City of Mountain View considers ban on overnight parking for RVs

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (KGO) -- The future remains unclear for those living in RVs or trailers in Mountain View. As of 11 p.m. Tuesday night, city leaders were still debating whether the council would adopt an Oversized Vehicle Parking policy.

The city says it's a push to build a better and safer Bay Area. However, opponents say the move is unconstitutional.

RELATED: Civil rights groups challenge proposed Mountain View RV ban

Dozens of RVs and trailers line several city streets. Most of the oversized vehicles serve as shelter for a number of the city's homeless.

Ahead of Tuesday's city council meeting, dozens rallied outside City Hall, in a last attempt to sway city leaders to vote against the ban.

"These are people who can't afford the rent here," former Mayor Lenny Siegel told ABC7 News. "They include a lot of people who have jobs, kids who are in school, maybe they've retired or have a disability."

A May 2019 count by the city found 212 inhabited vehicles, down from 290 in December 2018. Of that number, 171 were RVs, down from 192 in December 2018.

The city says other residents have raised traffic-related and sanitary concerns like difficulty seeing over oversized vehicles, excessive litter, sewage and noise from generators.

"Most of these are just petty complaints in my eyes, and we should not be demonizing these people just from living, Devon Johnson with the Democratic Socialists of America Silicon Valley said. "Especially because they're the product of our inaction on gentrification."

ABC7 News previously reported the ACLU and Law Foundation of Silicon Valley wrote city leaders about the ban, calling it unconstitutional.

Attorneys say the decision is discriminatory against homeless people. Both warn the move could lead to future legal action.

Johnson said, " It's a poverty ban. and city council is not providing a good enough alternative to actually deal with the repercussions of it."

RELATED: Mountain View plans to convert VTA parking lot into parking spot for homeless

"Mountain View is a town that has always treasured ethnic diversity, socioeconomic diversity," Siegel told ABC7 News. "And the people that I'm working with want to make sure we find a place for these people because the rent is too damn high."

The City of Mountain View is also working to establish an ordinance for a Safe Parking Program.

However, those advocating for vehicle residents say any overnight parking program will offer little relief.

A spokesperson with the City of Mountain View says the council will likely make a decision on the ban after midnight. The decision will not be tabled.

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