Living on four wheels | July 12, 2019 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

Cover Story - July 12, 2019

Living on four wheels

The people inside the RVs on Palo Alto's El Camino Real

by Photographs Veronica Weber | Story Cierra Bailey

The more than 40 recreational vehicles parked along El Camino Real, just outside Stanford University, have been deemed eyesores and nuisances, but inside them are people facing diverse circumstances: among them, families struggling to make ends meet and traveling contractors who work locally but have permanent homes in other California cities.

This story contains 2021 words.

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Staff Photographer/Videographer Veronica Weber and Editorial Assistant Cierra Bailey can be reached at vweber@paweekly.com and cbailey@paweekly.com, respectively.

Comments

31 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Jul 12, 2019 at 7:44 am

Thank you for doing this story I look forward to hearing more about this community in the future.

Interesting that the police are using the 72 hour rule to make people move their vehicles a small distance.
First of all, what is the point of that?

Secondly, I was told many years ago the police were not using that rule anymore as it was to hard and took to much time to enforce. Have they changed the rule or the way they enforce I wonder?

With Stanford’s expected growth requested in their new general use permit will the shortage if qualified construction workers be even more acute in the near future causing Stanford to hire folks from farther and farther away? If so perhaps Stanford should be required to provide work week housing for the workers?


12 people like this
Posted by Build more housing
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Jul 12, 2019 at 8:17 am

Not a mention of the root cause of this problem: not enough housing.


62 people like this
Posted by @build
a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 12, 2019 at 8:27 am

There are too many people for the infrastructure of the city. More housing is a bandaid for a deeper wound, and will actually make our problems worse. Including more people living in RVs.


33 people like this
Posted by anon
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Jul 12, 2019 at 9:00 am

@ Build more housing:

I think you missed the point. The problem isn't the lack of housing but rather the cost !

Many of the people the article highlighted have housing elsewhere but work here as the jobs are here but the housing nearby is not affordable for all.


11 people like this
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jul 12, 2019 at 9:31 am

^ Equivalent to saying the _jobs_ elsewhere are not affordable.


12 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 12, 2019 at 10:07 am

The family of 10 should be identified by "social services" and relocated to real housing ASAP. Employers who don't pay people enough to afford real housing should pay more. If the job doesn't pay enough for employees to pay for housing, it isn't a real job.


16 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 12, 2019 at 10:23 am

A business acquaintance of ours lives in Truckee and comes to Silicon Valley a couple of days each week for business meetings or sometimes to fly out of SFO on international business trips. He owns a very nice small camper van think luxury VW bus, definitely not a dilapidated RV. It is completely self contained and he is able to sleep, shower and make breakfast for himself before attending business meetings or sometimes taking an early flight to the East Coast. He uses his vehicle as transportation and a hotel. He usually stays in the parking lot of one of his high tech clients or at SFO in one of the RV lots used by airlines for housing their staff.

According to his arguments, it gives him a couple of nights to stay away from home that is just as good but far cheaper than a hotel with the added bonus of not driving in the morning commute to his business meetings.

RV dwellers are varied and cannot possibly be thought of as being in the same category.


19 people like this
Posted by VS
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Jul 12, 2019 at 11:11 am

VS is a registered user.

Thanks for putting this story out there covering real people's lives. Their stories made me more empathetic to their situation. They seem like salt-of-the-earth people making the best decisions for themselves and their families. They are our neighbors.


56 people like this
Posted by some use RV's by choice
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 12, 2019 at 11:30 am

As mentioned by 'resident' there are professionals who are here temporarily living in high-end campervans/rv's. They could afford to rent a room or stay in a hotel but they choose not to. In that case they should be required to stay on the property where they are doing business, not on the streets at taxpayer expense. I have no issue with someone using their RV/campervan on private property. For those truly in need there are social services available to them, they need to engage with outreach workers to find stable housing. Turning our streets into shanty towns is of no benefit to anyone.


28 people like this
Posted by Michelle
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 12, 2019 at 11:42 am

There is no magic “social worker” or “list” that provides low income housing. People like to have that fantasy so they can suggest very simple but not available solutions. True low income housing is scarce and full with wait lists. The only option is to move to Tracey or Modesto and spend multiple hours a day commuting. I am behind creating safe RV parking with showers and bathrooms. We should have a system that prevents higher income folks like the one mentioned above from using it.


23 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Stanford
on Jul 12, 2019 at 12:22 pm

Thank you for this report. I am not surprised that many people living in their vehicles near Stanford really do work at Stanford, either as employees or contractors. Employers really need to do a better job at helping workers find housing for the salaries that the jobs pay.


11 people like this
Posted by Mark Zist
a resident of another community
on Jul 12, 2019 at 12:33 pm

When the so-called Free Market fails so disastrously, government has the responsibility to step in provide some regulation, assistance and even competition.

All these people are set up the way things are now to lead to people who need more social services and attention in the future. As they are barely scraping by now, they are not able to take good physical, emotional and financial care of themselves. How much are these folks saving for retirement?

Instead of the American system being exprted to the world towards some golden age of capitalism we see the system being used against its members in a predatory way that only creates a spiraling negative feedback loop that only expands the desperate and miserable.

It is also hard to blame those with rentals because they are making money the best they can as well, but we all have to pull back and look at this as the systemic problem it is and do something. We've been ignoring it so long ... or rather our purposefully oblivious government of the 1% have decided as usually to set up the most profitable environment in which to control and exploit people they purposefully ignored what they knew and could see was going to happen.


28 people like this
Posted by Street Cleaning
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 12, 2019 at 12:50 pm

I don't get why these streets aren't street cleaned very day.


21 people like this
Posted by Ellen
a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 12, 2019 at 1:58 pm

"... have been deemed eyesores and nuisances". By some. Not all of us.

Meanwhile, about 20 houses, in College Terrace alone, mostly owned by Stanford, have been empty for years. Imagine how many people could have been housed all this time.


35 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 12, 2019 at 2:24 pm

Posted by Ellen, a resident of College Terrace

>> Meanwhile, about 20 houses, in College Terrace alone, mostly owned by Stanford, have been empty for years. Imagine how many people could have been housed all this time.

Not just any people. Stanford contractors. And, Stanford could allow these contractors to park their RVs under the trees by the restrooms, too. Imagine.

Instead, we residents of Palo Alto are the problem because we object to the ongoing theft of public services that these RVs represent.


12 people like this
Posted by RV Residentialist
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 12, 2019 at 2:54 pm

[Post removed.]


Posted by Name hidden
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis

on Jul 12, 2019 at 7:00 pm

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?


9 people like this
Posted by Truth Teller
a resident of another community
on Jul 12, 2019 at 7:03 pm

The Root of the problem is what everyone knows already.
All The Tech Companies "IMPORT" Employees coming into the
BAY AREA. They are in NEED Of Living Quarters!
The Tech Companies have Created NEW COMMUNITIES.
They come in with being PAID HIGH SALARIES!
The LANDLORDS (in control) The LANDLORDS have Died
And GONE To HEAVEN.
$4000 upwards, for a House in East Palo Alto. I woman was just
telling Me that She pays $1400 for Her Room. There are 3 Rooms
in that House. There are several AirBNB's that have OPENED up
in E Palo Alto. And the Sky is the Limit
in The surrounding Areas.a Landlords are Cleaning up!
When they get tired of Tenant Headaches. They then Sell The Property
to an Investor for MILLIONS.

So who is at Fault? The GREEDY American. Or Our Capitalistic Society
with no Protection for those that have NO POWER!
I heard it said the Other Day "Some People have to Die, in order to run a Country"?


44 people like this
Posted by Fact remains
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jul 12, 2019 at 7:28 pm

The fact remains there are thousands of people residing by choice on public streets and in vehicles who (sometimes) seem ok with this - some are either unable to fully care and provide for themselves, or have mental illness or drug addictions that are the focus of their daily living. I saw two able bodied young men panhandling in the El Camino Real median today around Atherton. There ARE legit low skills jobs going begging in construction, waitering, delivery, etc........
Why should public thoroughfares and roadways become places of habitation and blocked and trashed?
It’s a public health and public safety issue.
I do not support this becoming entrenched.
A temporary choice is not a permanent fix, though.
Do some really say we taxpayers should pay for free housing (and to what specifications and where)? - this could be endless.
Then - we need to supply free furniture, food, healthcare. A free car - or two?
This is not logical, yet breathless advocates insist this is all “a human right.”
People need to take responsibility for themselves.
Come on.
The governor of California invites illegal aliens in to receive free healthcare 18 and under and etc. (to what specifications!? - a free kidney Transplant !?) - WE legal residents and citizens can’t get this!!
I guess being married to a billionaire heiress, he isn’t concerned.
The rest of us normal taxpayers w/o loopholes, ARE!


45 people like this
Posted by Biased sample
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jul 12, 2019 at 9:03 pm

Biased sample is a registered user.

I'd like to caution that the Weekly spoke to just under 1/4 of the RV residents, and the ones who volunteered to talk were probably a biased sample -- biased towards having a relatively favorable story to tell.


7 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 12, 2019 at 10:09 pm

"Employers who don't pay people enough to afford real housing should pay more."

"perhaps Stanford should be required to provide work week housing for the workers?"


Why would they want to do that, when their workers are willing to live in the low-cost El Camino RV Park instead? As opposed to tech/professional workers, who won't do that, so employers do pay them more?


34 people like this
Posted by rental issues
a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 12, 2019 at 11:11 pm

I'm very concerned about landlords providing very substandard rental "housing" (vans and RVs) along ECR. In particular, rental vans lacking proper ventilation, bathroom facilities and/or running water are not fit for human habitation and can lead to public health crises. It seems to me that Code Enforcement in Palo Alto (650) 646-1855 or the CA Dept of Consumer Affairs overseeing landlord/tenant issues (800) 952-5210​ should be investigating.


74 people like this
Posted by Magnet
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Jul 12, 2019 at 11:36 pm

"Tynika Davis and Ivan Castillo are a young couple who have lived in their RV for about a year with their dog, Khaleesi. The 23-year-olds previously lived in their van in San Mateo until “the city started cracking down really hard on people living in their cars,” Davis said."
By not enforcing the existing laws against prolonged vehicle dwelling on public streets, Palo Alto has become a magnet for van and RV dwellers from other Bay Area communities that do enforce these laws.


1 person likes this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jul 13, 2019 at 8:25 am

[Post removed.]


