennial mantra...Getting a participation trophy for simply showing up and then complaining to everyone you deserve to be rewarded with a Home Run.


1 person likes this
Posted by 99PercentAusterity
a resident of another community
on Jun 6, 2019 at 6:33 pm

Though I don't agree with everything Me 2 says, the gist that attacking millennials as entitled is misplaced has veracity. In most of the country property taxes are skyrocketing with property values--even people who own their homes outright are losing them or going through tremendous struggle to hold on. I don't think the answer is to screw everyone over equally. It's to stop screwing over anyone. I am so tired of hearing about how past generations understood sacrifice the current one doesn't. Nonsense. There have always been toys, people spending what they shouldn't or what could be spent in better ways. You could give up all your toys, stop any waste of money, and who starting out in adult life or otherwise can afford the average Bay Area one-bedroom rent of $3K? Most landlords want a show of income that's triple the rent. My parents lived in San Francisco paying peanuts for apartments in good areas. I paid under $1K for a one-bedroom while going to university and working. My much younger siblings are working 2 jobs and with roommates pay double what I paid. Sit back smug about your unique skill and ability to sacrifice being the reason you're secure in your home, but you better hope Prop 13 isn't abolished because the falseness of you've got what you've got because your not this entitled generation we got now nonsense will come back to bite.

Chief exploiters keep ahead in the game, they keep winning overall, because the exploited, of varying degrees, attack each other, the destitute most of all rather than mostly collateral damage in a rigged system. The reality is, the majority of Americans have little to no financial buffer, are one medical condition, one tragedy, from going bankrupt and chucked on the street.

People need to get their eye on the ball before the corruption reaches the doorstep of even that generation with it's oh-so amazing ability to be smart, work hard, sacrifice, not waste money on anything but the essentials, generation.

If developers have any say, and they seem to have the most, Prop 13 will scrapped in CA eventually.


14 people like this
Posted by Millennials = Arrested Development
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 6, 2019 at 7:14 pm

If these millennial whiners had any balls, they'd take their $150K+ salaries & buy an RV & park it somewhere in PA just to stick it to the contemporary 'man' (aka aging baby boomers).

But no. They want to dine out every evening, spend their disposable income on techie toys, vacation whenever possible AND have an 'affordable' dwelling in PA town.

Lesson...you cannot have your cake & eat it too. Many have tried & most have failed.

Since San Francisco is apparently the preferred nesting site of countless sophisticated Millennials, why not take your housing complaints up there? Take it up with the SF Board of Supervisors, the Mayor & the various housing commissions. See if they listen and react constructively to your concerns.

Then we who remain in PA town won't have to endure all of this petty griping.

Another option...marry into a wealthy overseas family who made their money in cost-effective manufacturing & who are now resettling in the SF Bay Area.


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Posted by 99PercentAusterity
a resident of another community
on Jun 7, 2019 at 9:33 am

People making 100K/year in the Bay Area could forfeit spending on any inessentials and they wouldn't qualify for the average 1-bedroom apt at $3K/mo., proving you make triple the rent amounting to $108K/year. That is just rent, no other essential living costs. So quit acting like this generation doesn't own because it spends too much on inessentials. For a $1M home, income should be $154K/year. What does $1M get you in the Bay Area these days? And how many are making over 100K per year? The homes aren't worth what they're going for. Nor are the rentals. It's totally corrupt. What people are being paid has stagnated while all cost of living continues to be inflated. This isn't sustainable.

Jobs are where the prices are highest to rent or purchase a home, so telling people to move is an ignorant mindset.

Those sitting smug in their currently Prop 13 protected financial situation would be wise to tone down the insults on the current generation, because unless you're making serious dosh or cash out in the greed rush and retire somewhere else where rising property taxes won't chew up what you cash out with before you die you might find yourself as precarious as the current generation. More precarious actually, because you won't have youth on your side to stay afloat in the endless hustle of generation-rent. You're the generation where 1 guy working a blue collar job could buy a house in Palo Alto, have the wife stay at home with the kiddies, family car, annual vacation, college fund for the kids, and so on, and all that for peanuts compared to cost of living now.

