News

Editorial: County plan could help create safe parking RV dwellers

Santa Clara County seeks local property owners willing to lease their parking lots, short or long term, for supervised overnight RV parking

When the Palo Alto City Council in January took the tepid action to allow local churches and temples to host up to four vehicles overnight in their parking lots, it was little more than a token, feel-good step. At most, it may create a place for a dozen or so vehicles, all of which will be required to leave every morning and return in the evening.

It was a half-hearted attempt to help a handful of the car and RV dwellers who have taken up residency on city streets and was accompanied by so many requirements and limitations that it may discourage churches from moving forward.

But in an initiative that has much more potential to move the needle, Santa Clara County is proposing to work with Palo Alto and Mountain View to locate unused or underutilized privately owned parking lots in the two cities (which could include churches) and to assume responsibility for renting them and contracting with nonprofits to manage 24/7 safe parking programs.

The county has already invested $750,000 in safe parking programs as part of addressing what is rightly considered a regional homeless problem, but Supervisor Joe Simitian proposed it go a step further. In January, the Board of Supervisors approved Simitian's proposal, which could, with the cooperation of commercial property owners with vacant buildings and/or excess parking capacity, offer a more humane and safe alternative for the many people who are currently living in vehicles on El Camino Real and on city streets.

The concept is to relieve both Palo Alto and Mountain View city governments from developing and overseeing separate safe parking programs of their own and let the county take the lead. The county already is working with several nonprofits at existing lots in San Jose, Morgan Hill and in the west valley area, as well as on two public lots in Mountain View. The county's administration of the program will also provide some political insulation for city officials from potential anxiety in neighborhoods and opposition.

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The program is focusing on opening up lots that will operate day and night, so cars and RVs don't have to leave every morning. Most car and RV dwellers are employed, but their vehicles, especially RVs, can't be accommodated at their job locations.

The county and the nonprofit that will operate the sites will provide liability coverage for the owners and ensure there are portable bathrooms, maintenance and security plans, social services and on-site supervision. Each month residents must renew their request to remain in the lot. The model has been working in the lots already established without neighbor complaints, according to Simitian.

Whether sufficient private parking lots are available in the north county to handle a meaningful number of vehicles is a threshold question, and finding them is the county's initial priority. Simitian, who represents both Palo Alto and Mountain View, is personally reaching out to commercial property owners in both cities this month and will hold public informational meetings next Wednesday in Palo Alto and Thursday in Mountain View for those owners who may be interested.

Parking lots will likely be associated with buildings that are vacant and awaiting redevelopment approvals, so use of them as safe parking lots for vehicle dwellers would be temporary. The larger the number of vehicles that can be accommodated the more efficient and effective the program, compared to the four-vehicle restriction Palo Alto has imposed on churches desiring to help. (The Palo Alto trial program is limited to churches and temples; other privately owned lots are not eligible.)

Safe parking programs are being launched throughout the state and region as a way of helping mostly the working homeless and to assist in transitioning them to permanent housing. Mountain View's program includes two city-owned parking lots, which can each accommodate up to 30 oversized vehicles, in addition to church lots.

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The number of homeless people who are living in vehicles in Santa Clara County is estimated to have more than doubled, from 8 to 18 percent, between 2018 and 2019.

The county's efforts, on a regional basis, make much more sense than having individual cities establish their own programs without experienced and dedicated staff.

We hope commercial property owners will be open to the county's initiative and that nearby residents will view it as a safe way to provide a temporary solution for many living on the edge. Safe parking lots aren't a solution to the homeless crisis, but they are a good first step at helping those who are employed and desperately trying to survive in one of the nation's worst housing markets.

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Editorial: County plan could help create safe parking RV dwellers

Santa Clara County seeks local property owners willing to lease their parking lots, short or long term, for supervised overnight RV parking

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Fri, Mar 6, 2020, 6:44 am

When the Palo Alto City Council in January took the tepid action to allow local churches and temples to host up to four vehicles overnight in their parking lots, it was little more than a token, feel-good step. At most, it may create a place for a dozen or so vehicles, all of which will be required to leave every morning and return in the evening.

It was a half-hearted attempt to help a handful of the car and RV dwellers who have taken up residency on city streets and was accompanied by so many requirements and limitations that it may discourage churches from moving forward.

But in an initiative that has much more potential to move the needle, Santa Clara County is proposing to work with Palo Alto and Mountain View to locate unused or underutilized privately owned parking lots in the two cities (which could include churches) and to assume responsibility for renting them and contracting with nonprofits to manage 24/7 safe parking programs.

