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Car campers...time to ban them!

Original post made by Craig Laughton, College Terrace, on May 13, 2013

If you have car campers in your neighborhood, it is a lot worse than unfinished homes next to you, although I do agree that unfinished homes are also an issue.

College Terrace has suffered severely by this plague of car campers. It has been improved via parking restrictions, and I appreciate it. However, despite the parking restrictions there is not enough enforcement. For example, there is a ban on 1-5 AM parking on Oxford, but that guy is still there, with two junk vans.

Larry Klein seems to think that there is no problem, so I am calling him out. The Policy and Services committee will meet tomorrow night to discuss this issue. Will you still claim, Larry, that it is not an issue worth worrying about?

Comments (71)

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Posted by Gary
a resident of Downtown North
on May 13, 2013 at 5:44 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


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Posted by Gary
a resident of Downtown North
on May 13, 2013 at 6:07 pm

Craig follows his usual plan:

1 complain about the suffering of CT
2. Call out those that do not agree with him
3 demand that car campers be moved to someone else's neighborhood ( it is all about CT after all)

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

I assume most people know that car camping is legal in palo alto at this time.


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Posted by Craig Laughton
a resident of College Terrace
on May 13, 2013 at 6:19 pm

>I assume most people know that car camping is legal in palo alto at this time.

That is true, at this time, unless they violate the parking restrictions. College Terrace has insisted on parking restrictions, while other neighborhoods have not, because they have not (yet) been plagued by car campers.

I am simply insisting that the parking restrictions be enforced. Then I want all car camping banned in Palo Alto, as it is in our neighboring towns. One step at a time....


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Posted by Billy bob the newspaperman
a resident of South of Midtown
on May 13, 2013 at 6:28 pm

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]


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Posted by Lady Mac Beth
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 13, 2013 at 6:42 pm

There has been a car camper plaguing all of Old Palo Alto for nearly twenty years, moving to a different place every night and staying just ahead of the police. Once in a great while he goofs and stays in one place two nights in a row, and then gets ticketed.

However, back when we had a very nice camper on a truck that we would bring out of storage to load up and use, the neighbors would call and complain about its size, and the cops would show up on our front doorstep telling us there is a law agai st RVs on the street for any length of time, no matter how short!

One time, last year, we had our hardwood floors completely refinished throughout the house. We could not set foot in our house for 4 1/2 days. We went to a hotel for the time being, but our adult children and baby granddaughter, who could not afford that luxury, parked the camper in the driveway and lived in it, sleeping and cooking there.
After three days, the police showed up and knocked on the camper door at 4:00 am one morning, and told the "kids" their three days were up and they had to leave! Parked on our own property! The reason: it is illegal to live in a camper, even in an emergency, for more than three days in Palo Alto! So they moved one of our cars parked behind our house, and parked the camper there, where only the front end could be seen from the street, for the next two days. Unfortunately, this made it difficult to hook up to electricity and water, so they then had to dine out.

Sometimes this camper law goes too far and does not allow for extenuating circumstances or the rights of homeowners.




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Posted by Gary
a resident of Downtown North
on May 13, 2013 at 6:46 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


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Posted by Gary
a resident of Downtown North
on May 13, 2013 at 6:50 pm

Lady Macbeth-- better check your facts--- it is legal to,camp in cars in palo alto and you can leave your car for 96 hours in the same location. So your story does not ring true.
Did you also have some problems whe you remodeled your house recently, with the inspector and your smoke detectors?


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Posted by Craig Laughton
a resident of College Terrace
on May 13, 2013 at 7:10 pm

>Sometimes this camper law goes too far and does not allow for extenuating circumstances or the rights of homeowners.

Lady Mac Beth,

Since you claim to be from Old Palo Alto, you may not be aware of the real deal car campers. They used be rampant over here, in CT. They are being forced out, thanks to parking restrictions.

A residential parking permit system could be set up in your neighborhood, as has been done in CT, to allow for short-term guest visitors, as in your case.

Homeowners should not be bullied by the car campers, or their supporters. If their supporters want to provide for them, then they should do it personally, and on their own dime.