12 people like this
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 13, 2019 at 11:08 am

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

I am starting to wonder about groups like the Silicon Valley Leadership Group who keep trying to hype this area as the place to put business. They are a collective of business leaders who are hiring H1B people and putting the US workers out of work. It is time that "business" start to think about putting their locations in the valley where their employees can afford a house. Reading the weekend papers there are bargains galore out there. So many "groups" that are compelling people to locate here need to be challenged on that approach.

If major business moves out of the area then many of the RV dwellers will follow because they can have a job - even if it is a construction or service job at these companies. We have to stop the groups that keep selling the bay area and get them to sell the valley. I am hearing of younger people moving to Texas - Austin area that has a lot of homes and jobs. Also tech areas in the Midwest great lakes area.


17 people like this
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 13, 2019 at 12:09 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

Typical journalistic approach is to get personal stories to change sentiment of the readers to compel people to disregard the rules. It is obvious that other cities have changed their rules to get RV's off the El Camino and into designated areas. All of those personal stories are suppose to overcome the complaints of the residents who are paying taxes to live here. End result is that everyone can tell a personal story and that means that a total city is suppose to bend common sense rules.
Come on city - create the space - possibly in the Palo Alto Business Park which has a ton of unused land. Make it happen. Make it happen and then enforce it. Then get a street sweeper and sweep El Camino ever day so that no one else gets it into their heads that they are the exception. Because they have a story.


32 people like this
Posted by RVs not for living
a resident of Mountain View
on Jul 13, 2019 at 12:33 pm

These stories are of course genuine and sometimes heart wrenching. But that does not make it OK to live on the streets. “R”Vs should be just that....RECREATIONAL vehicles.

I absolutely cannot this understand how anyone could condone or support this. It is unsanitary, it is not safe, it is insulting to those who do it. The majority of these stories are about people ending up in these situations because of a lifetime of poor choices. Rather than spending $ Establishing parking lots with facilities, these people should be given counsel on how to make better choices in life, that sometimes it’s not fair but you have to make hard choices, you can’t always have what you want, live where you want.

Streets and RV’s are not for living. These vehicles must go.


22 people like this
Posted by S mom
a resident of Community Center
on Jul 13, 2019 at 12:39 pm

Good article, but I was left wondering what the bathroom situation is for people living in RVs (especially for the family of 10). I assume RVs have septic tanks of some kind -- how do those get emptied? Do people shower in the RV, and if so, where is the water coming from?


41 people like this
Posted by new guy
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jul 13, 2019 at 1:59 pm

Wish someone (hint - a journalist) would actually find out, but the reality is everyone already knows the answer. The waste goes down the storm drains, into the bay, then into the ocean. Does it really look like these RVs drive over to a pump out station and pay the fee? Honestly, it is great that people have "stories", I have one too, and it does not entail me dumping human waste into storm drains. How come half of the RVs on ECR have their wheels on the curb? Is that not a fine anymore? In no way is the 72 hr policy of having to move enforced. Just look at the amount of dirt and rocks under the trailers, where street cleaners have not had access to for perhaps weeks. I thought the no overnight parking restriction on Menlo Park was harsh when I moved here, but now I so thankful for it. RVs must go.


43 people like this
Posted by Huh?
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 13, 2019 at 2:36 pm

And yet they all seem to have enough money for smartphones, cigarettes and alcohol.


24 people like this
Posted by A picture tells 1000 words
a resident of Professorville
on Jul 13, 2019 at 2:45 pm

In the top photo are images of a Safeway pie box, McDonald's ice coffee (unfinished), McDonald's soda, other junk food. This is not the way to save money. Water is free at McDonald’s and desserts are unnecessary for health. These people need to watch Suzy Orman on TV. I’m sure they have TVs.


27 people like this
Posted by Using Us
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Jul 13, 2019 at 2:56 pm

These people do not need to be here, everyone else commutes. These people are no poorer than the people who commute from Sacramento, Bakersfield, Merced, or the E. Bay every day. And guess what? Grocery store prices are cheaper in those areas too. They are using our city because they can. The city should kick them out and educate them on where they can afford rent because they don't know or they are stubborn. Arm them with a map. Raising a family in an RV is parent neglect.

It's easy to empathize when it doesn't directly affect people. Those who are falling for this "poor them" scam should help them out in some way, through donations or free rooms in their houses. But no, it's NIMBYism at its best.


18 people like this
Posted by PA Weekly Article Synopsis
a resident of Community Center
on Jul 13, 2019 at 3:20 pm

No comment...just a summary of valid points made by various posters.

> I'd like to caution that the Weekly spoke to just under 1/4 of the RV residents, and the ones who volunteered to talk were probably a biased sample -- biased towards having a relatively favorable story to tell.

> They seem like salt-of-the-earth people making the best decisions for themselves and their families. They are our neighbors.

>> The fact remains there are thousands of people residing by choice on public streets and in vehicles who (sometimes) seem ok with this - some are either unable to fully care and provide for themselves, or have mental illness or drug addictions that are the focus of their daily living. I saw two able bodied young men panhandling in the El Camino Real median

>> I'm very concerned about landlords providing very substandard rental "housing" (vans and RVs) along ECR. In particular, rental vans lacking proper ventilation, bathroom facilities and/or running water are not fit for human habitation and can lead to public health crises.

>>I was left wondering what the bathroom situation is for people living in RVs (especially for the family of 10). I assume RVs have septic tanks of some kind -- how do those get emptied? Do people shower in the RV, and if so, where is the water coming from?

>> The waste goes down the storm drains, into the bay, then into the ocean. Does it really look like these RVs drive over to a pump out station and pay the fee?

>> And yet they all seem to have enough money for smartphones, cigarettes and alcohol.

>> In the top photo are images of a Safeway pie box, McDonald's ice coffee (unfinished), McDonald's soda, other junk food. This is not the way to save money.

>> It's easy to empathize when it doesn't directly affect people. Those who are falling for this "poor them" scam should help them out in some way, through donations or free rooms in their houses. But no, it's NIMBYism at its best.


16 people like this
Posted by Fact remains
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jul 13, 2019 at 4:55 pm

The fact remains this is not a tenable or sustainable way to live.
It does flow to the San Francisco Bay. If you or I did this, we’d be cited.

Also, the poster above who identified the Silicon Valley Leadership Group as one to be aware of....wow, that is correct.
That “group” does NOT represent the interests of SF Peninsula residents/homeowners/renters, believe me.

Yet they have the ears of ALL Santa Clara County officials, City of San Jose (and some other government entities) as they fully lobby on behalf of the largest corporate businesses. Their aim is to shift ALL burdens, costs, problems onto US.
(Preferably away from San Jose.)
Homeless issues, shelters - just one aspect.
We are the hapless golden goose (geese?) to them!

Living at Northern Santa Clara County, huge sales tax funds etc. are extracted and presented to them in San Jose, where our County HQ is located, and we receive in return poor representation on committees, incl. See: public transit, shift of commercial flightpaths over onto us, etc.
Please join me and email your Santa Clara County Supervisor, in particular, demanding that the interests of us individual northern Santa Clara County taxpayer residents be represented. Many thanks.


24 people like this
Posted by WillowCat
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jul 13, 2019 at 6:41 pm

I have lived in Menlo Park for almost 20 years. I have worked since I left home at 16 years old. Recently, I lost my job after becoming seriously ill and have exhausted short-term disability. It takes nearly two years on average to process SSDI leaving a gap of a year with no income. With rent the way it is, I will use up my savings in a few months. I am seriously having to consider RV living at this point which is something I would never in a million years dream would befall me having earned six figure incomes a good deal of my adult life. While many of these comments are surprisingly empathetic, there are the usual judgmental ones as well where people are blamed for their circumstances based on the usual prejudicial, capitalistic baloney that if these people just worked hard or did some other imagined thing "right", they wouldn't be in this boat. Many wait lists for affordable housing have been closed in the Bay Area for YEARS and the supply is woefully insufficient. All of these resources you imagine are out there for the taking are a pipe dream. Here's a harsh dose of reality, but for luck and maybe having more resources, any of us could be just one illness or one financial disaster away from being in the same boat. Thank your lucky stars you aren't instead of sitting home smugly passing judgment on people whose circumstances you know nothing about.


13 people like this
Posted by Fact remains
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jul 13, 2019 at 8:46 pm

WillowCat, I’m truly sorry to hear of your difficult situation.
Let’s clarify specific, unusual life challenges like yours as a local resident with those traveling here for benefits and handouts.
I don’t at all think you are like the many on the streets of SF or on BART who are aggressively panhandling, urinating and defecating in public, using hard, illegal drugs and throwing trash everywhere while lounging about on public sidewalks and alleys, under bridges. Many of these people are traveling here.
This newer problem is separate from local resident individuals who have sudden medical issues or life challenges and who deserve support from family, friends, insurance, government and society.
But we can’t claim thousands are being laid off and thrown out of work as that ISN’T happening - and when basic, regular work goes begging. People here CAN work two jobs if they want to stay here and can’t afford it on one wage. Taking up residence in a tent, cardboard, camper is TRANSIENT situation, not housing and they need to engage on solutions, not just panhandle and receive benefits at our endless taxpayer expense as decided by our government officials who tax us highly!


18 people like this
Posted by Sophie
a resident of Los Altos
on Jul 13, 2019 at 11:40 pm

Hi tech companies intend to IMPORT workforce from out of town/state/country because those people are more vulnerable than locals. They need to pay for the housing, set down their family, maybe are bounded by H1B visa, etc. so they are more willing to work for longer hours, accept whatever income. In one word, high tech companies know which type of workforce they are able to exploit.


23 people like this
Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 14, 2019 at 11:25 am

Aside from the whole question of RV parking in public, one things I really resent and think should be made illegal with non-trivial fines or punishment is for people to rent RVs to desperate people who need a place to live with the intention of parking them in public space.

Whatever you think about the RV parking in general, the idea that some people are renting these out and making money off them truly disgusts me and it should be illegal if it is not now, and they should find and punish people severely who do this.

If an RV is something that someone owns and registers and maintains, that is one question, but making someone pay rent to live on property they do not own is totally another question.

I see there are RVs for rent by legitimate companies. Maybe any RV for rent should be required to display a notification that this is a recreational rental and is required by the terms of the rental agreement to park in legal places or the company is responsible.

Am I the only one who find this practice of renting RVs to desperate people in order to break the law far more reprehensible than already desperate people who own RVs taking the streets in survival mode?


24 people like this
Posted by Family Friendly
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 14, 2019 at 11:54 am

@CrescentPark

Sufficient laws are already on the books. If the police start doing their job again and towing illegally parked vehicles, the slum lords will have to pay the impound fees. This illegal trade will dry up real fast.