The county has already invested $750,000 in safe parking programs as part of addressing what is rightly considered a regional homeless problem, but Supervisor Joe Simitian proposed it go a step further. In January, the Board of Supervisors approved Simitian's proposal, which could, with the cooperation of commercial property owners with vacant buildings and/or excess parking capacity, offer a more humane and safe alternative for the many people who are currently living in vehicles on El Camino Real and on city streets.

The concept is to relieve both Palo Alto and Mountain View city governments from developing and overseeing separate safe parking programs of their own and let the county take the lead. The county already is working with several nonprofits at existing lots in San Jose, Morgan Hill and in the west valley area, as well as on two public lots in Mountain View. The county's administration of the program will also provide some political insulation for city officials from potential anxiety in neighborhoods and opposition.

The program is focusing on opening up lots that will operate day and night, so cars and RVs don't have to leave every morning. Most car and RV dwellers are employed, but their vehicles, especially RVs, can't be accommodated at their job locations.

The county and the nonprofit that will operate the sites will provide liability coverage for the owners and ensure there are portable bathrooms, maintenance and security plans, social services and on-site supervision. Each month residents must renew their request to remain in the lot. The model has been working in the lots already established without neighbor complaints, according to Simitian.

Whether sufficient private parking lots are available in the north county to handle a meaningful number of vehicles is a threshold question, and finding them is the county's initial priority. Simitian, who represents both Palo Alto and Mountain View, is personally reaching out to commercial property owners in both cities this month and will hold public informational meetings next Wednesday in Palo Alto and Thursday in Mountain View for those owners who may be interested.

Parking lots will likely be associated with buildings that are vacant and awaiting redevelopment approvals, so use of them as safe parking lots for vehicle dwellers would be temporary. The larger the number of vehicles that can be accommodated the more efficient and effective the program, compared to the four-vehicle restriction Palo Alto has imposed on churches desiring to help. (The Palo Alto trial program is limited to churches and temples; other privately owned lots are not eligible.)

Safe parking programs are being launched throughout the state and region as a way of helping mostly the working homeless and to assist in transitioning them to permanent housing. Mountain View's program includes two city-owned parking lots, which can each accommodate up to 30 oversized vehicles, in addition to church lots.

The number of homeless people who are living in vehicles in Santa Clara County is estimated to have more than doubled, from 8 to 18 percent, between 2018 and 2019.

The county's efforts, on a regional basis, make much more sense than having individual cities establish their own programs without experienced and dedicated staff.

We hope commercial property owners will be open to the county's initiative and that nearby residents will view it as a safe way to provide a temporary solution for many living on the edge. Safe parking lots aren't a solution to the homeless crisis, but they are a good first step at helping those who are employed and desperately trying to survive in one of the nation's worst housing markets.

Comments

Fishy Marh
Old Palo Alto
on Mar 6, 2020 at 9:09 am
Fishy Marh, Old Palo Alto
on Mar 6, 2020 at 9:09 am
25 people like this

“ The number of homeless people who are living in vehicles in Santa Clara County is estimated to have more than doubled, from 8 to 18 percent, between 2018 and 2019.”

That’s a failure of law enforcement, not a lack of rental properties. There are “for rent” signs all over Oakland and Union City.


Homeless RVer
another community
on Mar 6, 2020 at 9:18 am
Homeless RVer, another community
on Mar 6, 2020 at 9:18 am
9 people like this

[Post removed.]


Independent
Esther Clark Park
on Mar 6, 2020 at 10:46 am
Independent, Esther Clark Park
on Mar 6, 2020 at 10:46 am
20 people like this

According to UCLA, 75% of the unsheltered homeless are substance abusers, have a history of mental health problems, or both.

Web Link
"And 75% of the unsheltered homeless report substance abuse conditions compared to just 13% of those living in shelters."

These folks aren't able to earn an income to pay for housing, regardless of how costly or inexpensive the housing is.

According to Calmatters, the state pushed mental health responsibility down to localities. Funds were used for other things, and swallowed up by state government and elected officials of both parties.
Web Link

“In 1967, a law passed that transformed the treatment of people with mental illness in California,” the article noted. Much like realignment decades later, it was meant to depopulate the state’s mental hospitals, curb involuntary commitments and divert the mentally ill into local treatment programs.

However, the promises of the 1967 Lanterman-Petris-Short act to create a network of easily accessible local mental health services were never kept. The money that had been saved from closing mental hospitals was swallowed up in state budgets approved by then-Gov. Ronald Reagan and his successors from both parties."