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Posted by Gary
a resident of Downtown North
on May 13, 2013 at 7:26 pm

Old palo alto does not have parking issues-- check it out, Gary, before blindly telling people to get a RPPP. The city has not prayed a RPPP program for downtown north or professorville, areas with real parking issues,so they will not okay be for a residential area far away from downtown.
Car camping is legal, so there is no bullying involved. If these car campers are breaking the law then call the police. It is unfortunate that some people are so bitter and/or selfish that they have no compassion for those less fortunate than them. Providing for those less fortunate is part of what akes our country great-- try going to countries where there is no social safety net and see what happens there. Some people want their little enclaves to be that way.


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Posted by Craig Laughton
a resident of College Terrace
on May 13, 2013 at 7:58 pm

>Car camping is legal, so there is no bullying involved. If these car campers are breaking the law then call the police.

Car campers are currently legal, unless they break the parking laws. Trust me, I will call the police until our parking laws are enforced in CT. My goal is to make car campers illegal in Palo Alto, as they are in our surrounding cities. If anybody wants them in their neighborhood, please announce yourself. How about Larry Klein?


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Posted by Gary
a resident of Downtown North
on May 13, 2013 at 8:14 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


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Posted by Craig Laughton
a resident of College Terrace
on May 13, 2013 at 8:26 pm

>...why should car campers leave CT...

Because they are breaking the parking rules.

Since Larry Klein sees no problem, they can go over to his neighborhood and car camp...until he suddenly demands parking restrictions.

One step at a time, unless Palo Alto decides to do it all in one step, as it should.


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Posted by Gary
a resident of Downtown North
on May 13, 2013 at 8:52 pm

I did a quick read though of the ordinance

Web Link

The hours of enforcement are 8am to 5 pm, Monday to Friday. It clearly states that all vehicles may utilize on street parking outside of these times of enforcement. So what laws are they breaking if they car camp overnight?
Sounds like someone needs to move to a gated community, where he will not have to see and / or mix with the unwashed masses


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Posted by Craig Laughton
a resident of College Terrace
on May 13, 2013 at 9:01 pm

>The hours of enforcement are 8am to 5 pm, Monday to Friday.

Not around much of the JJ&F block. It is no parking between 1-5 AM, 7 days a week. You are confusing two different zones.

Time to do your homework, Gary. It's very easy to do: Just drive/bike/walk over here and check it out in the field. Look at the parking restriction signs.





























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Posted by Yes, ban them ASAP
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on May 13, 2013 at 9:57 pm

Kudos and best wishes to Craig. It's easy for the bleeding heart liberals who are unaffected by this to support car dwelling, but the same people won't open their homes to these car dwellers.

Can't this be put to a vote by Palo Altans? No one wants these car dwellers yet everyone is too afraid to state it. Surely, the truth will prevail if put to a vote.


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Posted by Craig Laughton
a resident of College Terrace
on May 14, 2013 at 7:09 am

>Surely, the truth will prevail if put to a vote.

Very good idea. The city council can place it on the ballot, and let the people express their will. It might surprise Larry Klein that most people do think it (car camping)is a problem in Palo Alto.


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Posted by It's legal
a resident of College Terrace
on May 14, 2013 at 7:53 am

So, Craig, the RPPP is from 8AM-5PM M-F and except for part of the one block you point out (which apparently has a ban from 1 to 5AM), car camping is legal in all of Plao Alto, including CT.
So I suggest you go out at 2AM every morning. Walk to JJ&F and call the police if you see any car campers parked on that block.
Whatever happened to this plan:
Web Link
"Posted by Craig Laughton, a resident of the College Terrace neighborhood, on Nov 21, 2012 at 3:22 pm
I am in discussions to do exactly that. If you want to join the effort to put the measure on the ballot, please let me know. We will need to collect approximately 5k signatures, once the petition is ciruclulated. Some of these signatures will come via the Internet (from individuals who simply sign their own petition, but we will still need to put feet on the ground)."

Did it fall apart?

ANd what is with your fixation with Larry Klein???




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Posted by Craig Laughton
a resident of College Terrace
on May 14, 2013 at 8:38 am

>Did it fall apart?

Basically. I got quite a few people who told me they would vote for it, but did not want to put their name on record. However, the city council can put it on the ballot, then get out of the way, and allow the people to speak.