10 people like this
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 14, 2019 at 12:46 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

It is not the job of individual citizens to pass judgement on other individuals. It is the job of individual citizens to make sure that the governance of the city is being conducted in accordance with the rules and laws on the books so that no one individual is being targeted. Everyone is going to follow the laws and not our job to selectively let some off the hook.
Everyone has a STORY. Everyone has BILLS. Everyone has responsibilities to their families. Everyone has failed at some project in life and has had medical and job-related issues to deal with.
As to Palo Alto other cities have cleared the decks and made their decisions concerning this topic. Meanwhile we have people in RV's with questionable sanitary issues sitting between our high school and a major university.
How stupid is that?
Who agreed to ignore the rules on the books and let that happen?
Why does the city sit around and conjure on how to handle this? Why let this continue?
Is the city being intimidated or coerced by any organization to allow this to continue?
If the people we hire to run the city cannot follow the rules they swore into upon taking office then fire them and get new people.


23 people like this
Posted by Dan
a resident of Professorville
on Jul 14, 2019 at 1:14 pm

Economics 101 says that when you subsidize something you will get more of it. This is why in San Francisco where we are spending $80,000 per year per homeless person, we have a record number of homeless people and growing.

In Palo Alto, It may make us feel better to subsidize free parking lots and showers and food and telephones for RV dwellers but guess what is going to happen when we do that - we will get more RV dwellers.

As a community it’s a really simple decision. Are we OK with people living in RVs on public streets or not. The current strategy of allowing people to live on el Camino is just a softer form of subsidy - we choose to not fully enforce our laws which say it’s not ok to live in an rv on a public street.

The folks who live in the rvs are simply making a rational economic decision, just like the homeless in San Francisco are.

We should all be sure we understand the inevitable outcomes. if we make it easier we will get more of them. A policy that makes us feel better - free safe parking and showers and free food and phones - will simply make the problem worse, just like it has in San Francisco. Is that what the Palo Alto wants?


10 people like this
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 14, 2019 at 2:04 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

We have laws on the books that says what is expected and what all agreed to. Does everyone feel the need to think up what ever "policy" they want and say that is what we all are going to do? NO - it does not work that way - in theory. There are higher laws that result in how a city is run - sanitation which we all pay into,
disease prevention, fiscal responsibility. If we vote for a bill as to how money is spent then you don't get to rob that account to do something else with it.

There is some degree of coercion going on here - either subtle or not subtle.
That is the problem - and attempts to modify sympathy to an objectionable situation which we don't need to step up to. So who is being coerced here? Is SU applying pressure? Just think when the students go to visit the U's - and what do they see? RV's. What does that say about PA? STUPID. Not a good advertisement for SU quality of life for their students. They are paying a huge amount of money.

Contractors? If you all have not noticed there is massive construction goin on now in the valley - you can read about all of the new communities being built. That is construction jobs. That is other jobs which support the construction business.
The jobs are out there. They need to go to the jobs.


4 people like this
Posted by PA Church Involvement?
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 14, 2019 at 2:10 pm

Maybe the various Palo Alto churches could get more involved with remedying this social problem.

Rally the congregation to show come community spirit & caring on behalf of their fellow man.


1 person likes this
Posted by @ Church Involvement
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 14, 2019 at 5:00 pm

Google "Hotel de Zink" and see the list of churches providing this. Each church has its own listing so it is not possible to show each individual link.


22 people like this
Posted by Using Us
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Jul 14, 2019 at 6:02 pm

@PA Church Involvement? Churches were asked several years ago to allow vehicle dwellers on their parking lots and only one church volunteered. Churchgoers are not angels.

We could have all the churches volunteer to help homeless people and there still would not be enough help because Palo Alto would become a magnet for homeless. We pay millions for our houses, I am not living with homeless people. No, I don't have sympathy for them. They should have planned ahead, lived in a cheaper location, saved money from 3 jobs. Americans think that Social Security is going to bail them out but there won't be any left because people are living too long.

Quit YOLOing, people! Think about the future. If you are not saving any money now, it's too expensive for you and you need to move elsewhere! Oregon, Midwest, Las Vegas, Reno. Someday, you'll be too old or sick to work; take advantage of your good health now while you can.


19 people like this
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 14, 2019 at 8:12 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

What is really horrible here is that our bay is being turned into a toilet. Where are all of the conservation groups who want clean water and a clean bay? It is like we have turned off our brains and any science that we have learned in the last 100 years.


5 people like this
Posted by Midtown
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 14, 2019 at 9:25 pm

We are dealing with the Titanic syndrome here. The Bay area has 2X jobs and 1X places to live. The 1X with no place to live are out of luck. Paying them more only displaces ones slightly higher up. What is needed is MORE LIFE BOATS.


35 people like this
Posted by Mountain View Resident
a resident of Mountain View
on Jul 15, 2019 at 2:29 pm

Mountain View Resident is a registered user.

I fail to understand why I must pay property taxes, school bond payments, etc., to support the people who live in RVs by choice or bad luck and pay nothing. (Sales taxes here do not support general services but are earmarked.) I have seen raw human waste dumped into street drains and have had my friends accosted by RV dwellers. Fortunately, the city of Mountain View shut the "camp" on my street after many complaints from the legal residents (owners and renters) in the area. In past years, I have struggled to pay my mortgage and my heath care costs and nobody helped me because I am middle class and "made too much money". Whatever happened to personal responsibility? My parents were 1st generation Americans and worked very hard to keep food on our table and to pay the mortgage. They taught me to be responsible for myself and to clean up my own messes no matter how difficult. I don't understand how the Bay Area can be so lax in teaching basic responsibility to all of its inhabitants, legal or not. And please don't lecture me about mental health and drug dependency. Members of my family overcame these obstacles and never dumped sewage on the street.


3 people like this
Posted by Trygve
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 15, 2019 at 2:39 pm

We should support these people, by giving them a dedicated area where they can park and live in their RV's, and where they can dispose of their garbage and sewage in an environmentally friendly and clean manner.

But this dedicated area should NOT be the middle of town. It should not be on El Camino, because other people are paying property taxes to live there, and those people don't want to be surrounded by trash, sewage, and air pollution producing vehicles on their sidewalks.

Please don't just "kick these people out", but instead get them a dedicated area that is not in the middle of town. This is the best solution for everyone.


24 people like this
Posted by Trygve
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 15, 2019 at 2:42 pm

Sorry to disappoint, but "more housing" is NOT the solution. More housing simply attracts more people, just like bigger roads attract more traffic. More roads and more housing did not work for Los Angeles, it did not work for New York City, and it won't work here either. It's called Induced Demand, a well studied phenomenon: Web Link

STOP building more housing.


22 people like this
Posted by eileen
a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 15, 2019 at 2:52 pm

eileen is a registered user.

After watching, "Behind the Headlines", I was extremely disappointed by the timid and biased approach these journalists took toward this sensitive issue. Not to mention they only interviewed a small fraction of RV dwellers! They made it seem like all our concerns were answered. There are a TON of Palo Alto residents who are TOTALLY fed up with RV's lining up and down El Camino and other side streets! Please address their concerns too!! And, allowing 10 people to live in an RV with small children is not right!! Social services, the city, or a church group, should be helping these people transition into housing ASAP! I've walked by the strollers on my way to soccer games months ago.
This family lost their housing in San Jose and is now living in a trailer with small children on the streets of Palo Alto. It's not right to have young children living (cramped) in an RV with no showers etc!! Are they renting this trailer from a slum landlord or did someone lend it to them or are they the owners? The journalists never even asked. And don't start talking about the lack of affordable housing... Yes, you are right, but allowing people to live in unsanitary conditions on the streets is NOT OK. I know for a fact that some RV's dwellers are using hoses to pump raw sewage into the city storm drains. Walk on the sidewalk next to the Stanford rose bushes and you will smell human urine. Not sanitary.. Create an RV park with facilities (Oh, I forgot, we have one) OK, another one, where there are showers and toilets and then ban overnight parking in Palo Alto like all the other cities. These RV dweller deserve better! Palo Alto city council, do something!


7 people like this
Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 15, 2019 at 6:22 pm

Trygve -
> More roads and more housing did not work for Los Angeles,
> it did not work for New York City, and it won't work here either.
> It's called Induced Demand, a well studied phenomenon
>
> STOP building more housing.

Your link says this:
> City planner Jeff Speck has called induced demand "the great
> intellectual black hole in city planning, the one professional
> certainty that everyone thoughtful seems to acknowledge,
> yet almost no one is willing to act upon.

So, no one is willing to act upon.

From that you jump right into not acting, i.e. STOP building more housing.

Is that an argument? Is that a solution? Is that you trying to impress us
with new concepts (thanks) but not using it for anything?

Or maybe is the real issue no one is willing to even talk about
really population. Obviously the world, and the country needs
some modern new system of population control that is better
than famine or war, and yet somehow the main voice against
anything like that is the anti-abortion stance of the Right. Basically
taken over by the people who control production, weath and
the current government.

But these intractable issues were they to be discussed,
analyzed and acted on would presumably be done by some
level of government, but since government is done by economic
interests nothing will happen until it is very profitable for a lot of
people and increases their money and/or power. But the status
quo is what is doing that ... so maybe the issue is to relieve what
caused the problem in the first place, a dysfucntional status quo,
and profiteering leaders who do nothing without political and
economic intrigue and secrecy.

--

BUT, of course building more housing is part of the answer, there
are never single variable problems in real life, especially that cover
so many real lives.

More parts of the answer are distributing companies out of the
area.

Maybe creating some competing businesses that hire people and
provide alternative employment, since there is a higher rate of return
on that as opposed to either paying for increasing social services or
pushing the system to a breaking point and then waiting to see what
form of government steps up to take even more control.

Time for a re-vitalized public sector, fund and expand the schools,
create a public bank as North Dakota has, move these centers of
jobs and economic activities just outside the local area by expanding
rapid transit that people will actually use.

--

This problem is not going to go away and not building more housing
is a totally wrong-headed conclusion to draw from the concept you
brought up.


5 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jul 16, 2019 at 2:16 am

There is lots of space to park RV's and other vehicles at 2081 Bay Road East Palo Alto.


11 people like this
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jul 16, 2019 at 6:59 am

^ Nah, those soon to be 4500 parking spaces are for the 5000 employees who will be commuting to the five new 8-story office buildings.


7 people like this
Posted by A resident
a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 16, 2019 at 10:42 am

If you think letting RVs park is the right thing to do then I ask you what about the homeless workers living in tents? Should they also be allowed to put their tents on the side walks or do they need to continue to hide? I know acouple of guys who don't look homeless and live in tents.