Past generations benefitted from a much better cost of living scenario, set themselves up and then judge those struggling in this ridiculous, corrupt cost of living situation.

Now, two university-educated professionals would be lucky to squeak into a dump somewhere in the Bay Area.


15 people like this
Posted by The Working Man
a resident of College Terrace
on Jun 7, 2019 at 9:54 am

> You're the generation where 1 guy working a blue collar job could buy a house in Palo Alto, have the wife stay at home with the kiddies, family car, annual vacation, college fund for the kids, and so on, and all that for peanuts compared to cost of living now.

> Now, two university-educated professionals would be lucky to squeak into a dump somewhere in the Bay Area.

^^^ Maybe you should have considered going into the trades. Some blue collar professions pay far better than those requiring a college degree.

Paid $295,000.00 for a simple 2BR/1B house in PA (1995) off Stanford Avenue. Property taxes have increased & about 10 years left on mortgage. No Prop 13 tax advantages at the time. Took my college savings & applied it towards a down payment instead. I am not a Baby Boomer...just a middle-aged GenXer born between two conflicting generations.

BTW...I am also a blue collar worker with no upscale pretensions or sense of entitlement. I just go to work everyday & pay the bills.






3 people like this
Posted by Rick
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jun 7, 2019 at 11:15 am

While Me 2 often ducks addressing the obvious downside of having ad revenue driven tech companies causing overbuilding of unaffordable housing in the bay area that drives out the middle class, it is also unfair to diss the millennials as avocado toast consuming layabouts who fail to plan for their future and then whine about it. Wave a $200,000 salary around and people come running.

What we are facing is a structural problem that will either take government intervention to rein in, with concomitant complaints from all sides -or- we will continue to overbuild, destroying the fabric of our community. At the point Facebook and Google collapse as history tell us they will, we'll find ourselves living in a Detroit.

It's also unfair to bash the people who have lived here for decades and found they won a lottery. It's not their fault that FB and Alphabet showed up and drove their property values sky high. Of course they are going to want to return to a time when you could drive wherever you wanted without being stuck in a traffic jam. I'm uncomfortable that my home is worth way more than I paid for it. Please do increase my property taxes! We need balance. Part of that balance has to be reducing development. Stop asking for all the sacrifice to be made by our service workers.


9 people like this
Posted by The Good Old Days
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jun 7, 2019 at 1:39 pm

The 'good old days' in PA =

(1) when semiconductor companies such as Fairchild, Varian etc. & non-consumer electronics manufacturers (i.e. HP, Watkins-Johnson) defined 'high-tech' in the Palo Alto community

(2) when Stanford Shopping Center was not considered an 'upscale' shopping experience

(3) when PA had a number of different car dealerships to serve both the affluent & the 'common man'

(4) when downtown PA & Stanford Shopping Center were only open late for shopping on Thursday evenings

There are countless other items to add but perhaps most importantly...

(5) the city was not as developed, there was more open space & Millennials were at least 40 years away from the horizon.


8 people like this
Posted by Come To EPA!
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jun 8, 2019 at 8:25 pm

> Now, two university-educated professionals would be lucky to squeak into a dump somewhere in the Bay Area.

Have you considered EPA? Little by little the community is taking strides towards becoming a professional residential neighborhood.


33 people like this
Posted by vans?
a resident of College Terrace
on Jun 8, 2019 at 11:45 pm

Will vans that lack toilets also be allowed in the RV parking area? That would be an improvement over the current situation with vans all along ECR. My young child and I recently encountered one of the occupants relieving himself (#2) on our street, right off ECR.


30 people like this
Posted by Keeping An Eye Out For Violators
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Jun 9, 2019 at 6:35 am

^^^^It's a fine line but a loophole in the law....urinating in public can also be cited as indecent exposure. Just call the PAPD & there will be one less transient RVer on the premises + his RV will probably be towed & impounded after questioning & his arrest.




31 people like this
Posted by It Happens Every Day In PA
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Jun 9, 2019 at 2:03 pm

> My young child and I recently encountered one of the occupants relieving himself (#2) on our street, right off ECR.