My focus on Larry Klein is due to his stated opinion that car camping is not a serious issue in Palo Alto, thus attempts to stop it should be abandoned.


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Posted by It's legal
a resident of College Terrace
on May 14, 2013 at 9:08 am

Maybe Larry does not think it is a pressing issue (and I agree with him) because of articles like this:

Web Link

And it is obvious that people are not interested in putting it on the ballot based on your experience. Therefore why should the city waste hundreds of thousands of dollars on an election to satisfy the desires of a single citizen?????? Even if he lies in CT.


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Posted by Craig Laughton
a resident of College Terrace
on May 14, 2013 at 11:16 am

>because of articles like this

Do you even bother to read your own linked articles?

The city got intimidated by the car camper supporters, and punted to a pilot program. Q: How well has that pilot program worked? How many churches and businesses signed on? I suspect we will find out tonight when the policy and services committee reports on its success (or lack thereof).

You will also notice that Larry Klein did not want the city to get involved, because it would cost $$. He doesn't see it as an issue, because the campers are not on his street. It is fine with him if the problem gets dumped on CT, Ventura, Cub., etc. Out of sight, outta mind, apparently.

> why should the city waste hundreds of thousands of dollars on an election to satisfy the desires of a single citizen?

No need for a special election, just put it on the ballot in the next scheduled election. In the meantime, we need to continue to support parking restrictions...they are good for several issues, including car camping.


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Posted by It's legal
a resident of College Terrace
on May 14, 2013 at 11:25 am

"Do you even bother to read your own linked articles? "

Yes, I do. But the question is do you always put your spin on everything, just to prove your bogus points?????

The article does not mention any cases of intimidation. What the article states is that there was an outcry from certain people.
Perhaps the council was listening to what the people wanted, instead of trying to appease a single resident, who constantly complains about an issue that really is not a major problem facing the city now.

You need to do something about your Larry Klein fixation and it is not always about you (especially given that your signature campaign never got off the ground--hint--no one cares)


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Posted by Lady Mac Beth
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 14, 2013 at 11:27 am

The bottom line we had with our camper was that, in the first instance several years ago, a neighbor complained that she could not see to get out of her driveway due to the size of the truck and its camper. The police said that the camper on the truck turned it into an RV and that RVs were illegal to park in the street anywhere in PA for any length of time, period, even to load up!

In the second instance, apparently that same neighbor( known locally to be a complainer) complained twice, plus another neighbor complained due to worry that this was going to be a permanent living situation. Or so the police told us. My son explained the situation to the responding officer, who came at 4:00am because the neighbors reported that they left the camper by 6:00 am, but he told them that after three days they had to cease or leave. The officer apologized to my son, but reiterated that this was "the law."


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Posted by palo alto parent
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on May 14, 2013 at 11:29 am

We should ban car camping in Palo Alto. Period. I live in Professorville, we've had people sleep in their cars and urinated in our yard. A neighbor has had people defecate in her yard. We have trash, bottles, etc.

The problem is not just sleeping in a car. It is the unsafe and unsanitary conditions that go along with it.


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Posted by Lady Mac Beth
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 14, 2013 at 11:37 am

I feel that I should add, for everyone's information, that this camper was an upscale Lancer, and the truck a well-kept late 90s model Ford Turbo-diesel. In no way was it an eyesore.

The police even told us, twice, that without the camper on the truck, there would simply be no problem, we could park it wherever we wanted. But as soon as the camper was loaded onto the bed of the truck, it became an RV, which was illegal to park anywhere on the streets of Palo Alto, and that doing so for any length of time was a violation of some civil code that they recited from memory.

My biggest issue was that it should. Ot matter if it was parked in OUR DRIVEWAY, and that our neighbors should not be able to tell the police to make us move it! But they did, and the police said it could not be visible from the street!

Have we NO private property rights here? What about the ten-year period when Steve Jobs refused to landscape his foxtail-ridden front yard on The Waverley side? Did not the neighbors complain? Why was HE allowed to get away with that?


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Posted by Craig Laughton
a resident of College Terrace
on May 14, 2013 at 1:15 pm

>The article does not mention any cases of intimidation.