3 people like this
Posted by Kenny
a resident of University South
on Jul 16, 2019 at 1:26 pm

"There are too many people for the infrastructure of the city."

That also held true in the 1980s, when many of the current anti-growth folks moved here from elsewhere. That did not stop them from coming here, and the same holds true to this day. The only viable solution is to develop our city's infrastructure to accommodate the influx. It is about 40 years overdue.

"More housing is a bandaid for a deeper wound, and will actually make our problems worse. Including more people living in RVs."

Because less housing alleviates a housing shortage? Insufficient housing and parking IS the deeper wound, and the reason for our RV neighborhoods.

If removing people from Palo Alto is the solution, then we should do it right and remove anyone who arrived here after 1980. If such a right-sizing option is unpalatable, then we need to quickly upgrade our infrastructure to accommodate our new community members.


1 person likes this
Posted by Kenny
a resident of University South
on Jul 16, 2019 at 1:39 pm

"We pay millions for our houses, I am not living with homeless people."

You are right now. You should have planned ahead and realized this would happen. Anyways, there are a lot fewer panhandlers in downtown since the RVs showed up.

"If you are not saving any money now, it's too expensive for you and you need to move elsewhere! Oregon, Midwest, Las Vegas, Reno. Someday, you'll be too old or sick to work; take advantage of your good health now while you can."

If you don't like homeless, stop opposing affordable housing. If you don't like RV dwellers, you need to move elsewhere! Oregon, Midwest, Las Vegas, Reno.



19 people like this
Posted by eileen
a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 16, 2019 at 1:56 pm

eileen is a registered user.

Kenny, no NEW apartments, condos, luxury homes, small duplexes, etc. will be AFFORDABLE. Hitchhiking onto this discussion about RV's with "building more housing" as the answer is silly. If anything, all the affordable housing we have now will be torn down and replaced with expensive ones.

People need to stop using our working poor as an excuse for building more housing. All the new housing will be for some of the 64,000 tech workers, that can afford this housing, people that want to move to Palo Alto for the schools etc., overseas investors, and LLC's who want to plant money in housing. You will only see more RV's with workers etc. living on the available streets. The only solution is to build Affordable Housing which developers are not interested in!


6 people like this
Posted by @build
a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 16, 2019 at 2:54 pm

Re: too many people for our infrastructure

“That also held true in the 1980s, when many of the current anti-growth folks moved here from elsewhere.“

I disagree. And, I and everyone I know who moved to Palo Alto in the 80s moved into existing housing; housing built in the 50s. Sure it’s been updated, but did not need to be rezoned for greater density.

Further, increased density results from capital investment that increases the value and utility of the real estate asset. That increases the cost of land, which is the dominant factor in housing price. There is no way to build into lower costs. We can build lower quality and charge less for it, but we’ve seen some of the most strident demanders of increased density reject this for more space and higher quality at the same price elsewhere, such as in Santa Cruz.

Finally, housing, traffic, and parking are superficial symptoms of our already too rapid increase in density. We have limited water, noise concerns, an inability to manage and supervise city activities, employees, contractors, financial, and legal obligations, an inability to handle things like dog ownership, recreational venues and opportunities, a mere feint at disaster recovery plans, communication limitations, a total inability to handle minor crimes such as illegal use of public throughways and enforce leaf-blower and traffic regulations, and a growing inability to handle thefts, mugging, and even violent crimes and major crimes.

And our schools are overwhelmed, both with the number of students per class which makes teaching a struggle instead of a pleasure, and the number of students per school which causes the vast majority of issues of students in the middle range to fall through the cracks and leaves their success to sink or swim or politically connected savvy parents.

Cost of housing, parking and traffic are problems, but not the problems that can ruin a city.


1 person likes this
Posted by Me 2
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 17, 2019 at 11:23 am

"And our schools are overwhelmed"

Actually no. Example - Walter Hays has reduced number of classes for several grades for the upcoming school year. Some of our favorite teachers with less tenure are being bumped.

Given how expensive it is to live here, we might be seeing a repeat of a drop-off in attendance that this area saw in the 70s and early 80s. Fewer younger couples with children can afford to buy into this area and the ones that can are sending them to private school.

Makes me wonder if the people who are screaming that our schools are overwhelmed actually have kids in PAUSD (probably not).


1 person likes this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 17, 2019 at 12:11 pm

Posted by Me 2, a resident of Old Palo Alto

>> "And our schools are overwhelmed"

>> Actually no. Example - Walter Hays has reduced number of classes for several grades for the upcoming school year. Some of our favorite teachers with less tenure are being bumped.

The high schools are overwhelmed, but, it could be that we have an enrollment decline in our near future, since young families are generally getting squeezed out again, as you said.

>> Makes me wonder if the people who are screaming that our schools are overwhelmed actually have kids in PAUSD (probably not).

As far as I know, enrollment is about the same as it has been for the last decade or so. I don't see the same documentation on the district website, so, I'm not sure what has happened the last two years. But, people who think the schools are overwhelmed probably have kids in high school.


2 people like this
Posted by Robert Neff
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 21, 2019 at 10:37 pm

Robert Neff is a registered user.

Thank you for running this article.

I think we need enormous housing growth regionally (and locally) to offset our historical bias (at least the last 40 years) toward jobs, not housing.


3 people like this
Posted by test
a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 22, 2019 at 12:28 am

thoihb


8 people like this
Posted by Corporate Citizenship
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 22, 2019 at 12:43 am

It couldn't be more clear from these stories that the problem is that the jobs are too densely concentrated in one area and we have to find a way to get a more even distribution of job centers across the state. Being so laissez-faire about concentration of jobs in one place is creating these ills for so many people and destroying the quality of life for everyone.

This is a large and wonderful state, with other places that could be developed to be great job centers with the right ingredients: an up-and-coming or existing university, affordable housing and places to build more, good climate, a need for investment and jobs, etc. Merced for example. The world is only getting more crowded and our cities are located where they are for historic reasons. The only reason we have this constrained situation is that ever since the cult of Reagan, companies haven't felt any obligation to pay to return the public investments they were able to take advantage of in becoming successful. We must multiply the job centers through public investment to make some of these areas more attractive so companies will want to move out. We have to simultaneously make them, not the public, pay the true cost of their overcrowding areas that can't reasonably support the growth anymore.

Most of the people surveyed here would be much better off if there were job opportunities more evenly distributed across the state. It's just not humane to keep holding out an impossible carrot of building building building in a built up place without expandable infrastructure when we've heard those arguments about the urgency of overbuilding for decades and all they really are is just kryptonite for developers to get to make more money from unsafe and poor overdevelopment. The overdevelopment displaces existing residents and is what ratchets up costs. That's an old story. How people keep buying the wrong overly simplistic ideas about supply and demand that NEVER produce affordable housing, I'll never know. Housing advocates in CA have bought into it hook line and sinker.

But until people wake up and realize the real issue here is better distribution of job centers, by making the public investments in the places that need it across the state (like infrastructure, education, civic resources, and even entertainment resources), so that companies will know that if they move there they can attract employees who will want to go for the affordable quality of life, this situation is just not going to get better, it will just keep getting worse and the false promises of more overbuilding will just keep leading us there.


18 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 23, 2019 at 6:17 am

I'm surprised Stanford residents and College Terrace residents do not complain more to the city of Palo Alto. El Camino Real is now filled with RVs and when you jog along there in the evening, it is both unsanitary and a bit scary. Because streets can no longer be cleaned, but also waste is being dumped on the streets, the level of filth that has built up and become a public health hazard is very high.

Near Starbucks on El Camino Real (near Stanford avenue), I noticed the city has removed any signs related to parking and RVs are lined up permanently. Put on blocks (as the RVs slant towards the sidewalks).

Even worse, some of them have parked ON THE SIDEWALKS, and then additionally put cones on the streets (as construction trucks do) thus making the driving lanes more congested.

Driving hazard.
Sidewalk hazard.
Public health hazard with waste water being dumped.
Cars not being moved for weeks, or months or several months on end, making the streets dirty.

Why is it downtown Palo Alto residents are required to move their cars for street cleaning (or they are fined with tickets) but in College Terrace and along El Camino Real, the street cleaning happens with cars that are not moved. The streets build up incredible filth and likely poses a health hazard to pedestrians using the very sidewalks.

Why the differential treatment City of Palo Alto? You don't see RVs parked along Middlefield road near Crescent Park or Old Palo Alto? Instead street parking signs are done in such a manner that RVs can preferentially camp out along El Camino Real near College Terrace neighborhoods?


5 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 23, 2019 at 6:27 am

If RVs being permanently stationed along El Camino Real (in College Terrace neighborhoods), such that city of Palo Alto silently condones such parking, by REMOVING street parking signs on El Camino Real and various College Terrace streets such that cars (or RVs) can be permanently park on those streets for months, weeks and days without any requirement to move (including street cleaning)....... I suggest the City of Palo Alto also allow such RV parking behavior throughout all the other Palo Alto Neighborhoods.

Crescent Park
Old Palo Alto
Middlefield Road
Forest Avenue (near city hall)
University Avenue
Waverly

Why shuffle RVs right into College Terrace and El Camino Real near Stanford only? Lets use the entire city streets instead. What is good for one neighborhood (for Palo Alto) should be good for all.
When RVs park on sidewalks, don't move for days, weeks, and months on end, and the street is filled with filth... lets spread that around everywhere. College Terrace neighborhood shouldn't be the only streets who experience this.

Remove the parking signs that limit parking, as they have been removed from specific College Terrace neighborhood streets and sections along El Camino Real (near College Terrace neighborhood and Stanford).
No need to limit RV parking to simply those sections of Palo Alto.


3 people like this
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 26, 2019 at 11:13 am

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

On the news yesterday they said that some beaches in Southern California had to be closed because of the degree of fecal matter in the water was in excess of the health standards. That is beaches in the downward path of the LA river and other waterways in which street water empties into drains for transfer to the ocean.
I think that we should have the peninsula cities measure how the outflow to the bay is being affected by fecal matter being dumped into the street drains.
Our state is out of control regarding public health.


11 people like this
Posted by While Motoring Along ECR
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 26, 2019 at 1:29 pm

I counted 35 (including a parked trailer & 'residential' bobtail) along ECR from across Town & Country Village to Stanford Avenue.

Couldn't PA/Stanford simply install NO PARKING signs?

Some sections of ECR in this immediate area have them & thus there are no RVs parked there.


2 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 26, 2019 at 2:45 pm

Posted by While Motoring Along ECR, a resident of Barron Park

>> I counted 35 (including a parked trailer & 'residential' bobtail) along ECR from across Town & Country Village to Stanford Avenue.