Resident
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 6, 2020 at 10:50 am
Resident, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 6, 2020 at 10:50 am
18 people like this

This has to be for roadworthy vehicles only. Our private parking lots should not be dumping grounds for vehicles that cannot be moved and can only be towed into place.

I suggest that they have to be registered, taxed and insured also as well needing to vacate the parking lot by 7.30 am.


What Will They Do Next
Old Palo Alto
on Mar 6, 2020 at 2:55 pm
What Will They Do Next, Old Palo Alto
on Mar 6, 2020 at 2:55 pm
7 people like this

[Post removed due to deletion of referenced comment.]


Get The Homeless Derelicts OFF The Street!
Community Center
on Mar 6, 2020 at 4:34 pm
Get The Homeless Derelicts OFF The Street!, Community Center
on Mar 6, 2020 at 4:34 pm
23 people like this

quote: According to UCLA, 75% of the unsheltered homeless are substance abusers, have a history of mental health problems, or both.

^ These people cannot be helped unless they are institutionalized where they will receive room & board + treatment & counseling.

They cannot be allowed to roam or live out on the streets as it poses a danger to local residents in addition to increasing CRIME.

And they cannot and should not be allowed to live freely with housing assistance in conventional dwellings.

By getting these people OFF the streets, homelessness among the economically displaced can be better addressed.

25% is a lot easier to work with than 75%.


efs
Crescent Park
on Mar 6, 2020 at 4:34 pm
efs, Crescent Park
on Mar 6, 2020 at 4:34 pm
11 people like this

RV and car dwellers are not "street people." Many, even most, have jobs but cannot afford rents, even "in Oakland or Union City." These are people who do low-paying jobs that our community depends on - restaurant workers, janitors, etc. I am saddened at the lack of compassion in the first responses to this editorial and think providing off-street RV parking is a creative if palliative move to ease our housing crisis.


What Will They Do Next
Old Palo Alto
on Mar 6, 2020 at 4:44 pm
What Will They Do Next, Old Palo Alto
on Mar 6, 2020 at 4:44 pm
19 people like this

@ efs.....most are unemployed and living in their RVs.


george drysdale
Professorville
on Mar 6, 2020 at 4:46 pm
george drysdale, Professorville
on Mar 6, 2020 at 4:46 pm
15 people like this

I totally agree with the editorial. Construction workers are getting paid $80 dollars an hour and they need to move around to get to the job sites without paying very steep rents. Keep them moving. The substance abuse I see is smoking cigarettes among the homeless. $80 an hour which is far better than a litigator if you can find a job litigating that is. Supply and demand. We're many years away from providing enough housing as the labor force is getting old and retiring. Cash is king. The only problem is a lack of water. More construction workers needed. You also keep better company at work. Teamwork.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Adobe-Meadow
on Mar 6, 2020 at 6:04 pm
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
on Mar 6, 2020 at 6:04 pm
9 people like this

[Post removed due to numerous factual inaccuracies.]


george drysdale
Professorville
on Mar 7, 2020 at 12:07 pm
george drysdale, Professorville
on Mar 7, 2020 at 12:07 pm
15 people like this

R.V. living is just another form of gentrification. It is just going to increase as California does not have harsh winters. A percentage of the homeless can still be used in construction work of which there is a shortage of labor. It is better for the kids to see this as this is part of the world. Usable land is in short supply, labor is in short supply cement is in short supply as is steel. With universal rent control in California governmental intelligence is non-existent. Build more public toilets or we'll end up like San Francisco from whence our state leadership is hatched. Trump to the rescue, basically a New York construction boss.

George Drysdale land economist (a social scientist)


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Adobe-Meadow
on Mar 8, 2020 at 11:42 am
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
on Mar 8, 2020 at 11:42 am
5 people like this

[Post removed.]


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Adobe-Meadow
on Mar 8, 2020 at 11:58 am
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
on Mar 8, 2020 at 11:58 am
8 people like this

Be ready at these meetings to discuss:
1. The area of the baylands east of San Antonio Road and Embarcadero Road. Note that the business park on the east side of 101 at San Antonio has a large amount of parking lots and empty buildings. The City has an office in that location. That is location 1 for the city to organize with portable toilets and one of the empty buildings being converted into a bathroom location and information center.
2. There is a group of buildings on the east bay shore road nest to the business center that has a senior center and transit bus location. That is area 2 for discussion. 3800 block.
3. The area off Gunn Road has city services buildings. Other locations in that section have empty, for lease buildings. These buildings are always "for lease".
That is area 3 for discussion.