After all the car camper supporters showed up and pressured the city council, there was not a single council member that wanted to admit that he/she brought up the subject. It was intimidation, period. We do not have a strong council. They are afraid of liberal criticism...might cause an autoimmune disease against their own political DNA.


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Posted by It's legal
a resident of College Terrace
on May 14, 2013 at 1:27 pm

"After all the car camper supporters showed up and pressured the city council, there was not a single council member that wanted to admit that he/she brought up the subject."

You have your facts all wrong--the article discusses a committee made up of council members-there is no mention of the full council.
Plus clearly there is no evidence of intimidation, but I guess when the council listens to the public and that does not go with what you want, then it is intimidation. When you engage in attempted intimidation, as you are doing now, it is okay.
The city does not revolve around the selfish desires of a single resident of the most pampered neigborhood in town


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Posted by Craig Laughton
a resident of College Terrace
on May 14, 2013 at 1:33 pm

>The city does not revolve around the selfish desires of a single resident

It is very simple: Put it to a vote, then we can decide if it is only a single person (like me).


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on May 14, 2013 at 2:12 pm

As much as people want to diss Craig for seeming to be elitist, I've come to respect his pov re CT & car camping. It's of course a sad problem when people can't afford to live in a house or apt. or mobile home. But car camping, as much as it helps people from becoming homeless, causes other problems for the neighborhoods that they stay in.

I've really scaled back time previously spent - & money - in CT, due to car campers. I don't stop in at JJ&F anymore & rarely go to Common Ground (which used to be my place of choice), opting instead to go to Roger Reynolds in Menlo. The great gardening co-op in EPA has a wishlist at Common Ground, but I donate to the co-op directly instead of visiting Common Ground as often as I used to. Why? Due to the obnoxious car campers. I've been able to brave EPA well for many years, but I'm not going to pay premium prices at PA businesses unless I feel safe & unbothered go to & from.

Unfortunately, due to business needs, I haven't been able to completely stop going to CT, but I would if I could. My impression of & experience w/the car campers is that they're selfish, exploitive, unsightly & engage in disgusting, unsanitary behavior. Does that mean all of them are like that? No, but their behavior trumps the ones that don't misbehave.


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Posted by Craig Laughton
a resident of College Terrace
on May 14, 2013 at 5:43 pm

>My impression of & experience w/the car campers is that they're selfish, exploitive, unsightly & engage in disgusting, unsanitary behavior

Hmmm,

Thanks for a real description of the situation in CT. The car campers, and bus jumpers are a real problem, especially for women. When they get in my face, I just tell them to f*** off. However, If I was a woman, I would fear them. I don't advise my wife to go down there, until it is midday. It is not a safe zone for a woman. However, it is getting better, because of the parking restrictions.

It could get a lot better, overnight, if our city council would ban car campers. Even the bus jumpers would decide it is not worth it.


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Posted by Gary
a resident of Downtown North
on May 14, 2013 at 6:11 pm

Sounding a bit misogynistic and sexist now, Craig? You make it sound like the parking restrictions prevent non residents from parking in CT. It does not, it just
Omits them to 2 hours and if they have a handicapped permit, they are exempt from the restrictions.
This is all a tempest in a teapot.

Hmmm-- how much experience have you had with car campers? Sounds like you are ainting with a broad brush.
[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


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Posted by Yes, ban them ASAP
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 14, 2013 at 7:20 pm

Hmmm states she is able to "brave EPA" but not College Terrace? That is quite a statement. Put this on the ballot. Thanks for your work on this, Craig. Everyone appreciates it. The people arguing with you would never invite the car dwellers to live in their driveways or in front of their houses. [Portion removed.]


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Posted by Gary
a resident of Downtown North
on May 14, 2013 at 7:23 pm

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.] It is not up to the resident to determine if a car camper can live n front f their house-- the streets are public and car camping is legal.