Better there than in the neighborhoods, e.g. Barron Park. For example, some of the same RVs have been parked for years, with very infrequent movement, in the Mitchell Park/Library parking lot. Sometimes that lot is full to overflowing, and, the RVs are still there. Not a good use of that resource. The city needs to enforce the existing ordinance and prevent RVs from taking over the city.

P.S. Recent articles have identified a number of Stanford contract employees living along that section of ECR. Why can't Stanford house, e.g., construction contractor employees somewhere on Stanford property under the Eucalyptus forest until the construction is completed?


4 people like this
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 28, 2019 at 7:44 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

Way back when Ford Aerospace & Communications Corp was at the current Oshman / JCC site employees who came in from the valley could park in the parking lot and use the facility showers and bathrooms. They parked there during the week then went back home over the weekends. Everyone was very happy with that solution to a commute problem. No RV's on the street.
If there are employees of SU parked on ECR SU should carve out a location for people who work there. There is a maintenance section in the back that comes onto campus off Foothill at the golf course which would be a good answer. Since it is a maintenance section there are no trees which could catch fire. Eucalyptus trees are very flammable so not a good place to park long term vehicles. Those are the trees that they are removing from the Oakland hills.
If the SU employees are on campus then that would clarify how many other vehicles are there that have no jobs in this city location. Those are the ones that could then be moved off ECR.


Like this comment
Posted by Mj
a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 28, 2019 at 10:07 pm

I visited some people who live on el Camino at holiday time last year as they are also my neighbors. My experience was similar to the article though I met people in other professions too.

Several told me they live here because it is Palo Alto do they feel safer- these are people who want to feel safe too.


7 people like this
Posted by A MB Tracker Would Probably Be OK In PA
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 29, 2019 at 2:30 pm

I suspect that many upscale Palo Altans would be less disturbed by these randomly parked RVs if they were nicer & better kept-up instead of the shoddy, run-down looking ones we see lined along the streets & in parking lots.

It's all about image.


7 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 29, 2019 at 7:41 pm

Posted by A MB Tracker Would Probably Be OK In PA, a resident of Adobe-Meadow

>> I suspect that many upscale Palo Altans would be less disturbed by these randomly parked RVs if they were nicer & better kept-up instead of the shoddy, run-down looking ones we see lined along the streets & in parking lots. It's all about image.

You are 100% wrong about that. I saw an MB trying to park in various neighborhoods and it was NOT well received. Most people I know don't want any kind of RV parked on residential streets no matter how expensive it is. RVs are not scalable, they aren't environmentally friendly, they aren't neighborhood friendly. Think about it-- something on the order of 40 RVs along ECR near Stanford has an enormous footprint. If you had an acre of RM-40 housing you could house everybody in that one acre and create a dedicated bus lane where the RVs are. So, no. No brand-new expensive MB RVs either.


2 people like this
Posted by A MB Tracker Would Probably Be OK In PA
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 30, 2019 at 11:43 am

Have you ever been inside a fully-outfitted MB Tracker?

Nicer interior than a lot of PA houses!


1 person likes this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 30, 2019 at 11:47 am

Posted by A MB Tracker Would Probably Be OK In PA, a resident of Adobe-Meadow

>> Have you ever been inside a fully-outfitted MB Tracker?
>> Nicer interior than a lot of PA houses!

Doesn't matter. If you own one please park it on your own property, not on the public street.


2 people like this
Posted by A MB Tracker Would Probably Be OK In PA
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 30, 2019 at 12:56 pm

> Doesn't matter. If you own one please park it on your own property, not on the public street.

^^^I concur. Would you have a problem/issue if some PA residents were allow MB Trackers to park in their own private driveways & front yards but not on the streets?

Reason for asking...a couple of transients from out of the area asked if we would be willing to let them park their Airstream trailers in one of our front lots for a reasonable monthly fee.

Personally I don't have a problem with it since the property in question is a rental residence & we really don't care what the neighbors think since it is not infringing on their street access or visibility.


1 person likes this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 30, 2019 at 1:19 pm

Posted by A MB Tracker Would Probably Be OK In PA, a resident of Adobe-Meadow

^^^I concur. Would you have a problem/issue if some PA residents were allow MB Trackers to park in their own private driveways & front yards but not on the streets?

A good question without a good answer. Because, impact on neighbors and neighborhood varies enormously. In some configurations, the neighbors might not even notice; it could be the equivalent of an ADU. In others, it would be visible, intrusive on the neighbors privacy, and, add to parking problems.


1 person likes this
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 30, 2019 at 3:38 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

Everyone keeps trying to qualify a solution to suit a specific set of problems - like a new RV vs an old RV. If people can afford a new RV then they should be able to afford a space at an RV village. They have those in RWC on the 101 side. There is also one on East Bayshore in EPA.

Just create a bottom line set of laws -
1: If employed at SU then SU needs to provide a space on campus, probably in the maintenance area in back. There is no reason that SU should be allowed to off load employees in a manner that is contrary to what we know are standard rules concerning the handling of waste. There is no reason that waste should be swept down the street drains into the bay to putrify the quality of the bay water - such as it is.
2. Other employed people need to approach their respective employers to see if they can park on the companies parking lot. Depending on the size of the employer that could be an iffy situation since parking space is near and dear.
3. Other people that have no job, no parking lot or just want to hang out in PA should be moved over to the Palo Alto Business Park in the voluminous amount of space back there.
One of those empty buildings can be converted into a community center that has showers, bathrooms, a kitchen, and space to meet to find flyers on available jobs.
The city has an office on one of those streets so they are familiar with the territory back there.
Summer and 100 degree heat is coming up - is here - we do not need to increase the problem at hand - we need to resolve it with workable solutions. And SU needs to do their part.


10 people like this
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Aug 30, 2019 at 1:23 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

It is now the fall and Stanford Football time. I was under the impression that the RV's had to leave during the weekend festivities. SU football is the one of the major draws for this city in which hotels, restaurants, and other commercial ventures which cater to tourist enjoy the festivities as well as the SU people. As part of the major money making time periods for this city I am hoping that the RV rules are enforced. We need to clear the decks in the SU vicinity so that all of the people who come can enjoy the festivities unencumbered with RV's parked on the side walks.
And no - they are not going to be allowed to put those RV's in residential areas. Also suggest that their presence further down ECR are true traffic hazards as the streets are not as unencumbered as at SU.
This city has left itself open to abuse of common sense regarding one of our major city transit streets. The number of streets that a person can cross the city are being systematically reduced.


6 people like this
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Sep 2, 2019 at 12:21 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

Follow-up for after the game on Saturday. Coming back from RWC as the game ended the majority of RV's were gone so that there was now a good additional commute lane on ECR. However there was one RV north of Embarcadero which created a traffic jam so people now having to move over a lane. That was a mess.

It did not help that SU put a barricade in the street so people parking under the trees could empty onto ECR. Better idea is if they left on the back side so that they would then have to access ECR with a signal from a side street.

Same problem south of Embarcadero one large RV with auto was interfering with the flow of traffic. Again barricades in the street so that the parked traffic could empty onto ECR vs leaving on the backside so that they would access ECR with a signal from a side street.

This disruption caused people to continually try and change lanes in a totally packed environment. What a mess.

The team they were playing was not a major team. Imagine when a major team with a lot of out of town people arriving. The number of cars on the street will rise.

Suggest:
1. The city sweeps ECR at midnight before the game and remove any RV that is still parked and make sure they are removed - by what ever is required.
2. Re-ass how cars enter and leave the parking that is under the trees. Have then enter and leave on the back-side of the property so that when they leave it is not onto ECR directly with barricades in the street.

People who come have paid a lot of money to be here for tickets, food, after the game city adventures. The city financially benefits if their experience is as well organized as possible from beginning to end. The commercial interests in the city get happy tourist that come and spend money. That is the cities job - organize and clear obstacles that prevent everyone enjoying the day. And that includes the people who run businesses in the city.


10 people like this
Posted by Big Red
a resident of Community Center
on Sep 2, 2019 at 5:59 pm

> The team they were playing was not a major team.

^^^Tell that to someone from Evanston. Northwestern is a MAJOR college football team.

We regularly tailgate at Stanford football games & have no problem sharing our food & beer with the homeless RVers who pass by saying 'Go Cardinal'.

It's the Christian thing to do & as long as the RV transients are polite & non-troublesome, I see no problem with their presence along ECR.



1 person likes this
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Sep 3, 2019 at 5:53 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

You are parked within the parking lots for the game. That is your business what you do there. The problem is moving traffic on ECR after the game. It was an hour to go from the Stanford Shopping Center down ECR to Oregon. The topic is moving traffic for all attendees - not who ever you chose to feed while you are parked in the lot. It is a traffic management problem - not a feed the RV residences problem.


3 people like this
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Sep 6, 2019 at 10:22 am

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

For all of you who don't care if RV's are parked on ECR during SU games - which interfere with the posted signage and intent that ECR is a major throughway for traffic congestion before and after games, note that the person you are feeding is crowing on a different site that he gets fed.

Why don't you ask all of your RV buddies where they empty their waste receptacles. Sorry - that is a public nuisance and when we have huge crowds not an acceptable presentation for the city as a whole. We are not San Francisco - we care about our city and do not want it used in a negligent manner.

People are trying to legislate the city based on single one-on-one relationships. The city is suppose to legislate on the benefit of the whole city and people following the rules.
All of the one-on-one transactions need to stop - they do not help the overall plan on how the city is run wit proper attention to waste and water.


1 person likes this
Posted by Kenny
a resident of University South
on Sep 6, 2019 at 10:39 am

The RVs have been seemed eyesores and nuisances by whom? The author of the article and a handful of NIMBYs? Maybe if the zero-growth brigade stopped opposing high-density affordable housing, the RV problem would greatly diminish or go away completely. As can be seen over the past 25 years, trying to stop growth and change is a fool's errand.


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Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 6, 2019 at 12:11 pm

Posted by Kenny, a resident of University South

>> The RVs have been seemed eyesores and nuisances by whom? The author of the article and a handful of NIMBYs?

And me. I'll accept that and wear it. You are correct: I don't want RVs in my backyard. They are totally inappropriate as an urban housing solution, and, the occupants have illegally co-opted public property for their private use.

>> Maybe if the zero-growth brigade stopped opposing high-density affordable housing, the RV problem would greatly diminish or go away completely.

If you actually believe that, it is really sad. You want to know who is opposed to high-density affordable housing? Sobrato, the owner of the Fry's site. Read this in a neighboring thread, section "It all revolves around Fry's".

