NIMBYs Already Freaking Out Over Proposal to Help People Living in Cars


Well, at least there's this bit of sanity:
• The program would apply to cars and trucks on residential streets, but only to RVs in industrial areas, not residential neighborhoods.
Apparently only "neighborhood" types are bothered by the amazing amounts of trash vehicle dwellers generate.
"...and released misleading maps that were reported by some..."

You know, I never did see the corrected maps issued by the proponents of public-land-camping reported in The Stranger. Possibly because there weren't any maps, and those proponents weren't willing to specify which bits of public land would be campable?

This time around, I see you're scare-quoting some alarmist language:

...said the law would give “extraordinary rights” to “people who will have free will to squat on any and all streets on Seattle.”

OK, if that's a mischaracterization, which part of it is inaccurate or misleading? Do we just need to add the modifier "residential" between the words "all streets?" Or under the proposed legislation, would people living in cars not be granted the right to claim public residential parking spaces for their own private use for up to a year at a time?
The cycle never ends, shitheads who complain about homeless people complain when someone tries to do something about the problem. Can we just stop giving them a platform to say anything?
How much would it cost per year per 200-spot parking lot with trash and portapotty? How much is the cost of handling those same people otherwise -- to sweep them around, fit some in shelter beds, house some in jail?

(Posh circumstances, I know! I'd be as tempted as you are to go homeless if I had such luxury offered for free!)
Those car/tent/etc. percentages in the infographic add up to 44%, what's the rest? And they don't match the text.

I think the idea is that if all of the sanitation needs are concentrated into designated car-camping lots, the City has to provide extra services... but if the needs are dispersed to the neighborhoods, existing street-sweeping, trash collection, and neighborhood volunteer programs will be sufficient.

Whether that's a good idea or not is, I would guess, a bit contentious.
@5 A 200-spot parking space would be really big, considering most of those vehicles are at least twice the size of a car. And you'd need a half dozen of them for starters. Where's that sea of concrete going to be?

For some reason, The Stranger chopped off half of the infographic when they copied it from The AllHome Report (pdf, the graphic is on page 8). The other 53% are the 30% in "Emergency Shelters" and 23% in "Transitional Housing or Safe Haven."
Awesome. Gonna park my RV in front of mee Kwa Mooks park. Waterfront view and NO REN/MORTGAGE! #winning

You could fit it into less than half of Terminal 5.

Supposedly there are a lot of large-enough unused city-owned (T5 is of course owned by the Port of Seattle, not the City of Seattle) sites as well. I'm willing to believe that, but the people who tell me so have never been able to point one out on a map when I've asked.

That's assuming your RV is roadworthy enough to make it all the way there from its current berth on Harbor Ave SW. I have my doubts.
@11 Precisely. It all seems quite do-able...until someone asks for actual map co-ordinates. The Port of Seattle isn't going to play ball, and the City has been waffling for years.

Plus, remember a few years ago when Nebraska passed a law saying you could drop off unwanted children without any hassle at hospitals? And people started driving up to a thousand miles to get rid of their *teenagers*? The never-going-to-be-an-option-anyway Terminal 5 will fill up in a few months as all of Washington state's RV campers head to where the going is good. Where you going to put them then?
Can you really blame the homeowners for getting up in arms about this? Look at it from a homeowner perspective: There's been a few murders associated with the RV dwellers, quite a bit of drug dealing, theft, prostitution, and yeah...of course that stuff also happens in houses but sketchy houses don't roll up in front of yours in the middle of the night and shit in your garden.

I know not all the homeless should be lumped into this category and demonized, but if they weren't homeless RVs and let's just say these were garbage trucks being parked in front of your house for days at a time people would be annoyed and asking for a rule to keep big garbage trucks from parking in front of their house. Add in this sense that too many of these RV dwellers are living in RVs because their addictions and criminal records are keeping them out of regular housing and can you really be surprised that homeowners don't want to deal with them in front of their houses?
@5: "How much would it cost per year per 200-spot parking lot"

About $1750 per month at a 20 space lot. It sounds like a lot, but a recent cost estimate for RV parking at the (closed) Yankee Diner parking lot in Ballard included $19,000 per month for 24 hour supervision.

Really??? It seems like civil service folks are jumping on on any assistance program that comes by with their hands out. Why does a parking lot need 24 hour supervision? There certainly won't be 24 hour supervision when people park in neighborhoods or empty lots. The occasional drive-through by a police patrol should be enough to keep the peace. $19,000 per month will practically get you a Seattle City Light superintendent on that job.

The going rate for RV parking is $500 per month at a facility that is too high class to allow typical clapped-out homeless RVs in their facility. And this includes water, power and sewage pump-outs. Plus an attendant on site. But not a $19,000 per month attendant.

Face it. The homeless problem is being milked by the by the civil service unions and there is no way the city can solve the problems until that pig gets it's fill.

Are you volunteering to pick up the piles of products from those "sanitation needs" that are going to be left on your neighborhood streets? My guess is that most of the RV campers are not going to be swinging by authorized pump-out stations every few days, and those living in cars don't have toilets anyway. I predict that most neighborhoods are not going to tolerate people crapping in their streets and this will lead to some serious strife.
People who demonize the opponents clearly have never had several RVs parked across the street from their home. It happened at my condo complex. Total nightmare. Drug needles in the backyard. Increase in car break-ins. People pulling up in cars all night long, picking something up, then quickly driving away. Screaming and loud music at all hours. Broken bottles on the street. And trash, just mountains of trash.