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Posted by Craig Laughton
a resident of College Terrace
on May 14, 2013 at 9:08 pm

At the policy and services meeting tonight, there were various speakers and council members who spoke against (or were they in favor of?) an ordinance to ban vehicle dwelling (aka: car campers). Liz Kniss is a real piece of work, and she speaks out of both sides of her mouth, as usual. It was interesting to hear that Larry Klein is slowly coming around to the fact that Cub. is becoming a magnet (dah?). In the end, I think that they voted 2-1 in favor of something, but I am not sure what it was. Does anyone really know?

There was a brief mention that the CT problem has been solved (it has not).


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Posted by Near neighbor
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on May 14, 2013 at 9:08 pm

College Terrace is not the only neighborhood with "car campers" I live very close to Cubberley so they are in the parking lot and neighborhood streets night after night.

I nominate Craig Laughton for City Council because that's the only way we're going to get the car campers out of our neighborhoods.


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on May 15, 2013 at 12:05 am

Craig doesn't sound sexist or misogynist at all. I've noticed the car campers harass women much more often than men. I, a woman, have had more problems w/them than my husband has.

How much experience do I have w/car campers? Compared to what? For years, I've observed them around PA. I've had negative interactions w/them in a church parking lot, CT & the library. The past few years, I've had a lot of business dealings in CT & the car campers I've encountered haven't impressed me at all. I was disgusted & angered when 2 of them harassed a legally blind woman in her 80s, my friend's mother. Years ago, fresh out of college, I was living in Old Palo Alto & my roommate had some nasty experiences w/some who were "camping" nearby. I think the Baptist Church on N. Calif. Ave. ended up helping them out, IIRC. One of my friends owns a house in CT & her tenants (female) have had problems w/male car campers. The jerk car campers were harassing these women, making it hard for them to come & go feeling safe. I don't know exactly how they resolved the problem, but it took a lot of time, attention, documentation & calls to the police.

The most ironic of my car camping recollections is when a renowned local surgeon called me for advice on how to get rid of the car camper on his Crescent Park street. He's a family friend who figured that w/my community activist & EPA experience I'd know some way to help get rid of the guy. I told him that since it was legal in PA, it was going to take time, energy & organization. Luckily, the car camper was busted et voila! problem gone.

One of the church parking lot problems w/some weirdo car camper who parked so close behind my vehicle I couldn't open the back of it. We were all attending a big event & I understand crowded parking, but parking illegally so that someone can't access their vehicle is stupid. When the PA was used to ask whomever's car it was to go move it, I was waiting there because I figured they'd want my legal parking spot. Instead, the car camping dude tried to ball me out. It was pretty funny when accidentally my biggest dog happened to need to stretch his legs just then & wanted to sniff car camper. Hah! He literally backed off & moved his vehicle. BTW, he wasn't a member of the church, but he was happy to attend the free event & he asked if he could pack up food for himself to take "home" w/him before the food had been served. In other words, it was all about him. Maybe he hadn't eaten in days - I don't know. But I see him at the library & around town & his car sure has a lot of empty food containers in it.

For us, safety is paramount. We have dogs which keep us safe. I can't take them w/me every time I'm in CT. I can't take them into JJ&F or Common Ground. But I can - & did - vote w/my wallet by cutting waaaay back on money spent in that area due to the campers.

Here in EPA, when I see them in my area, I just call the police. I think one of the car campers was driving a crackshack on wheels & they made haste when I posted a notice on their car that if they weren't gone by a certain time, I'd call the police. They may have been high, but they were smart enough to leave. But here's the thing: no matter how much Palo Alto likes to complain about EPA & feel holier than thou about its residents, we have a law *against* car camping. I can first call & complain about loitering, & if I notice they're actually car camping, a call to the po-po gets made again. Thank you, officer!


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on May 15, 2013 at 12:10 am

Oh, forgot to mention - I refuse to take classes at Cubberley due to car campers. I've taken some fun adult ed classes on the Paly campus w/out a problem. When I went to meet a friend who was taking classes at Cubberley, I was able to see not 1 but 2 car campers urinating in public. Yes, the restrooms were open & available, but apparently they still didn't meet the needs of these "gentlemen."