Web Link

As far as Sobrato is concerned, the only thing that is "economically viable" is to build more office space than any additional housing could make up for. According to Tim Steele of Sobrato, the only "economically viable" (his phrase) options will all make the jobs/housing imbalance worse.

Am I a NIMBY? You bet! No more office space!

Anybody know how much Sobrato paid for their RM-30 zoned property?


10 people like this
Posted by Big Red
a resident of Community Center
on Sep 6, 2019 at 6:43 pm

>>> For all of you who don't care if RV's are parked on ECR during SU games - which interfere with the posted signage and intent that ECR is a major throughway for traffic congestion before and after games, note that the person you are feeding is crowing on a different site that he gets fed.

^^^The RVs parked along ECR are PARKED & not moving before/after Stanford football games so how are they contributing to the traffic gridlock?

Sharing food is the right thing to do if you have extra vittles. We don't post signs saying 'free food' but if someone stops by (game attendee or otherwise) & we strike up a conversation, offering a beer + some food is neighborly & with good intentions.

>>> Why don't you ask all of your RV buddies where they empty their waste receptacles.

^^^ Why should we? That is a personal matter & Stanford's responsibility to control if on Stanford land.

Do you ask everyone where they poop/pee?

Funny how the people most bent out of shape about these RVs don't even reside near them. Like how many housing tracts are there near the stadium & TC Village?


4 people like this
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Sep 8, 2019 at 10:52 am

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.


What is amazing with these posts is that there are specific rules posted on ECR that there is no parking on ECR during games because that lane is used to move traffic. There is always a "one-off" who has to defy the rules stated on the street signs and some RV poster who is so proud that they have thwarted the status quo. The RV poster then destroys the whole group by crowing about what they are doing. And Big Red is in a parking lot which has nothing to do with traffic on ECR because he is not part of the traffic on ECR. Big Red is sitting and eating. From where I am sitting Big Red and the proud RV poster want to be the status quo for the city - defy any semblance of city order for specific time periods. And input any non-essential argument to make a point. City - please stop with the one-off chaos in the city. The people you are facilitating just crow about how they suckered the city and it's rules. And SU - same for you- stop with the nonsense here.


8 people like this
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Sep 9, 2019 at 3:23 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

Let's take a wild guess here. Some of the RV's are rented to other people. So the RV's that are still sitting in the commuter lane on game days are occupied by people who do not have a license to move/drive the RV. The one I saw was very big. And possibly the occupants have no licenses at all. Any attempt on their part to move the RV's would be a total disaster. And who ever rented the RV's to unlicensed people are way to busy to come and move them on game day. Are they too busy eating in the parking lot? Think that the police should be canvassing those RV's across the board to see if the occupants are licensed to drive the RV's. The RV's have license plates which track to the owners of the RV's. There is a start there. Police too busy? They have bodies out there on game day directing traffic so the bodies are already there. It is a sunk cost for the Police.


11 people like this
Posted by Big Red
a resident of Community Center
on Sep 9, 2019 at 7:46 pm

Part of the problem is that a good number of these transient RVs are not operational or movable. Or they are fixed-position rental units.

I have no problem if they park along residential streets say between the hours of 8PM & 6AM and then move elsewhere so as not to clutter/obstruct resident visibility when pulling one's car out of the driveway.

The key is for them to be movable & not stay in one place too long.

There is plenty of residential street parking for RVs. As a matter of fact& to the chagrin of my neighbors, I even invited one RV inhabitant to park in front of my house but he must be gone by sun-up.

No big deal...it's the neighborly thing to do.


2 people like this
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Sep 9, 2019 at 10:29 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

Of course Big Red is expressing his "opinion" however his opinion is not consistent with the laws at this time. Sounds like you have a financial investment in the RV situation. However any RV that decides to park on a residential street is subject to a call to the police department for removal. The area of the Community Center is so attractive - all it needs is an RV to make it homey? Now since it is only there for the night hours then they really can be anywhere - like down on the east side of 101. Think how quiet it is there at night. There is really no need for any parking on a residential street based on your time schedule.

A non-operational RV? Now that is a conundrum. It is no longer an RV then is it. It is not a vehicle. Suggest to the city that non-operational RV's be removed to where ever dead RV's go so it can rest in piece - or get repaired to hit the road again. There is a place on East Bayshore where a person can rent a space at the RV haven. That way the non-operational RV can hook up to electricity and the showers / bathroom. God forbid that the sewage tanks get filled up with no place to dispense the waste.
Suggest that the police department get on top of this situation and any non-operational RV's be removed. And if operational then make sure that the owner gets it off the road at game day. That is being neighborly. Neighborly is not a one-on-one situation - it is respecting the rules of the city that have been set up for all the city residents to benefit from and enjoy. And to make sure that all of the utilities that we pay for are used by everyone. The bay is not a toilet. Now that is not neighborly.


13 people like this
Posted by Big Red
a resident of Community Center
on Sep 10, 2019 at 8:20 am

@ Resident 1-Adobe Meadows

> Sounds like you have a financial investment in the RV situation. However any RV that decides to park on a residential street is subject to a call to the police department for removal.

^^^ No vested interests. Just trying to help alleviate this problem & the resultant clutter that has so many up in arms.

BTW...thanks for the tip. Will consider letting the RV park in my front driveway but he's has be gone by sunrise. I'll even bring him a hot cup of coffee & some brioche to jumpstart his day!

The PAPD cannot be bothered with citing & towing RVs.

By spreading out these RVs, they should be less visible as a whole rather than appearing like homeless mobile caravans.

Back to the first paragraph...the RVer is also doing me a favor of sorts. An obnoxious neighbor is planning to list their house for what they expect to receive as an enormous sum of money. By keeping our street 'homey' as you succinctly put it, I am trying my best to keep home prices down in Palo Alto. *LOL*

This can also be construed as a personal protest against parasitic RE agents as well...as appearances (albeit superficial ones) mean everything to them.


8 people like this
Posted by Greed Is BAD & Gordon Gecko Was Wrong
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Sep 10, 2019 at 11:02 am

Excellent idea! Being a city of progressive mindsets, Palo Altans can have their own 'adopt an RV' program where compassionate PA neighbors allow these ramshackle RVs to park TEMPORARILY in their driveways or in front of their homes providing they depart at a given time.

No more ECR complaints & as Big Red mentioned, it might even depreciate PA housing prices making the city more affordable.

My parents bought their home in the early 1960s for around $28K & to sell it for close to $3M today is an obscenity...only the greedy + carpetbagging RE agents endorse the concept of overvaluing homes.

Count me in on the Big Red Plan.


2 people like this
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Sep 10, 2019 at 11:41 am

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

If any one drives around PA you all will note that most neighborhoods which have new neighbors are working to plant attractive gardens and generally upgrade the neighborhood. Many are adding additional stories and rooms to their houses. They are expending time and money to beautify and enhance their homes. They are part of the population who are happy to be here and want to contribute to their community.

So we have a divided community - Those who are happy and excited to be here, and those who are disgruntled and need to make a political statement and are using their house to do it. Sorry - take your disgruntlement elsewhere - if you are unhappy with PA then move out to somewhere else.

You all will note if you all drive around that the Palo Alto Business Park which is on the east side of 101 off the San Antonio off ramp has very extensive parking lots on the back side. And a boon - a city office is on one of the courts - right there.

Suggest that all of the ECR groupies move over to the Palo Alto Business Park so that the City of PA can help facilitate the on-goings from their office complex. And some type of bathroom facilities and showers can be added. It is the cities job to manage the street scene - not that of disgruntled people who want to make a statement.

No favors to people who are pontificating for chaos. Not Christian and not
neighborly.

We have a solution - it is the Palo Alto Business Park where many of the buildings are empty. So now we can create chaos for all of the real estate companies that are responsible for all of those empty buildings. That is where your political statement should be. That is a collective statement that is tight in the face of the PA city offices in that business park.


1 person likes this
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Sep 10, 2019 at 12:25 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

Sounds to me that some people who have lived in PA a long time, paid off house, low property taxes, have one point of view of their R-1 zoned neighborhood. However in the all of the PA neighborhoods you have new residents who have paid top dollar, top property taxes, and want what their new neighborhood to be all that it is promised. They want what they paid for within the zoning that they bought into.
And they are entitled to what ever the laws are relative to their zoning.
So Big kahunas not withstanding the laws for the zoning are what is going to prevail.

Like said above making a residential neighborhood the only choice in town is self serving. The actual choice is on the east side of 101 in a commercial zone which - if filled with RV's would be very safe within whatever the RV community polices itself. With the help of the city staff during the day and police review during the night. There ae many ways to respond to the problem and a "commercial" are response speeds resolution.


2 people like this
Posted by Greed Is BAD & Gordon Gecko Was Wrong
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Sep 10, 2019 at 1:01 pm

>>> Sounds to me that some people who have lived in PA a long time, paid off house, low property taxes, have one point of view of their R-1 zoned neighborhood.

>>> However in the all of the PA neighborhoods you have new residents who have paid top dollar, top property taxes, and want what their new neighborhood to be all that it is promised.

^ Life is a delusion...perhaps best to try & get over it.

The Palo Alto of the past was never so upwardly-mobile...blame it on a post-yuppie mentality caught up in appearances.

A paid-off house that initially cost $30K & is covered under Prop 13 tax laws allows certain individuals to be more charitable to those with less means.

>>> Sorry - take your disgruntlement elsewhere - if you are unhappy with PA then move out to somewhere else.

^ Concurring. The upscale PA residents who overpaid for their home & are paying exorbitant property taxes might consider elsewhere to create their suburban utopian dreams...Death Valley, Barstow, Central Valley etc. All of the places that are being suggested by NIMBY's to solve overcrowding and PA housing shortages.

What's the matter? To good to live out there but OK for others?

^ A typical upscale mentality...of no soul or vision.

*thinking of teaming up with Big Red & arranging some RV block parties!*


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Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Sep 10, 2019 at 6:29 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

I bet your neighbors love you guys. Wallowing in disgruntlement.


2 people like this
Posted by Big Red
a resident of Community Center
on Sep 10, 2019 at 6:41 pm

> I bet your neighbors love you guys. Wallowing in disgruntlement.

^^^The neighbor planning to list his overvalued PA house despises me...and so does his RE agent. *L* But they are the ones who represent the disgruntled...not me.

If you were Ben Cartwright & owned the Ponderosa, what harm would there be in letting a covered wagon pass through & maybe allowing the folks to spend a couple of nights?