That is my take on this situation - we have locations that are sketchy and under-developed that qualify. And a direct response is required as to why those are not locations being considered. If major real estate companies cannot keep these buildings inhabited then they should be targets for some type of activity in their parking lots, bathrooms, and some type of kitchen facilities provided.
That is what is on the table and needs to be resolved vs ignored. We are not dumping this all on residential locations when commercial locations that are off the grid are available.


Anonymous
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 8, 2020 at 1:29 pm
Anonymous, Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 8, 2020 at 1:29 pm
15 people like this

Absolutely NO to setting up parking for RV “dwellers.” Natural parkland should not be used this way.
The entire premise is illogical. Those in these RVs and other vehicles have varying circumstances.
Social services, extensive charity are offered to the tune of billions of taxpayer money and this state and region are attractive magnets.
Where does it stop!?
Some are opportunists: why not come here to hang out and chill and be given an array of services, donations.
Some are working laborer jobs, maybe temporarily (?) and if they are renting a local’s RV to crash in during the week, then a better arrangement needs to be devised. Some dude with an RV is NOT entitled to park it on a city street, not maintain it, rent it out for x dollars per week. Trash, cigarettes, sewage dumped outside.
Public health and public safety take priority over such under the table income schemes. State and local elected officials are bent over to give any accommodation to transients. I strenuously disagree with this endless focus.
Some are ex-cons, Unemployed by choice, addicts, sex offenders, serious mental health problem sufferers. Setting up van parks will lead to fights, conflict, fires, theft, drug overdoses, risks to the public especially children. Or do we taxpayers need to pay for 24/7 police substation and shelter and sewage and electric and trash services and, and....?
Strict assessments MUST be done and compliance monitored. Court ordered actions such as detox, rather than supplying needles (which in SF are still thrown about, endangering the public, despite pleas for correct collection and disposal.
Each individual has to take some responsibility for his/her/their self.
Is a person entitled to an endless supply of taxpayer paid for needles and Narcan? Free cell phones.
As Biden would say: “C’mon, Man!”
It’s time to have a bit of common sense or the golden goose of the CA taxpayer might just go out of state.
We need to balance


RV Parameters
Adobe-Meadow
on Mar 8, 2020 at 2:05 pm
RV Parameters, Adobe-Meadow
on Mar 8, 2020 at 2:05 pm
14 people like this

I don't have a problem if the RVs are nice RVs (like a MB Sprinter) but a crappy-looking, rusted, run-down & inoperable one does not belong in Palo Alto.

If they look disheveled & cluttered inside, chances are the inhabitants are not taking any pride in their personal lives.


george drysdale
Professorville
on Mar 8, 2020 at 2:18 pm
george drysdale, Professorville
on Mar 8, 2020 at 2:18 pm
14 people like this

On my on site study of homelessness largely Navigator centers the great majority of the homeless are not goofy. About one in twenty display schizoid symptoms. Most all are friendly and have average intelligence like the great majority of Americans. Some are along for the ride of free food and very well provided for services for the homeless. San Diego has excellent large tent like structures for the homeless. All the food you can eat with T.V. outreach services, etc. California's climate and welfare state will prove very enticing. Caravan to the best locations. Many are older men or injured and have few options on the labor market. The secret is to keep the numbers manageable which is not done by California's open door policy which is politics over reason.


Jennifer
another community
on Mar 8, 2020 at 6:39 pm
Jennifer, another community
on Mar 8, 2020 at 6:39 pm
21 people like this

Even if you provide liability insurance, bathrooms, etc. renting out space to the homeless could be a disaster. Why would the homeless even want to live in Palo Alto. It's difficult enough for those who aren't wealthy, yet alone the homeless. Are these the working homeless employed in Palo Alto?


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Adobe-Meadow
on Mar 8, 2020 at 6:47 pm
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
on Mar 8, 2020 at 6:47 pm
7 people like this

So RV Parameters is now policing the quality of the RV's and the people's personal habits of cleanliness. Who is providing the money for that function. And not stated is where those RV's are going to hang out. Not in Adobe Meadows. South PA is not a dumping ground for RV's.

And my previous posts were removed for inaccuracies? No - you just did not like those comments because they contradicted your going in position. But those comments track to the newspaper articles on this topic. The SJM has lot to say about this whole topic for the bay area in total.