^^^ I believe going #2 in public is a health & safety code violation.

Did he carry and/or dispose of his toilet paper properly & was a reasonable sized hole dug to accommodate his discharge? Did he have a shovel?

As a concerned citizen, you had the option of capturing his image on your cell phone & then contacting the police department for proper action & arrest.

If this occurred on Stanford Avenue, I believe one side is Stanford PD jurisdiction & the other is Palo Alto's. You need to be sure when calling it in.

In any event, an individual should not be relieving himself (1 or 2) in clear view of the public.


13 people like this
Posted by Clear view?
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jun 9, 2019 at 4:42 pm

Clear view? is a registered user.

Or not in clear view. It's a public health issue.


4 people like this
Posted by vans?
a resident of College Terrace
on Jun 9, 2019 at 6:31 pm

In response to the questions, the homeless individual discarded his tp, in the gutter, along with his #2. He did not have a shovel that I could see. I did not take a photo as I did not want to draw my child's attention to the situation any more than necessary. I did alert the PAPD later via a 311 complaint.


25 people like this
Posted by paloverdeman
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jun 9, 2019 at 6:56 pm

paloverdeman is a registered user.

^^^ Did he have any handy-wipes? It is very unsanitary not to wash one's hands after a #2 experience.

Imagine unknowingly shaking hands or exchanging currency/coinage with him at a later timeframe & then eating a cookie.

The gutter is not an appropriate place to dispose of human wastes & toilet paper.

If done on a larger scale, Palo Alto is priming itself for a cholera outbreak.

Off topic but do you recall the ape at the SF Zoo? When he would get PO'd at the spectators harassing him from outside his cage, he would grab a #2 that was lying about & throw it at them through the bars. A personal statement of sorts.


53 people like this
Posted by Diseases
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Jun 9, 2019 at 7:50 pm

According to the Atlantic, there are public health crises in homeless populations across the western US due to horrendous hygiene: typhus (a "Medieval" disease spread via fleas on rats attracted by trash) and TB in LA, hepatitis A (spread via feces) in San Diego, syphilis (STD) in Sonoma County, shigellosis (spread via feces) and trench fever (spread via lice) in WA:
Web Link
It is definitely in the public health interest of Palo Alto residents to provide safe and sanitary facilities for homeless to reside and to deter unsanitary encampments.


15 people like this
Posted by paloverdeman
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jun 9, 2019 at 8:35 pm

paloverdeman is a registered user.

>> It is definitely in the public health interest of Palo Alto residents to provide safe and sanitary facilities for homeless to reside and to deter unsanitary encampments.

^^^One such facility that could be used is the vacant SC County Jail in Palo Alto below the courthouse. It would require some remodeling but could provide a basic shelter for many of the homeless in PA.

Some park & library restrooms are starting to get a bit grungy due to outside usage stemming from the homeless problem. I've seen people towel bathing & shampooing in the MV city & Los Altos county library restrooms and this practice is also occurring in some restaurants that are lax about letting non-diners use the their RR facilities. Ease of access & location play a major role in when & where this occurs.

It's only going to get worse over time. Setting-up porta-potties throughout the city will add some undesirable visual blight but when the public parks & libraries are closed, people are going to go in the shrubbery or out in the open.

This raw sewage definitely creates a public health hazard and so it's advisable to watch where you step, especially in the wide open spaces. At one time, it was bad enough stepping in dog poop but dog walkers are supposed to pick up after their pets. People tend not to pick up after themselves and so used TP may become like leaves...except potentially disease-ridden & we will be encountering more 'night soil' as well.



16 people like this
Posted by vans for rent
a resident of Mountain View
on Jun 9, 2019 at 11:21 pm

Rental vans and RVs are a big part of the problem. i.e.
Web Link
Web Link
Web Link


27 people like this
Posted by Another Way To Rid PA Of Transient RVs
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jun 10, 2019 at 1:14 pm

> The gutter is not an appropriate place to dispose of human wastes & toilet paper.

^^^ Neither is pouring raw sewage & human wastes down storm drains which some transient RV dwellers have been known to do during the evening hours when no one is watching.