He wasn't overly concerned about real estate prices going down...neither were the local tribes. Only in PA town.


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Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Sep 10, 2019 at 9:13 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

Big Red is really old - going back to the Bonanza Days. Don't see the 21 Mule Team leading the group here. All those wagons can go over to the big farm on East Bayshore where there is water and hay for the horses and other like minded wagon men to hang out with.


2 people like this
Posted by Big Red
a resident of Community Center
on Sep 11, 2019 at 7:47 am

> Big Red is really old - going back to the Bonanza Days.

^^^ That's what I tell the Mrs. but she is of the delusional Baby Boomer mindset that 60 is the new 40...as a result, she is a high-maintenance older woman.

Oh well, what's money...unless one is overly preoccupied with PA real estate prices and superficial appearances.

How about an 'Adopt an RV Day' in Palo Alto? For one day out of 365 days, PA residents can invite an RV to park in front of their house or in the driveway.

And then for one day, ECR will be clear of RVs...providing they are operational.

In the meantime, the proposed East Bayshore site should be designing/engineering (1) a waste disposal system, (2) electrical hook-ups, (3) running hot/cold water access, (4) shower & laundromat facilities...along with making provisions for a (5) general store, (6) gas station, (7) emergency medical, and time permitting (8) perhaps a small library or entertainment center.

It could even become a PA neighborhood of its own & be listed in the 'pulldown screen' here!

Palo Alto is supposed to be a very wealthy city with a lot of money in its coffers to hire outside consultants & city spokespersons at exorbitant rates (some with CALPers).

Let's put some of those fiscal resources to work & 'beautify Palo Alto'.

The current property tax revenue from all of these overvalued/overpriced PA dwellings & businesses must be staggering.


1 person likes this
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Sep 11, 2019 at 9:24 am

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

My point here from the beginning is that on SU game days ECR has to be clear - which is clearly posted - so that all lanes are available for clearing the vast number of people who have come to that location for the game. All roads leading in to the stadium starting at the freeway are electronically noted that traffic will be immense for these events - and that is starting days before the game. The whole city is on notice for days of the traffic mash-up expected.

What SU and the City of PA are selling is the "location" which is suppose to be set-up for the enjoyment of the day and hopes that all of the crowd will eat, drink, shop, and stroll through the city so that local businesses can reap the reward of living in proximity of the event. And when you have two local teams playing that is an immense number of people in cars. So if that is the mandate of the day then one-off's who insist - for what ever reason - end up parked in the commuter lane then all hell breaks lose with people confused and trying to change lanes because of their commute lanes being blocked. The fact that the police are out there directing traffic while these crates are sitting there is
mind boggling. Why do the city and SU contribute to the whole mash-up that makes them look incompetent.
Crates that are inoperable need to be permanently removed to some other location where they can sit with impunity. Rented RV's the unlicensed people are using - also should be moved to a location where they can sit with impunity.
The east side of 101 has those locations. The people will be happier if they are in a location where they will not be subjected to continual strife relative to their location.
If you check out the MV / Google side of 101 you will note that RV's are parked on the streets in what is a commercial zone so MV/Google are trying to work the situation.
The parking of RV's in R-1 residential zones is not allowed. For a lot of reasons.
They need to stick to the commercial zones set up for them - why is that so hard to understand. Since many of the people have jobs and cars they are free any way to do what ever they do during the day - not our business.


1 person likes this
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Sep 11, 2019 at 10:37 am

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

WOW - opportunity is knocking - we have a whole topic on Fry's - which is sitting on an immense piece of property which is now underutilized since Fry's is clearing the decks of "stuff", and what to do with RV's. A match made in heaven. No - I do not make this type of stuff up. If you visit KMART on Veterans in RWC there are RV's that are parked in the lot and on the surrounding streets. KMART is not shutting down so end of business is not any issue. However they do have a lot more security in the store now and they are losing shopping carts at a fast clip.

Since Sobrato has made no decision - that has been announced - on what is happening for that property then that could be a good place to park the RV's - on the back side of the parking lot so they are not located near the front doors. What a great motivational tool for Sobrato, the City, and who ever else has a financial interest. And people can go in and eat at Fry's, as well as read the magazines in the racks. And if the RV people are computer literate then they can buy all types of stuff to play with. No - it is not a perfect response - but ECR is not a perfect response either.
Hey - got to be creative here. And how about those people living in cars? Better at Fry's then at churches. Churches live on a very narrow break even point so throwing outside issues at them is not a good idea. However Fry's is a location in transition and will eventually be torn up so the break even point there is wide open. And the Sobratos have been feted for their great benevolence to the area so they will be overjoyed to assist in this crises effort. Right?


5 people like this
Posted by Big Red
a resident of Community Center
on Sep 11, 2019 at 12:58 pm

@Resident 1-Adobe Meadows

Your idea/concept of turning Fry's into a haven for transient RVs is an excellent idea!

Sobrato could donate the land and the RV park could be named Sobrato Estates in honor of their benevolence...a Sobrato Lane is also a possibility.

Now we are on the same page!


4 people like this
Posted by Irene
a resident of Monroe Park
on Sep 12, 2019 at 6:43 pm

As a resident of S.PA, I saw the unbridled greed of "investors " as they drove the home prices up.....The US and States have to stop allowing foreign investments (without monitoring) in OUR housing stock! When anonymous buyers from overseas can buy properties here, with millions of dollars in cash, no questions asked, problems are created.
Don't send them elsewhere because the problem of unaffordable housing has only been replicated. Oregon hates CA migrants for a good reason!


6 people like this
Posted by hostels
a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 12, 2019 at 9:14 pm

Since many of the RV dwellers appear to be work-week commuters, rather than homeless individuals, it seems that Palo Alto might address the need for low-cost week-day beds with reasonably priced commuter hostels. Perhaps they could have some of the hipster amenities of their SF counterparts (wifi, communal kitchens with free snacks, etc). This would reduce the number of RVs illegally parked in Palo Alto.


2 people like this
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Sep 23, 2019 at 9:21 am

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

In the papers today 09.23.19 it states that Mountain View is going to change it's policy on RV's which are parked next to their city park and Caltrain. Suspect that the residents gave them a piece of their minds on any residential parking of RV's. It also noted that many of the RV dwellers cannot drive the RV's and have no licenses so they have to be helped to do that. End result is that they will have to be parked in a commercial zone.

Given the immense amount of money that they must be getting from Google taking over their city then they will have to figure that out.

End result of other cities moving forward on their own policies please note that RV's in Palo Alto residential neighborhoods is a no go. Given the brewing storm on PA city politics going on at this time then be advised that there is no appreciation on recent "choices" the city has made arbitrarily with no resident vote as to the previous "rules" on large vehicles on residential streets and overnight car sleepers on residential streets. If any one PA city official is taking direction from some other outside city official regarding how our city is run with no vote from the residents then you all are running into the danger zone. And we are expecting the police department to respond to requests for help. And we did not vote for PACC reps to change the long standing rules for this city. Not is your pay grade.


2 people like this
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Sep 25, 2019 at 10:11 am

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

What has become evident is that the RV's on our streets have multiple ownership issues. It was noted in the article about MV that a number of the RV's are rented to people who do not have licenses and cannot drive them. So the movement on change days falls to other RV people to help out. It appears that the owners of the RV's who rent them out are making some assumption that they are longer RV's - but now are permanent living units which are not going to move anywhere. It appears that the same activity is happening on ECR at SU.

Looking at the RV's yesterday some are jacked up with no wheels except in the middle. Some are partially parked on the sidewalk. So if we are looking at any rules concerning RV's then we are not addressing the rented out units which the owners do not seem inclined to manage - other than collecting money. That is unethical - using the public space to house hulks which are not consistent with the rules of that location. No parking on game days. So let's not confuse "living in RV's" on ECR with "living on hulks" on ECR.

It appears the MV is now moving out to clear up that mess. So time we move out and clear up that mess. It is not the city's job or the residents job to promote any one owner of a hulk that is not functioning consistent with the posted rules. We are not busy enriching any one at the city's expense.

Please clear up the RV's that are sitting there on game day. If not we will provide notification of license number and info to the police for further action.
The owner's better get their units working and moving.


8 people like this
Posted by Nick
a resident of another community
on Sep 25, 2019 at 7:57 pm

I don't like seeing people living out of RV's, but it's less of an eyesore than living on the streets without some type of roof over your head. What I don't understand is why people who can't afford the cost of living in CA choose to stay in CA. I'd move to a cheaper state where you might even be able to afford a roof over your head.


10 people like this
Posted by Long Time Resident
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Sep 25, 2019 at 8:20 pm

What's caused this?
I've lived here since 1957 and never saw homeless, street beggers, cockroaches, or rodent infestation. I never saw graffiti anywhere (not even EPA), or businesses written in any other language but English.
Was is the push for multiculturalism, or the urge to save everyone and invite them to crap over here or use our real estate to hide their un-taxed quickly acquired wealth?
There are jet planes flying overhead every minute or so.
I guess decades ago once people moved here, they really cut their ties to the homelands they were fleeing. Now they go back and forth to show off to the billions back home.
Sad.

I found a job teaching in rural Northern California which pays 66% less than I make here, but my commute to work is under 10 minutes, and I have a nice home and a welcoming church.


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Posted by Kenny
a resident of University South
on Sep 27, 2019 at 12:03 am

"If you actually believe that, it is really sad."

So it is the same old "less housing equals more affordable housing" argument? To show callousness towards working class folks is shameful, and that is really sad.

Regarding the web link, Fry's only occupies a portion of the old cannery building. As the article noted, the building is doing just fine from an economic perspective. There are other businesses there, and Fry's can simply be replaced with one or more additional office spaces. I like having the old building there. I had relatives who worked there in the 1930s, and it's good to have a piece of the historic Palo Alto still around.

The site is subject to a 35-foot height limit and 30 apartments or condos per acre. That is far too low, and should be doubled or tripled. Better yet, have mixed housing / commercial high-rises, and mandate 1/4 - 1/3 of the units be low income. Give Sobrato the commercial space they want provided they build apartments on top of it.

The developers create housing and office space (i.e. homes and jobs), so they are our friends. The zero-growth set is against this, definitely not a Palo Alto-friendly approach.

"Anybody know how much Sobrato paid for their RM-30 zoned property?"

Does it matter? It is their property now. If they do not want to bulldoze the old cannery, then the housing can be built elsewhere in Palo Alto. The city's plan for meeting the ABAG requirements is to plan for increased housing by combining single family dwelling lots. There is plenty of that near the Downtown Caltrain depot. There are already a number of housing high rises downtown, and the world didn't end.