This whole issue is sitting on FB specific to this topic.
See you all at the Episcopal Church, 555 Waverly on 03/11/at 11-12 and 6-7 PM. That is on FB.


george drysdale
Professorville
on Mar 9, 2020 at 9:40 am
george drysdale, Professorville
on Mar 9, 2020 at 9:40 am
8 people like this

Before I head down to southern California to check out the homelessness situation let me be the devil's advocate. Cleanliness is not close to godliness. Our bodies themselves have evolved to be self protecting with natural oils. Indeed the native Americans used bear grease for warmth. Indeed fish oil along salmon runs. You didn't smell very good but you were warmer. The greatest pan endemic in history was when Europeans introduced many diseases to the indigenous. Their reply: want a smoke. It seems like the homeless people tend to smoke a lot. Now to the southern California beaches where a 42oz malt liquor bottle should be able to get you through a day at the beach. Free food, free medical a leisure existence. Don''t forget your sun block.

George Drysdale the empiricist


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Adobe-Meadow
on Mar 9, 2020 at 9:45 am
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
on Mar 9, 2020 at 9:45 am
9 people like this

Went to the big Safeway on San Antonio and El Camino last night and many shelves going bare. People are in "bunker" mentality. Not sure if it is a supply problem or people bunkering down problem. That directly affects the city in total when it is making decisions as to where RV's are situated. That is typically people who have few defenses against maintenance of cleanliness and sanitization of their "space' that they occupy on the streets. The last thing we need now is RV's lining El Camino between our high school and university which has people all over the place. The last thing we need now is lack of control over human waste that is being dumped into the sewer system. We also do not know who these people are and what their reason for being here is. When people rent or buy a house we know who they are and can assume that they have a direct reason for being here. One of the unacceptable reasons is that San Mateo County does not allow them to park all over so why not Palo Alto?
Mountain View as a city has a different tax base, employment base, and overall age base. The presence of Google employees and Google's expansion in that city is a whole dynamic that is different from PA. We do not have the same resources as that city and should not be expected to buy into what ever expansion plans being experienced by that city. If they approve all of the unmitigated growth then that is on them. If they approve it then their city management needs to be smart enough to expect companies that locate in their city to contribute to what is required to house those employees. And our city should expect the same of any company that operates in this city.


Ethan
Evergreen Park
on Mar 9, 2020 at 1:41 pm
Ethan, Evergreen Park
on Mar 9, 2020 at 1:41 pm
19 people like this

Fatality of middle school boy on El Camino and California Ave., heartbreaking… and the City should take a harder look at the issues on El Camino Real.
Congestion and campers parked on El Camino Real for weeks on end, even though even though the city ordinance is 72-hour parking. It takes endless hours, tax payer money to constantly put notices on cars/trucks/campers/RV’s/trailers/a blue bus parked for longer than the City of Palo Alto's 72-hour parking policy limit. After two notices, issue a ticket and tow the illegally parked vehicle. The campers/RV’s/trailers simple move a block down from where previously parked. I’ve seen bags of trash left in front of campers/RV’s/trailers parked on El Camino Real.

South Palo Alto, a number of pre-schools, elementary and high schools are located in the area from Matadero down past Maybell Avenue, schools in the area, kids and adults on bikes riding on El Camino, are squeezed between the campers/RV’s/trailer parked on El Camino and cars/trucks traveling on this road. It's a dangerous stretch of road.
Kids don’t always have the balance riding a bike and then add having to navigate around campers/RV’s/trailers and it’s a matter of time before another avoidable accident. For the past 30 straight days, campers/RV’s/trailers have been parked in the area from Matadero down past Maybell Avenue and neither the city of Palo Alto or Police have done anything. The mobile home park in south palo alto has cars/trucks/campers also park on surrounding city streets blocks away from the mobile home park.
VTA and Stanford buses, trucks need to drive/bike in two lanes around the campers parked on El Camino Real, which is a huge traffic hazard… accidents waiting to happen. Very difficult to pull out of side streets onto El Camino Real because of blocked vision with all the campers/RV’s parked for weeks on end on El Camino Real.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Adobe-Meadow
on Mar 9, 2020 at 7:06 pm
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
on Mar 9, 2020 at 7:06 pm
14 people like this

Construction workers on SU projects should be parking in the back of the campus where the construction equipment is. They should get an approval to park there. They could use bathrooms and showers for SU maintenance employees. Many do not work directly for SU - they work for the construction company that hired them. That company should work with SU to approve the parking for those workers on campus. People working for other companies - the company should allow parking on their property.
El Camino should be cleared and the street sweeper come in and clean it up. Keep RV's off El Camino - too many kids are in that area. RV people who have no jobs in the area need to go to some other location in the east bay that does not have a lot of homes. Start moving those people to the valley.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Adobe-Meadow
on Mar 10, 2020 at 8:20 am
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
on Mar 10, 2020 at 8:20 am
10 people like this

On previous subjects on this site concerning RV's the RV owners write in and have many comments as to why they picked this city to Squat. The people in the Oakland RV park say they want to caravan over to here. Other people want to rent an RV and come over here.

