Can “permitting” solve Berkeley’s homeless RV dweller problem?

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    Can "permitting" solve Berkeley's homeless RV dweller problem?The city of Berkeley is no different than dozens of other urban areas as they wrestle with the growing homeless RV dweller problem. The city has repeatedly cleared out a large RV camp at the Berkeley Marina, sparking a wave of complaints from the RVers, and has said it wants to find a permanent location for the RVs to park, reports Berkleyside.

    But on Tuesday night, Kirsten MacDonald of the Berkeley Chamber of Commerce said there are now more than 70 RVs in northwest Berkeley and “A permitting system needs to be put in place so one district doesn’t get the brunt of an entire community descending upon their streets.” It is unclear how permitting could resolve the problem.


    Members of the camp said they have nowhere else to go, and that the city needs to step up. “Trying to deny that you have a native homeless population, who dares to shelter ourselves in vehicles and/or trying to legislate us into nearby cities is not the way to show voters or your neighbors that you are serious about ending homelessness,” said longtime Berkeley resident and homeless activist Amber Lynn Whitson in an email to council this week.

    Councilwoman Linda Maio’s office put forward the proposal to ask the city to “look into how other cities use permitting to manage RV parking and suggest a permit process that Council can consider to enable RV parking but place some sensible limits.” The proposal describes Antioch’s permit program as one possible approach, and “requests consideration of a 2-week permit.”

    The Chamber said it has received a range of complaints from local businesses due to deteriorating conditions in the neighborhood: “Such negative impacts include making parking spots rare for employees and residents, waste containers getting poured down storm drains, evidence of campers urinating and defecating on public sidewalks and/or private property, and feeling unsafe around campers who are exhibiting mentally ill or otherwise aggressive behaviors.”

    Members of the business community who spoke said they support the concept of a sanctioned encampment – but said it needs to be located somewhere else.

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    Gene Bjerke

    Berkeley Marina has a large, quiet parking lot. I have used it for overnight parking in the past and had no problems. I may not have that option in the future it seems. It is very hard to find a place to park overnight there if you are just visiting, the only campground I know of is up in the hills a good distance from town.

    Billy Bob Thorton

    Roy,

    So harsh I think. The best place to have these poor RVers set up a home, is where the elite rich live. I think Beserkley.. should tone it down a little and listen to these poor souls. These elitists should also leave their back door open, with directions to the fridge, and of course the rest room. Poor souls just need to be in a good place. Move in boys, you have my full suport.

    Rey L.

    Park ’em on the UC Berekley Campus & start classes on societal woes & r.v. maintanance.

    John Rakoci

    The desire for free parking in a prime area of a state with one of the highest costs of living is understandable. The most liberal states have the highest numbers it seems. Nice they take care of them all.

    Roy

    Just because someone owns or has been ‘given’ an RV, does not mean someone else has to pay for a place to park it !! These ‘homeless’ are not living in or driving newer model RV’s – most are likely in very poor repair. Where will they get their power, water and sewer hookups in these ‘free encampment’ areas ??

    … and in this article it says the RV’s were removed from the Berkeley MARINA area …. ?? … Holy moly … I’ve got a 2019 TT and even ‘I’ can’t afford to park at a MARINA !! Where do these freeloaders assume they have any RIGHT to free parking?

    Geez …. yeah … living at the beach or the ocean is great … IF … you can afford it. NO ONE has a RIGHT to live on prime real estate for FREE. Can’t afford to live here? Drive to an area that you can afford and pay for what you can afford.