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Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Sep 27, 2019 at 2:02 am

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

The problem we run into with adding more commercial space - business - is that we change up the state's algorithm regarding business and residents. The more business you add then the more resident space you are required to add.

Example - Atherton has minimal business and no requirement for low income residential space.

If PA keeps adding more business then we just keep increasing the city mandate for more housing. And right now we are not meeting our goals. And based on the cost of building getting more expensive we cannot get anyone to build BMR housing.
The state is suppose to be providing some help but not clear how you get that help.

Putting business in the overall Fry's location is not helping the city. The city is short on housing and needs to get more housing. At some point it is not about what anyone would like - but what the state is requiring each city to do. And RV's are not the answer to that problem. They do not count because they do not pay any taxes or utilities. If they were in an organized RV location then the location would be paying the taxes and utilities.
In the papers today it says that RV's will not be allowed in Mountain View except in a couple of designated locations - but not in R1 areas. That is in 2020. They are getting all kinds of flack from the ACLU, etc but not giving in. They are going to put in more bike lanes which will prevent the allowance of the RV's.


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Posted by Nick
a resident of another community
on Sep 27, 2019 at 9:06 am

"Atherton has minimal business and no requirement for low income residential space."

Low income residents are NOT interested in moving to Atherton. Atherton is a city for one percenters. Maybe the residents of Atherton have the money to solve this problem.


4 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 27, 2019 at 9:50 am

Posted by Kenny, a resident of University South

>> The developers create housing and office space (i.e. homes and jobs), so they are our friends. The zero-growth set is against this, definitely not a Palo Alto-friendly approach.

No, they aren't our friends. Unless you hate Palo Alto as it is today. Do you? If you hate Palo Alto, then, why do you care about all this?

All the references posted are showing you that rents will not go down if we build high-rises. Please stop asserting or implying that they will. They won't. And, adding office space is destroying Palo Alto as we know it. If you hate Palo Alto, why do you care to discuss these issues?

>> "Anybody know how much Sobrato paid for their RM-30 zoned property?" -- Does it matter?

It does matter, because, it shows you what the developers mindset is. Buy a property at an RM-30 price and then try to get it zoned/rezoned for either/or/both office space/high-end housing. That is the game they are playing. Sobrato said so (leaving out the word "game"), not that it wasn't clear by their actions. BTW, I'm not particularly picking on Sobrato-- office space developers are all the same. They just don't care what the impact is on residents, not in Palo Alto, not in San Jose, not in Redwood City. They just don't care if they destroy what we have in our community. "Friends?"


28 people like this
Posted by neighbor
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Sep 28, 2019 at 3:39 pm

There is a white van that has been parked for several days on Birch btwn College and Cambridge (same side and across from dental offices) with license plate 7Y65616 and is filled with occupants. Just behind the van, on the grassy strip near the street, is a huge pile of what appears to be human feces. Over the past few days, my dog has made several attempts (one successful) to consume this feces. IMO having people who live in vehicles without proper sanitation facilities defecate on the grass is a public health problem waiting to happen.


10 people like this
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Sep 28, 2019 at 6:15 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

Call the police. Report this. There is no reason that anyone has to put up with this.
If there is no police response then give us follow-up. If the PACC wants to see a bunch of angry people at their Monday night meeting then it will happen. Call the City Manager too. Someone in this town is making decisions that are an affront to all of us and are illegal. And if the ACLU thinks they area going to boss everyone around then bring it. They can be sued - they are not the tax paying residents.


8 people like this
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Sep 29, 2019 at 9:14 am

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

Like to note here that any time the residents complain about a problem regarding homelessness, RV's - or any socially unacceptable activity it always notes some non-profit organization or the ACLU threatening the cities. The ACLU is not paying taxes in your city. The non-profit organization that is fighting for some specific group is not paying taxes in your city. Collectively they are not voting members of society. They are a focus group that is using the legal system to thwart local residents on specific issues in any one city. And there is money behind who they are - not always clear on who the money is.

Time to confront any action by the ACLU / other special interest groups that are undermining any one cities ability to function.

Government and special action groups do not seem to understand that cities have budgets to perform the required actions of the city. Budgets are not available to address other social activities which are not in the scope of the original budget requirements.

Note that Mountain View has made that determination and is going forward with their plans despite ACLU and other special action groups complaints. Time for residents to take back their cities.


2 people like this
Posted by ECR RVer
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 1, 2019 at 2:44 pm

Unapproved use of private property for transient parking = trespassing.

Unapproved use of public property for transient parking = provides some latitude based on city ordinances.

It is essentially OK to park on city streets unless there are postings specifically prohibiting it or with certain set parking timeframes.

The RVers seem to already be aware this basic fact (unlike some outraged PA residents).


7 people like this
Posted by to ECR RVer
a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 1, 2019 at 11:07 pm

How and where do you dispose of your raw sewage? Please refer to Santa Clara County Dept of Environmental Health rules (link below) to make sure you are not endangering the health of your neighbors:
Web Link


1 person likes this
Posted by ECR RVer
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 2, 2019 at 8:46 am

>>> Santa Clara County Dept of Environmental Health rules

^^^ These are good rules. We don't use the flush facilities in our RV.

We #1 in CRV one gallon plastic water bottles & #2 in 5 gallon detergent cannisters (sealed lids).

The CRV water bottles go out on recycling day & the 5 gallon buckets are dropped off at hazardous waste retrieval centers.

Nothing bad goes into the bay or ground from our RV.


5 people like this
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Oct 2, 2019 at 9:35 am

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

The problem here is parking on ECR on game days - which is posted as not allowable - and then people who think they are above the law and sit there is what is now a commute lane to move people out of the stadium area after a game. Most people do that but now we have to deal with RV's which are inoperable. They are hulks and are immovable. And some are rented out to people who do not know how to drive them. Someone is renting out the RV's to people and then leaving them there with no resources to move out when required. That is a whole category of problem. The people who own the RV's are taking advantage of every one else to make money. That is a whole category of problems that is not being addressed.

Bottom line is the RV's have to move out on game day. And if someone is renting to someone who cannot drive one then they need to get down there and move it. And if it is inoperable then they need to get the RV moved to some location where it can be fixed. That would be Redwood City off Veterans Blvd. There is a RV fix-it location.


3 people like this
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Oct 3, 2019 at 5:55 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

Big game this Saturday. Hope that ALL of the RV people are getting their GO on.

If you are renting an RV to someone who does not know how to drive it then get over there and do that job for them.

f someone is living in a street hulk that cannot move then suggest that the "city" haul the hulk to some location east of 101. Appears that there are a lot on San Antonio east of 101.

Can the city please get their act together here? Managing big events in this city is part of the job and SU games are the big events that the city signed on to support.


18 people like this
Posted by don't worry 1-AM
a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 3, 2019 at 10:18 pm

Don't worry about the RVs being cleared from the Stanford side of ECR before the Stanford FB game: Stanford PD seems to efficiently take care of doing so. By contrast, they seem to be in no hurry to clear RVs (some apparently housing contractors who commute from homes in the Central Valley to work at Stanford during the week) from ECR at any other time.


1 person likes this
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Oct 5, 2019 at 9:17 am

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

There are postings on ECR regarding the use of that street. Since that represents the official position of both PA and SU and the state of CA then that is what we have to work with now. That represents the end result of long held agreements between all of the official parties and therefor what all parties are required to enforce.

Allowing lower tiered parties to make up their own interpretation of the laws and just do what ever they want to do is not helping to keep this whole section of the peninsula functioning to best advantage of all of the shops and restaurants that are located in this city to take advantage of the tourists and residents who cherish these events and have paid for tickets. A GAME is a big event and most city dwellers want to put our best foot forward here so all enjoy the events. And city officials are required to follow the basic rules that have been officially posted. And that includes SU - if it is there job to clear the street then do it.


7 people like this
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Oct 5, 2019 at 4:11 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

YEAH - came down ECR around 3:00 and it was CLEAR of RV's and hulks on the SU side. It was totally beautiful and classy looking. And as you looked on to the parties there was a set-up with table cloths and umbrellas. Now that is what a major game day is suppose to look like. Classy! It makes a person proud that the residents and tourists are going to have a great time tonight. We need our city to look classy and beautiful. And hope that the businesses in the city get lots of people coming in. When you have a classy looking place then tourists tend to stick around and explore the place. It looks and is "inviting".

Side Note- was up at KMART and no more RV's in the parking lot. There was too much pilfering in the store. Complaint to the city and the Police Department which is directly behind KMART got involved and put flyers on the RV's giving direction as to where they can go and for how long. Works for the city since there is a jail in back of KMART besides the Police Department. There is also a RV fix-it place in that back area so people can get problems fixed. KMART looks better too.


2 people like this
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Oct 6, 2019 at 10:57 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

Since ECR looks so good suggest that SU have the people who are working on jobs on campus put their RV's on the backside of the campus where the service equipment is. When Ford Aerospace was at the location that is now the Oshman / JCC the people who had RV's parked on campus and used the facilities available - showers. Those people went home over the weekends to the valley. That is what a responsible company does. Lockheed in Sunnyvale has a parking lot for employee RV's on base at Moffat.
So consider that we have as assembly person trying to get RV parking on the Community College parking lots which barely make any money and work in survivor mode VS one of the richest "private" universities in the US who is avoiding any responsibility for the people who are working on campus and pushing a disagreeable situation off on the city. Glad we are negotiating with SU for their campus expansion - did they provide a section of the campus for their workers who live in RV's? Please add that in since it appears that an expansion plan will require a lot of temporary help. And those RV's are not going to sit on city residential streets.


8 people like this
Posted by Ahem
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 7, 2019 at 7:48 am

If you’ve lived in this area for any amount of time, trying to put down roots is brutal. Over the years, you come across many people, not just low income people, who choose to locate their families in affordable areas where they can have a home, yard, a reasonably dignified, safe, healthy place to live, with good schools for their families. A place where they don’t have to be the “low income” under class.

People choose to live far away from here and commute. That can mean sleeping on couches during the week and driving home on the weekend. It can mean living in an RV as in dictated in this article. Building concrete jungles of micro units will not entice those people to move their families away from the good schools and good quality of life they enjoy far away from here.These discussions on housing just seem oblivious to this fact, that has been part of many peoples calculations for as long as Silicon Valley has been a job center.

That is a separate discussion from people who are chronically homeless, especially due to mental health problems. We do need to solve that problem too, but lumping those together is likely to serve everyone poorly.

When there are big jobs like that the construction atStanford, employers should simply be required to provide safe spaces for workers to park their temporary homes.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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