RV people are telegraphing to each other that this is the place to come. How did we allow ourselves to be set up for this type of activity? The time has come due to illness that El Camino be off limits for RV's. The street should be swept and cleaned since we have our high school and university students directly in that area. Why do we allow that to happen?
A RV Park should be set up down in the farm belt area for people in RV's that have no where else to go. There are parks and rest stops down there where the state has highway rest areas that have bathrooms. Carve out an area down there and direct the RV traffic to those locations.


Just Park & Save
another community
on Mar 10, 2020 at 9:42 am
Just Park & Save, another community
on Mar 10, 2020 at 9:42 am
8 people like this

>>>> Why would the homeless even want to live in Palo Alto. It's difficult enough for those who aren't wealthy, yet alone the homeless.

^^^ Not if you spend only $3500 for a used RV...its beats paying $5M+!

>>>>The people in the Oakland RV park say they want to caravan over to here. Other people want to rent an RV and come over here.

^^^ Can you blame them? Our group (though scattered now) arrived from Clear Lake. Some have settled in Mountain View as well.

>>>> A RV Park should be set up down in the farm belt area for people in RV's that have no where else to go. There are parks and rest stops down there where the state has highway rest areas that have bathrooms.

^^^ Too hot & too many rednecks. Palo Alto & Mountain View are the places to be!

>>>> I don't have a problem if the RVs are nice RVs (like a MB Sprinter) but a crappy-looking, rusted, run-down & inoperable one does not belong in Palo Alto.

If they look disheveled & cluttered inside, chances are the inhabitants are not taking any pride in their personal lives.

^^^ Pride comes before a fall...which is why the residential demographics of palo Alto & Mountain View are radically changing. Those who can afford to live here now pay CASH for their homes. Those who can't complain.

We just park our Vagabond RV & watch the world go by.

Why harbor stress over stuff you can't afford?

>>> Even if you provide liability insurance, bathrooms, etc. renting out space to the homeless could be a disaster.

^^^ Not if you accept us into your lives & treat us like equals. The only difference is that Palo Altans pay property taxes & utilities.

We don't & many simply use one gallon H20 bottles as urinals & 5 gallon pint buckets for #2.

Could you live the same way?

Probably not...which is why you pay for those services!


george drysdale
Professorville
on Mar 10, 2020 at 9:42 am
george drysdale, Professorville
on Mar 10, 2020 at 9:42 am
8 people like this

Remember the Oakies during the dust bowl? Now the caravanars. You can't do anything to stop them. Your new neighbors. The Navigator system for the homeless is quite excellent. I'll be checking those out. My proposal: turn the Buena Vista trailer park into a beautifully located Navigator center. But wait, the Buena Vista boondoggle (Simitianville) would be too expensive to buy because the basically valueless trailers would be too expensive to purchase because use dictates the price of the tenants location. Get it. I now propose Palo Alto's city government have a Bernie Sander's commemoration day. Mobile home parks in California the Achilles heel of rent control in California.

George Drysdale the economist's economist


Just Park & Save
another community
on Mar 10, 2020 at 9:45 am
Just Park & Save, another community
on Mar 10, 2020 at 9:45 am
9 people like this

george drysdale = smarter man than either Gavin Newsome or Scott Weiner.

george drysdale for CA Governor!

He will lead our RVs to PA paradise.


Money Boob
Palo Alto Hills
on Mar 10, 2020 at 11:52 am
Money Boob, Palo Alto Hills
on Mar 10, 2020 at 11:52 am
7 people like this

The Democrats need to dump more money into this homeless problem.......

Money solves everything!!! ;-)


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Adobe-Meadow
on Mar 10, 2020 at 12:12 pm
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
on Mar 10, 2020 at 12:12 pm
8 people like this

I am beginning to wonder if there area any non-profits or church groups that are being subsidized by any government agency or other non-profit to support the RV's in this community. Churches typically have ministry groups and may have taken on some type of program to support this type activity. But when I go down Middlefield I do not see any RV's in any of the church parking lots. Nor any in the churches on Alma.
And MV and PA appear to be zero points for this type of activity. Do we have multiple groups working at cross purposes on this issue? Are multiple groups working to control the type of discussion needed on this problem? It is beginning to look that way to me.

If SU is hiring people to work on their building programs than it makes sense that they have them park of their property. But that is not happening.