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Posted by incredible
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on May 15, 2013 at 10:16 am

I haven't had much contact with the persons described in this discussion of Palo Alto "car campers."
I find it absolutely incredible, though, that we have an idiotic city that tolerates, nay, invites such persons here.
It is incorrect that people, especially women, have to face threats from car campers who may urinate/defecate and throw trash nearby.
I guess I have had very little contact with College Terrace and I live on the other side of the city, but you have my complete and total sympathy.
The streets and parking on public streets may be for all, but not for those who abuse the public use and function and make such locations (and adjacent private property!) into toilets and trash.
There are an abundance of social services to help those down on their luck and it is crystal clear these are persons who are CHOOSING to afflict others in a very negative way for quality of life. What makes them superior to the local homeowners, renters, landlords, taxpayer?!


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Posted by Crescent Park Dad
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 15, 2013 at 12:18 pm

@ Lady MB: Have you given any thought to pro-actively communicating with your neighbors about the temporary RV parking in your driveway? Explain the situation (e.g., floor refinishing). Usually most people are pretty reasonable when they understand the circumstances.


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Posted by doria
a resident of College Terrace
on May 16, 2013 at 11:24 am

Dear Craig
Thank you for bringing up this important issue.
Unfortunately this is unhappy issue...no one likes to add more difficulty to the lives of those that are already disadvantaged.
I do believe that there needs to be a reasonable way to address the issue of people living in vehicles adjacent to homes and businesses. Sometimes it is not a tenable situation.


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on May 16, 2013 at 12:18 pm

I'm curious about something. If car camping, as a solution for the severely disadvantaged, is so great, how come the majority of local cities have banned the practice? Answer: The bans have to be due to public safety & health. The research I've done supports this.

I don't recall it being legal where I went to college, I don't recall it ever being legal in my lifetime on the Peninsula, except in Palo Alto. It NOT being a good idea has been around a long time. Remember the book series by local author Lora Smith, about the ex-con/abused wife car camper in Palo Alto? The series started in the 80's & car camping was controversial then as well as now.


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Posted by Craig Laughton
a resident of College Terrace
on May 16, 2013 at 2:49 pm

Doria,

The problem with determining a solution for the car campers, a priori, is that nothing will get resolved. We have already been down this road. Just ban car campers, then determine if there is any interest in defining a resolution by the citizens of Palo Alto.

You have done a great job in pushing this issue. I admire you a lot. However, you have a big heart, and want to make things better all around, at once (or nearly so, I think). I want to ban car camping, period. Once that is done, I could imagine some possible efforts to help.

Regards,

Craig


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Posted by Gary
a resident of Downtown North
on May 16, 2013 at 4:31 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


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Posted by Craig Laughton
a resident of College Terrace
on May 16, 2013 at 8:02 pm

With the awakening of Larry Klein, there is now the solid possibility that Palo Alto will stand up, and ban car camping. When will the full city council take up this issue?


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Posted by resident
a resident of Barron Park
on May 16, 2013 at 11:53 pm

Car Campers love south palo alto/barron Park. Always a regular parked trailer on El Camino. The most popular location though is Park Blvd, not too far from Frys. The trailers were usually taking over the entire street. Not sure how the construction is effecting them.

These parked trailers effects bike riders a great deal. Riders would have a much safer ride if they did not need to "go around trailers" and enter into car traffic lanes..


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Posted by FYI
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 17, 2013 at 6:54 am

Resident,

Your description of Park is not accurate. They do not force me out of the bike lane, they are not all up and down the street. There aren't really that many. Half dozen at most of the larger rigs by the time I get to work around 8. No smells, no litter, no noise, just large older camping vehicles. Like I said above, I probably would not want these for the view out my window of my house, but here in industrial space, not clear it's worth all this getting out the pitchforks and torches.


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Posted by Craig Laughton
a resident of College Terrace
on May 17, 2013 at 8:32 am

When the car camping ban is drafted, it is important that it include privately held parking lots, as well as public lots/streets. The purpose should be to eliminate car campers in Palo Alto.


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Posted by Wow
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 17, 2013 at 8:36 am

When RVs are outlawed, only outlaws will have RVs.


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Posted by fantasy
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 17, 2013 at 8:38 am

Don't private property owners have the right to determine who will use their property??
Seems to me that Craig hates a certain group of people so much that he is willing to pass laws that usurp us of our property rights. Craig seems to have no empathy for those less fortunate than himself.
And it seems that reading the news, the problem is at Cubberly and not in College Terrace-but we all know College Terrace


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Posted by Craig Laughton
a resident of College Terrace
on May 17, 2013 at 8:51 am

>Don't private property owners have the right to determine who will use their property??

