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News for January 25, 2022

California City Reconsiders Overnight RV Parking Ban

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California’s Santa Cruz City officials are returning on Tuesday to make a renewed appeal to block large vehicles from occupying the city’s streets for a long time, a report said.

The officials cited impacts significant to the public’s health, safety, and the environment.

The ordinance, which was proposed for the second time in two months by Santa Cruz City Councilmembers, Shebreh Kalantari-Johnson, Renee Golder, and Vice Mayor Sonja Brunner, also suggests building an alternative three-tiered sanctioned parking program. This was a controversial idea that was last considered and rejected by the council in 2019.

The new law, which will run from midnight to 5 a.m. each day, would permit street parking in a limited manner only for parking spaces near the owners’ residential homes or for visitors from out-of-town.

The proposed ordinance does not announce fees for permits. The city excludes pickup trucks, vans, or sport utility vehicles less than 20 feet in length and 8 feet in height.

Concerns from the community brought to the council often revolve around illegal garbage and sewage dumps, vehicle fires, the increase in criminal activity, theft of private gasoline and water, and the obstruction of several parking spots.

Westside homeowner, Aethia Danforth on October 17, emailed the City Council, pleading with authorities to require RV drivers to use sanctioned campgrounds and parks.

Danforth stated that “RVs are rolling environmental health hazards”. The resident mentioned issues related to human waste, drug paraphernalia, improperly discarded trash, generator noise, and particular impacts to Antonelli Pond. Letter-writer Carole Mulford highlighted her concerns about impacts to her Mission Street Extension gym’s customers and Pacific Collegiate School student access to sidewalks.

The latest safe parking proposal is expected to cost from $300,000 to $500,000 to start the infrastructure and ongoing costs for staffing for the first year. 

According to the report, the current nonprofit safe parking program costs $328,000 per year to park 30 vehicles.

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