Another SU project is building residences in Portola Valley in an area designated as a fire threat area. My retired doctor from PAMC is leading a revolt against that activity. But SU is persisting. Imagine the cars and RV's associated with that building effort in an area that does not have markets.

A lot of money is being thrown at this topic which should have come up with a result by now but has not.
Comments from Park and Save do not help solve this problem. Why have there been no results by now? Someone does not want results.


Anonymous
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 10, 2020 at 12:33 pm
Anonymous, Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 10, 2020 at 12:33 pm
4 people like this

Resident 1: EL Camino Real, as I understand it, is a state route and not under the control of City of PA. Or maybe that’s the road, specifically, under state control (traffic lights, pothole repair issues?), but the City police can arrest overstaying transients....?


george drysdale
Professorville
on Mar 10, 2020 at 2:29 pm
george drysdale, Professorville
on Mar 10, 2020 at 2:29 pm
4 people like this

The real problem is there is not much money left from the state is help the homeless. County funding almost immediately goes to the true down and out (disabled). Navigator centers have a large component of charitable giving. If you have a high paying job like construction work you can rationalize staying in a camper where movement is almost a necessity. For the rest, the majority you're going to have wait forever to get an affordable place to live, certainly not the Bay Area. Bernie Sanders is a sick joke. The only solution I see if there is one is secondary cities but not in the Central Valley where it's too hot to live in during the summer months. Alaska becons with it's soon to be California of old climate.


Just Say NO To RV Setllements ANYWHERE
Crescent Park
on Mar 10, 2020 at 2:34 pm
Just Say NO To RV Setllements ANYWHERE, Crescent Park
on Mar 10, 2020 at 2:34 pm
12 people like this

There will need to be multiple restrooms...mens, womens, transgender + shower & laundry facilities for an authorized RV settlement to exist efficiently and hygienically along with monitored onsite supervision.

Absolutely NOBODY is willing to take on that kind of responsibility + liability insurance for personal injuries that may occur.

Also these RV dwellers (judging by the cluttered insides) of their dwellings are not the most meticulous nor the cleanest of people.

Public health concerns (including the proper disposal of garbage & wastes) will also be a problematic issue.

This is way too much to take on....perhaps best if these vagabonds are simply run out of town with a 48 hour window or risk citation & impundment of these rattletrap clunkers permeating the streets of Palo Alto & Mountain View.


Just Say NO To RV Setllements ANYWHERE
Crescent Park
on Mar 10, 2020 at 2:41 pm
Just Say NO To RV Setllements ANYWHERE, Crescent Park
on Mar 10, 2020 at 2:41 pm
7 people like this

impundment > impoundment

quote: "The real problem is there is not much money left from the state is help the homeless."

[Portion removed.]


Just Say NO To RV Setllements ANYWHERE
Crescent Park
on Mar 10, 2020 at 2:42 pm
Just Say NO To RV Setllements ANYWHERE, Crescent Park
on Mar 10, 2020 at 2:42 pm
7 people like this

Another correction > $1.73B to ease homelessness.

Newsome is full of horse feathers.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Adobe-Meadow
on Mar 10, 2020 at 5:32 pm
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
on Mar 10, 2020 at 5:32 pm
5 people like this

My son lives in the Oakland Hills. They have signs on the street which prohibit any vehicles over a certain height. That then prohibits RV's from parking in those residential areas. And they have narrow streets.

East PA has signs on the street for street cleaning - no parking on what ever day is designated. That prohibits any long term parking, especially for any RV that is immovable.

Some streets in PA have street cleaning signs but that is not uniform throughout the city.

Other "less wealthy" cities have figured out ways to disqualify RV's from residential areas and what ever commercial areas that have narrow streets.

As to El Camino you do not see RV's on that street in Atherton, RWC, San Mateo.
As you go up El Camino you will note that there is a huge parking lot along the tracks - but that is in a Commercial zone. So any argument about El Camino does not wash. No one else allows it. We have signs posted about game day but now I see broken down RV's sitting there on game day and the police have put barriers around them so traffic in that lane is interrupted with the help of the police. So this city is in on whatever scheme is going on and flouting it's own rules. what kind of message is that? No the "city" does not get to pick and chose whatever rules it wants to enforce that have been in place forever.

Now in EPA on the road to Cooley Landing there are large boulders so that RV's or trucks cannot park there - or even autos.

Bottom line is that other cities are working the angles so that RV parking is disqualified for any number of reasons.