Not if the use violates city rules.

Although my focus has been on College Terrace, I certainly sympathize with other neighborhoods that are affect by car campers, especially
Cubberley. A city wide car dweller ban would eliminate the gaming of the system, where the campers just move to another neighborhood.


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Posted by fantasy
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 17, 2013 at 9:00 am

you are jumping the gun, craig. There is no city wide rule yet. And I am sure the council will consider the issue of private vs public property. So try to stay calm and realize just because you live in CT, you still may not get your way. I really cannot wait until you hit hard times.


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Posted by Craig Laughton
a resident of College Terrace
on May 17, 2013 at 9:46 am

>When RVs are outlawed, only outlaws will have RVs.

@Wow: Who is talking about outlawing RVs? I am just talking about preventing them being lived in, in Palo Alto. They are free to go somewhere where there is an RV park, with hookups.

Right now, our surrounding cities have car camper bans, so the campers just come over here. After the city ban is passed, that will no longer be the case.

@fantasy: BTW, I hope I don't hit hard times, but if I do, I will never demand to car camp in Palo Alto...I will move to some place where I can afford to scrape by.


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Posted by fantasy
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 17, 2013 at 9:55 am

Brent Barker did not seem to think it was a problem in College Terrace:
Web Link

"Brent Barker, president of the College Terrace Residents' Association, said a ban on car camping would do little to address the underlying cause of homelessness.
"One of the things the city should be thinking about longer term is, what is the caring capacity that we have for dealing with this kind of situation?" Barker said. "I think the scarce resources that we have should go to the bottom and let the solution come from the bottom up."

Sounds like the problem is at Cubberly--yet one CT resident is all worked up about it. Why???


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Posted by Craig Laughton
a resident of College Terrace
on May 17, 2013 at 10:18 am

>Brent Barker did not seem to think it was a problem in College Terrace:

The original petition to ban car camping came from CT. It was a big problem. The new parking restrictions have helped, but that just pushes the problem along to another neighborhood. We need a city wide ban. After that, the citizens of Palo Alto can decide what their "caring capacity" is (or is it 'carrying capacity'?).


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Posted by Yes, ban them ASAP
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on May 17, 2013 at 10:55 am

Perhaps the City Council is waiting till the car dwelling is so, so out of control that they "have no choice" but to ban them. People know the addresses of City Council Members so they don't want to upset the militant bleeding heart liberals or the crazy homeless. If the entire city is complaining, they can justify a ban.

My suggestion is to find more homeless to car dwell and send them here so all of Palo Alto will be affected, thus everyone will demand they leave. It's easy for people to spout off sympathy online, but they are not offering their front lawns to the homeless.


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Posted by Craig Laughton
a resident of College Terrace
on May 17, 2013 at 1:03 pm

>If the entire city is complaining, they can justify a ban.

@Yes: I think they are getting it. The majority of voters get it, and that is why the Quakers could not get an OK from their neighbors on Colorado. It took way too long, but they (councilmembers)are seeing the light.


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Posted by fantasy
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 17, 2013 at 1:22 pm

"The majority of voters get it,"
We would like to see the results of this vote. When did it occur?
When was the poll taken? Details, Craig, details

"that is why the Quakers could not get an OK from their neighbors on Colorado."
Much to your joy, I am sure.
The quakers did not really need an "okay" from their neighbors, but with Laughton-style NIMBYism prevailing they decided to not rock the boat.
What is funny is that you constantly say that people should step forward and host the homeless, then when people step forward you applaud the fact that their neighbors stopped them.
Your lack of compassion and selfishness is obvious, Craig.


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Posted by Craig Laughton
a resident of College Terrace
on May 17, 2013 at 1:40 pm

>you constantly say that people should step forward and host the homeless

As long as they get approval from their neighbors, and carry insurance, in case something bad happens. I don't see a great wave of support for that, but if it happens, I am fine with it. Complaint based, of course.


