RV lots appear ready, but they’re still locked up

A parking lot on Evelyn Avenue that the city of Mountain View is leasing from VTA for car campers sits empty. Post photo.
A parking lot on Evelyn Avenue that the city of Mountain View is leasing from VTA for car campers sits empty. Post photo.

This story was printed in the Daily Post on Dec. 27. Only a fraction of the stories the Post covers are posted on this website. If you want to get all of the local news, pick up the Post every morning at 1,000 mid-Peninsula locations.

BY SONYA HERRERA
Daily Post Staff Writer

Two new RV parking lots owned or leased by the city of Mountain View appear ready for car campers. However, both lots are locked up and empty.

City Council on June 11 approved the use of two lots, one on E. Evelyn Avenue and Pioneer Way and the other in Shoreline Amphitheatre Parking Lot B.

Council approved a resolution saying the Shoreline lot would be used from Nov. 15 to March 15. However, the lot has not opened. City officials were not available for comment yesterday.

The lot on Evelyn appears ready for car campers. Signs say that only vehicles with permits are allowed, and that the lot is operated by Move Mountain View, a nonprofit operated by Lord’s Grace and St. Timothy’s churches.

However, no vehicles or security guards were at the lot on Christmas night.

The city’s RV parking lots are meant for homeless Mountain View residents, according to the city’s ordinance authorizing the operation of the lots. The ordinance prioritizes families with students enrolled in a Mountain View school district, registered Mountain View voters, people who work in Mountain View, people age 55 and older and people with disabilities.

‘Not for transient workers’

The program “is not for transient workers or professionals who choose ‘living in their cars to save money,’” according to the city’s website.

Move Mountain View applies additional restrictions on who is allowed to park on the lots that it operates. The nonprofit’s “Lots of Love” program accepts only people who are referred through Community Services Agency, another nonprofit operating in Mountain View, Los Altos and Los Altos Hills. Residents who want to park in the lots may contact Community Services Agency at (650) 968-0836 to obtain a referral.

Santa Clara County has committed $287,525 in funding to Move Mountain View to operate its homeless parking program, according to a council report from March. East Palo Alto currently operates a homeless parking lot, and Palo Alto is considering opening one.

In Santa Clara County, the proportion of homeless people living in vehicles more than doubled in the last two years, according to the county’s 2019 homeless census, which relies on data from homeless activists who canvas neighborhoods. Between 200 and 300 vehicles are currently being used as homes in Mountain View, according to the city’s most recent counts.

3 Comments

  1. If you build it, they will come. These parks will attract Rv dwellers from everywhere. the best idea is to discourage Rv dwellers from coming here … enforce existing parking laws. Send them to San Jose.

    • Not really. These places are very unpopular, because you can only use them at night. They only exist so that the city can give the appearance that they are providing a humane alternative to the new anti RV parking rules, which have been enacted in lieu of a solution that would address the causes of RV living.

      I think if we were all honest with ourselves, we would recognize that the main cause of RV living, and various related ills of th SF Bay area, is widespread anti development policies, which are supported by people (like you?) who have already grabbed their slice of the California dream. The real solution is #LegalizeHousing.

      Home owners would be much more on board with the simple concept of letting devlopers build more residential units if taxes kept up with the assessed value of real estate. But no, they are perfectly happy to leave renters unprotected from skyrocketting prices, while home owners remain shielded by prop 13 from the very same issue. This is just another example of what Professor Robert Reich keeps telling us: our system allows capital to capture the politicians, and capital uses this power to benefit itself at the expense of everyone else.

      The way to correct this is for people to face the link between their anti-development atitudes and the housing shortage, which is wreaking havok on the region. Perhapse then, their conscience will awaken, and demand that cities make room for development. Perhaps then, we won’t even need special RV lots to free up parking spaces from people who cannot afford to live where they work. Perhaps then, we won’t have people clogging the highways because they live 3 hours away from their jobs. Maybe, just maybe, California is big enough for all of us to find our slice of the California dream.

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