Mountain View to enforce restrictions on those living in 'oversized vehicles,' RVs and trailers

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (KGO) -- By next summer, Mountain View residents living in RV's or trailers, parked on narrow roads, will have to relocate.

City Council voted 4 to 3 Tuesday night, to restrict oversized vehicle parking on narrow streets. The ordinance goes into effect on June 30th, 2020.

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In addition, the City voted unanimously to restrict oversized vehicle parking on any street with a designated bike lane.

The City has maintained its decision would build a better and safer Bay Area. However, opponents say the move is unconstitutional.

Defined by the City of Mountain View, an oversized vehicle is any vehicle, or combination of connected vehicle which exceeds 22-feet in length, 7-feet in height or 7-feet in width.

A narrow street is defined as any street measuring 40-feet wide or less. This would mean most residential streets within Mountain View.

"This has been three years in the making," Mountain View Communications Coordinator, Shonda Ranson said. "It's not that we woke up and said, 'You know, let's talk about safe parking and RV parking.'"

Currently, hundreds of Mountain View families have found shelter in oversized vehicles.

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.

Before Tuesday's meeting, dozens rallied outside City Hall. Many maintain any new restrictions will disrupt lives.

"Most of these people will still want to stay in their communities with their families and friends and homes and their schools," advocate Paul Weiss told ABC7 News.

One RV resident who asked not to be identified said he's new to the streets but has spent 16 years in a Mountain View apartment.

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He said his long-time girlfriend died in February and he was unable to cover rent on his own.

"I tried my best, but I couldn't find a faster solution than this," he added.

The ordinance considered an all-hours ban in some areas, and allow sanctioned parking in certain areas.

A map provided by the City showed RV residents could park in industrial, or commercial areas.

However, those living on the streets aren't convinced this is the answer.

John Betts said, "I just think it means we just have to stand up as strong as we can."

Betts has lived on Mountain View streets for 12 years.

The City is looking to establish a Safe Parking Program. Leaders are hoping to bring three city-owned safe parking lots online by the end of the year. Together, the lots could host 60 oversized vehicles.

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