The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) plans to sue Mountain View City in Silicon Valley, California, for the “inhumane” RV ban, which the former claims is not in favor of the homeless, a report said on Friday.
In November, 57% of the Mountain View community voted for banning recreational vehicle (RV) parking in the city’s streets. Under the ordinance, RVs and other “oversized” vehicles (OSV) are prohibited from parking on 444 of Mountain View’s 525 streets.
The city defends its decision, saying the ordinance aids in balancing the quality of life and public safety concerns.
In a statement, the ACLU said the ban is unconstitutional under federal and California law.
“It violates the inalienable rights of vulnerable individuals who have been forced to seek shelter in RVs to access medical care, schools, employment, and other resources available to them in their community,” the statement said.
Criminal Defense Attorney Bob Bianchi said the ordinance targeted a protected class under the law and the American Disabilities Act (those who were economically at a disadvantage).
“I went to the record of what city was saying, and what they were saying has nothing to do with traffic safety which would be a legitimate government interest, but rather, they were just trying to get them out of there.”
He also said that the city initially planned to pass a law restricting RV owners from parking their vehicles in the streets from 2 AM to 6 AM, which Bianchi claimed were hours where traffic was “light and non-existent.”
On the other hand, Attorney Sarah Gounder suggests that the city is likely to push for the public safety side of the issue as well as the initiatives that the city put in place, which include public facilities, low-income housing, 8 safe parking lots, and an amphitheater parking lot that for the vehicle owners.
In a statement, the city said, “due to their size, an oversized vehicle on a narrow roadway can encroach into the vehicle lane of traffic, which can increase the risk of collisions for motor vehicles and bikes as well as it makes it more difficult for emergency and critical service vehicles to navigate the streets safely.”
Bianchi then stood his ground, saying the paper trail he is reading suggests that there has been an increase in homelessness and that there have no been accommodations as well.
He questioned whether the law was being pushed for traffic safety or “some pretextual reason.”