As a result, streets & curb sides where some of these ratty-looking RVs remain parked are now fully CONTAMINATED as the sewage splashes and travels along the gutters via rain and landscape irrigation.

Because of this public health concern, we now leave our shoes off by the door when entering our house to prevent tracking in whatever it is we may stepped in prior to entering. Just common sense.

Fecal > oral diseases include diarrhea, typhoid, cholera, polio and hepatitis.

With the proliferation of transient RVs, a serious public health threat is now threatening parts of our community.

If the issuance of parking violations is going to be ignored & disregarded by the city, then this RV issue should be addressed as a potential (as well as ongoing) health & safety code violation and hazard in which case there is absolutely no reason for not running every single one of them out of town...unless parked on private property with the approval of the owner and equipped with functioning sewage retention/decontamination systems.

And even under those conditions, all public health & safety codes need to be FULLY ENFORCED..

Palo Alto is not a haven and disposal site for RV transients & their sewage.


26 people like this
Posted by FED UP with Transient RVs
a resident of Barron Park
on Jun 10, 2019 at 3:34 pm

I saw a guy from one of those RVs pouring his human wastes into a service station toilet from a plastic five-gallon bucket and then flushing it from time to time.

Needless to say, the splash factor involved in the pouring process was sending airborne fecal matter and urine all over the place. The entire restroom was now contaminated...floor, fixtures & the toilet itself.

As another poster has mentioned, if these transient RVs cannot be eradicated via parking regulations, a public health outcry should be sufficient.

Some of these RV dwellers are becoming increasingly responsible for the potential spreading of serious diseases that one only encounters in an undeveloped 3rd world country.


12 people like this
Posted by wondering
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Jun 10, 2019 at 6:05 pm

why do so many of these RV residents seemingly have a pervasive sense of inconsideration towards their adopted city?

dumping raw sewage into storms drains, relieving themselves in public, unloading buckets of human waste in service station rest rooms etc.

is this a product of poor upbringing or are they simply thumbing their noses at palo altans who reside in this community?

creating public health hazards & nuisances is certainly not the way to endear oneself to a community that already would prefer that they depart the city premises ASAP.

what gives them the right to establish squatter's rights in PA?


Like this comment
Posted by Kenny
a resident of University South
on Jun 11, 2019 at 12:15 pm

"We do not want our community to become a Danville or Orinda type of town where people only worship the dollar sign & their own self-serving interests.That is a white Republican mindset & not reflective of PA as a whole."

From what is written in various threads on this forum, it appears that is exactly what many people want, and Palo Alto is liberal elitist, not Republican.


2 people like this
Posted by Democrats + Republicans = The Same
a resident of Barron Park
on Jun 11, 2019 at 12:24 pm

^^^ The typical Palo Alto mindset is similar to those of our East Bay neighbors.
Political affiliation means very little as the Pelosi, Speir types don't care any more about lower economic tiered people than the Republicans.


14 people like this
Posted by Democrats + Republicans = The Same
a resident of Barron Park
on Jun 11, 2019 at 12:34 pm

On the other hand...regardless of one's political affiliation & ethnicity, most Palo Altans would concur that the homeless & transient RV dwellers need to be run out of town ASAP.

The public libraries (especially the one in downtown MV) are now becoming a rec center for unwashed bums wearing too much cheap cologne to cover their rancid stench while incessantly muttering to themselves incoherently like lunatics.

This kind of stuff has got to go. And the same goes for the inconsiderate RVers dumping off their wastes on public lands while living like animals on the streets.


12 people like this
Posted by Homeless In PA Town
a resident of another community
on Jun 12, 2019 at 9:11 am

Common sense says to watch where you step and if Palo Alto cannot provide adequate public restroom facilities for its guests and those passing through town, where do you expect people to go relieve themselves?

Perhaps a knock on the door and a polite request to use your bathroom will solve this potential health concern.


18 people like this
Posted by Jesus Just Left Chicago...& Not Bound For PA
a resident of College Terrace
on Jun 12, 2019 at 6:24 pm

> Perhaps a knock on the door and a polite request to use your bathroom will solve this potential health concern.