So what is our problem? PACC, police, what type of message are your trying to send out there? You cannot duck this issue by Joe saying that the cities are allowing the county to define what is up. You have a police department, SU has a police department and available land - but it is trying to push it's way into the hills that are now a fire threat. Imagine all of the trucks, RV's, heavy equipment is goin to roll into that city of Portola Valley.
Time for people to vote on what they want for this city. We have to work the tax base and open land that we have available.


Your Problem...Not Ours
Atherton
on Mar 11, 2020 at 4:04 pm
Your Problem...Not Ours, Atherton
on Mar 11, 2020 at 4:04 pm
4 people like this

Why don't residents in Palo Alto simply 'adopt a homeless individual' & provide daily care for them via meals, shelter and a place to bathe?

Since the granny units are not being used to house granny, maybe Scott Weiner can develop a tax write-off program for those Palo Altans who assist in getting the homeless derelicts off THEIR streets.


House them at Buena Vista
Midtown
on Mar 12, 2020 at 7:43 pm
House them at Buena Vista, Midtown
on Mar 12, 2020 at 7:43 pm
6 people like this

Why not the good folks at Buena Vista step up and allow RVs to park? How about allowing other homeless some space? After all Buena Vista is subsidized by the tax paying citizens of the city. OR do the good folks of Buena Vista want not want to share their subsidized good fortune with anyone else?


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Adobe-Meadow
on Mar 13, 2020 at 9:52 am
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
on Mar 13, 2020 at 9:52 am
Like this comment

I attended the noon meeting set up at the Episcopal church directed by Joe Simitian. I am not seeing any follow up on the discussion and intentions in that meeting or the evening meeting. The majority of attendees were reps from the local churches. Housing RV's on their property 24/7 has some direct challenges for them - they do not have facilities or personnel that are set up for that type of activity 24/7.

Parking on the Palo Alto Business Park extensive parking lot was avoided as a possibility. I drove over there after the meeting and the parking lot is huge and convoluted with many areas that can be used. Those areas are not in full view of any business offices and is perfect for this use. But the topic was deflected.

Parking on SU campus by people who are employed there for construction work was previously explored but the relationship with SU at this point is strained so that is another possibility that is out there but undecided. SU is not doing well now since it's Portola Valley scheme is falling apart. My retired doctor from PAMC is leading the charge there against the SU project in that city. That is a big equipment effort - assume many construction workers for that project. Where are they going to go?

A rep from Mr. Berman's office was there indicating that Mr. Berman was busy with some type of legislation to be revealed. Since he is in the Scott Weiner Camp be on top of what that will turn out to be.

Some type of leveraging with Mountain View is in process. If you go over to the Google campus and the streets that wind around in that area they are filled with RV's. However they have a large construction effort in process so that can account for the influx of RV's in that direct area. Google has a project on the Moffatt Field in the back near the airfield so they are able to build on leased government property for their projects.

One comment indicated that ROI ( Return on Investment) was a consideration in this whole topic. Whose ROI are they talking about - the Cities? SU's? the residences of the cities?

Note that there is a house for sale on my street - ability to sell depends on a clear street with no RV's or sleeping cars present. I know where my ROI is.

There was no discussion at the meeting I attended that discussed the impact of the virus. That is a huge impact that can go on for about 3 to 4 months as we know today.

Bottom line is that churches are being pressed into service here on the assumption that the churches have political clout on this topic. How is that working out for everyone?


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Adobe-Meadow
on Mar 15, 2020 at 9:59 am
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
on Mar 15, 2020 at 9:59 am
3 people like this

It is noted in the Sunday SJM that Santa Clara County has the highest number of infected people in the Nor-Cal area counties. For all of those RV people who seem to be focused on Santa Clara county then you should rethink that idea.

Since your home is movable - at least most are - then you should consider either the upper coast areas or the lower coast areas. Carmel and Monterey are good choices as well as San Luis Obispo. If you don't like the central valley with it's wide open spaces then you have the biggest coast line in the US to work with.
In the many postings on this topic people reported that they came from the Paradise / Chico areas. That is understandable. However that county now has the best opportunities for a cleaner, healthier outlook.

SU is closing it's classes and campus and telling students to go home. It is time for SU and Palo Alto to clear El Camino of RV's and encourage those people to move to less contagious counties. We need to keep El Camino clear and clean since it is one of our main thoroughfares for travel and busses. Also any emergency requirements that require full use of that roadway.

For groups that have sponsored RV's in this area then you should direct those people to less dense areas in the state. That includes churches. CA is the biggest state in the union so don't work on the theory that people have no where else to go. Reality says that any where else right now is the best recommendation to tide people over these events.

Any jobs that these people have are now not including in office participation and are working on-line.

For everyone's health please clear the area and move what you can to less dense areas.


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