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Posted by fyi
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 17, 2013 at 1:52 pm

There is a better way to deal with this. Dont allow on street overnight parking for anyone.
From about 2 a.m. to 5 a.m. ticket any car on the street. If its not on your property, you get a ticket. Town I grew up in still does this, it helps prevent crime.


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Posted by fantasy
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 17, 2013 at 2:00 pm

"As long as they get approval from their neighbors, and carry insurance, in case something bad happens."
Since when do people have to get approval from their neighbors on who their guests are or for that matter on any issue?
Do you ask your neighbors for approval before you do anything, Craig?
Seems like you are talking out of both sides of your mouth. First you tell people to step up and host the homeless, now you propose additional rules. Seems that someone just likes everyone to be as bitter as him.

"There is a better way to deal with this. Dont allow on street overnight parking for anyone."
Not a realistic solution. Many neighborhoods do not have sufficient parking and residents depend on on street parking. This will never be brought up by the council--the backlash would be too great.
Your town must have plenty of crime, fyi.


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Posted by Craig Laughton
a resident of College Terrace
on May 17, 2013 at 2:11 pm

>Since when do people have to get approval from their neighbors on who their guests are or for that matter on any issue?

If someone is going to host the homeless, it is best to get the neighbors' buy in. If something goes bad (e.g. crazy sexual predator), there could be huge civil/criminal consequences.

Clearly, the neighbors of the Quakers did not approve.


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Posted by fantasy
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 17, 2013 at 2:20 pm

Once again, Craig, you are all confused--the quaker church was going to let the people car camp in their parking lot--different from a person inviting someone who is homeless to stay in their home (something which, BTW, you have been demanding of people in every thread on this issue).
Then you label the homeless as being "crazy sexual predators". Any proof for that? I think you will find that most sexual predators are not homeless people.
[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.],


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Posted by Craig Laughton
a resident of College Terrace
on May 17, 2013 at 2:33 pm

>I am still waiting for you to provide the proof about the majority of voters comment you made earlier.

Surely, you agree to put it to a vote, right? The results will be the answer.


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Posted by Gary
a resident of Downtown North
on May 17, 2013 at 5:35 pm

Craig says, before, that the majority of voters get it, but then he says that we should vote on it? But he already told us what the voters want. But how does he know that?
But then he also told us that the council should decide. But then he says we should vote on it. So what does he really want?
[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


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Posted by fyi
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 17, 2013 at 6:17 pm

"Your town must have plenty of crime"

Actually, no it did not, especially if you compare it to Palo Alto.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Thanks, Craig
a resident of Professorville
on May 17, 2013 at 8:36 pm

Thank you to Craig for his courage in addressing this subject. The entire city most likely agrees with you. [Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.] Please, let's vote on this instead of waiting around for the spineless City Council.


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Posted by Gary
a resident of Downtown North
on May 17, 2013 at 9:01 pm

The entire city? Last time the council floated this there was quite an outcry from homeless advocates etc. I doubt they all changed their minds. The naysayers are people with some compassion, who are not self centered and selfish , unlike many of those that are pushing for a ban on car camping.
Regarding a vote by the public-- be careful what you wish for


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Posted by Craig Laughton
a resident of College Terrace
on May 18, 2013 at 10:58 am

>So, craig, if it does come to a vote and the people vote against a car camping ban, will you shut up about the issue forever???

Yes.

In the meantime, I want the city council to vote in favor of a ban. The vote should come on the next scheduled election, placed on the ballot by the council. If the council votes for a ban, then the vote will be an affirmation; if the council refuses to vote for the ban, then the people will speak with their votes, and the ban will be implemented. If the people vote to not affirm the ban, then you won't hear from me anymore, on this subject )that otta motivate ya,
Gary.


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Posted by Southland
a resident of Nixon School
on May 18, 2013 at 11:30 am

Public Street. Private car.

No harm, no foul.


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Posted by fantasy
a resident of College Terrace
on May 18, 2013 at 12:35 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Craig Laughton
a resident of College Terrace
on May 18, 2013 at 1:16 pm

A vote will assure that the public has the final say.


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Posted by Gary
a resident of Community Center
on May 18, 2013 at 2:20 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


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