^^^ Chances are you will be rudely refused and told to go in the bushes somewhere.
Then we will hear about it here as yet another condemnation towards the those less fortunate to have a home of their own.


2 people like this
Posted by vans for rent
a resident of Mountain View
on Jun 12, 2019 at 11:31 pm

Back on CL, now listed as in SF not MV:
Web Link
At least this one offers a toilet and off-street parking spot:
Web Link


Like this comment
Posted by RV landlord
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 13, 2019 at 9:07 am

renting out used RVs is good business. A pre-owned RV in fair condition will set you back about $3500-$5000 max & can be rented out for about $800-900 monthly. in 6 months it has amortized and the rents are pure profit.

I own about 8 of them (in locales undisclosed) & can't complain as they are now bringing in about $70K per annum. thinking about adding a couple more once this RV parking initiative is settled.

btw...I am a Palo Alto resident & while the various RV complaints are understandable to some extent, it is a viable source of added income and since my RVs are located clandestinely, no problema as I do not reside near them.

the sewage issue is a problem & one that I am currently trying to address as the fines would be insurmountable. I tell my tenants to use the park & service station facilities if possible as it's all about being a good neighbor.


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Posted by Murray
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 13, 2019 at 11:37 am

"renting out used RVs is good business. A pre-owned RV in fair condition will set you back about $3500-$5000 max & can be rented out for about $800-900 monthly. in 6 months it has amortized and the rents are pure profit."

And you pay $0 in property tax for the land on which your RV's are parked.

"I tell my tenants to use the park & service station facilities if possible as it's all about being a good neighbor."

You're mooching off other people's resources. How is that being a good neighbor?

If CPA goes ahead with its plan you'll be receiving a subsidy from the city in addition to your "pure profit".

You're more like an RV Slumlord.


4 people like this
Posted by Murray
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 13, 2019 at 11:49 am

Clearly legislation is needed to require that the RV's used as residences anywhere in Palo Alto be owner occupied, to prevent profiteering by sleazeballs like the above who charge $800 per month which a true down-and-outer doesn't have, who evade property tax and mooch off the neighbors for sanitary facilities so they can make their "pure profit".

Let's not forget about whatever zoning laws are being violated by having residential RV's in these "undisclosed locations"; otherwise, why do we have zoning laws?


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Posted by Murray
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 13, 2019 at 11:55 am

[Post removed.]


2 people like this
Posted by Murray
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 13, 2019 at 12:08 pm

I question whether the "overnight" parking requirement will have any teeth in it. What will happen to those who overstay the limit? Will they be allowed to stay put while the city disregards its own laws?


2 people like this
Posted by Not All RVers Are Thieves
a resident of another community
on Jun 13, 2019 at 1:08 pm

[Post removed.]


Like this comment
Posted by Murray
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 13, 2019 at 1:34 pm

[Post removed.]


Like this comment
Posted by Not All RVers Are Thieves
a resident of another community
on Jun 13, 2019 at 1:40 pm

[Post removed.]


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Posted by Not All RVers Are Thieves
a resident of another community
on Jun 13, 2019 at 1:42 pm

I meant to say 'chip-in'. Think of it as a joint community service project on the part of each neighborhood.

Realistically, some porta-potties will get less usage than others depending upon their location. Palo Alto Hills for example.


4 people like this
Posted by Murray
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 13, 2019 at 5:01 pm

[Portion removed.]

What's the city going to do if an RV in this encampment overstays the time limit or becomes inoperative or the owner/occupant skips out and abandons the vehicle? Is the city going to impound these vehicles or just let them pile up like they do on El Camino? Does the city have storage facilities for impounded RV's? Will they write tickets to offenders and let the tickets pile up?


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Posted by RVer in MV
a resident of another community
on Jun 13, 2019 at 5:08 pm

>>>Yeah, RV's on every street and porta-potties on every block. Residents will love that as they watch their property values plummet.

^^^Is that what this RV issue is all about? Residential property values?
Rest assured, if you ever decide to sell (at a reduced price due to the real & imagined RV infestation), someone from overseas will probably be willing to pay you CASH for considerably more than you probably paid for your house.

The key is not to be greedy.


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