My understanding from O'Brien is that people who register for this program will be expected to adhere to certain rules regarding noise, trash, etc. If the city actually enforces that, I'm all for it. But color me skeptical.
@15 I'm not sure where your getting your numbers but you understand there would be significant liability and insurance costs associated with a city managing something like a homeless person RV lot, right?
The RV's in our neighborhood were simply mobile facilities for stripping down stolen bikes in exchange for opiates. Bike theft skyrocketed when these road warriors rolled up. Once they moved on there were needles and bike parts scattered all over the sidewalk.

But I'll paraphrase myself: NIMBY's, gentrifiers and hipsters - they are always somebody else.
For the NIMBY/nieghborhood types getting on O'Brien here, can someone fill in the blank for me:

1. Endlessly harass, disrupt, homeless people, increasing their unpayable debts to the state though endless citations.
2. .......
3. Homelessness crisis solved!
Ugh this city sucks. Look home owners keep voting for our taxes to be raised for many programs, including homeless programs.

But the city is too cowardly to come up with an actual solution (cause it would involve $$$), so the best they can do is weaken laws. Give people a place to park their cars that has sanitation stations (trash, washroom, showers) and social services. Not this bullshit. Basically the city is saying over and over again that they have no vision and have no courage, so the best they can do is make it the neighborhoods problems.

Both the neighborhoods and those in their cars deserve better than this, but our damn govt is too afraid to raise any taxes on business to actually provide a solution.

Worse of all is we fucking fall into this trap of homeless vs neighborhoods. Both groups should be pressuring the city to actually solve this problem.

I really wish the stranger would push for real solutions instead of promoting the neighborhoods vs homeless narrative that helps no one. The problem is the city govt and the fucking business that keep getting free rides.

Seriously the bill keeps ticking the people but they don't have to pay for a year?!?! What kind of weak ass seattle shit is that? Hey park your car here, you'll get hundreds if not thousands in fines, and you'll piss off a bunch of people, but hey you don't have to pay for a year. Really?!?!

RV parking and car parking for homeless, with social services and with sanitation. No reason we can't do this within the month.
Maybe it would be easier for our government to propose solutions if their constituents and the media didn't freak out every time they try to do so. How can any proposal help the situation if we don't give any a chance? It becomes more of a political risk than it's worth to even try.
Also about 50% of these R/Vs and school busses are owned by a handful of scumbags that operate them as rental units that they conveniently pay no tax on. Its a great business model, buy shitty bus at auction, rent to panhandler, if panhandler doesn't pay his $500 a month rent you kick his ass and get a new panhandler in there. Why bother with leases and evictions? You only need about 10 derelict school busses and you got yourself a pretty good tax free income.
@22 All solutions cause someone to freak out. Even if it's "Let's study this further", i.e. do nothing. Someone freaks out over that. The key is not freak out too many of the wrong constituents. The new Mayor will attribute part of her one-term nature to "the homeless problem", because no-one will be happy.
@24 thats why the city needs to show leadership. Instead we get one group that just wants to sweep homeless out of sight, and another that just wants to get rid of the laws and let the neighborhoods deal with it. Both are horrible solutions. But both are cheap.

The real solution, provide a place for people, and robust transition system, cost $$$ and anything that costs $$$ scares the shit out pf the "left" who governs because it upsets the business ruling class.
@25: Sure, but where would this "place" be?

How are you going to induce homeless folks to go there, and to stay?

Because, it's going to have rules, and a lot of those rules are deal-killers for the mentally ill, substance abusers, folks with pets, people with outstanding warrants, folks with anger management issues, etc, etc.
@21 for the win.

I'd be okay with O'Brien's idea but where's the back-up for garbage and sanitation? There is a basis for this concern because piles of trash and waste are a public health concern.
Okay 200 is a lot of RVs, I was thinking in car spots there.

@23 cool story, but citation needed.

@18 "I'm not sure where your getting your numbers"…

"there would be significant liability and insurance costs associated with a city managing something like a homeless person RV lot"

I didn't see any in the above estimate. At least not as an individual budget item.
@20, I can be snarky and make the reality based version of your 1,2,3, but let's actually look at the two problems we're currently facing:
1. Homelessness
2. RVs parking in residential neighborhoods where too many of those RVs occupants are engaged in criminality.
#1 -It doesn't seem like anyone has stepped up with any real solutions for problem #1 though I do like that O'Brien at least makes an attempt to write one in his proposal. I'd personally like to see the outreach portion of that proposal implemented, tested, and refined before the rest of it. Doing real work to get people off the streets/RVs/tents and into some stability and treatment will go a long way to improving life for all of us and it'll probably save a whole lot of money in the long run.
#2 -The cops aren't doing nearly enough about the crime in this city on a whole, let alone the property crime that's become an epidemic in a lot of the North End. Passing an ordinance that further ties their hands in dealing with the problem RVs isn't a good solution. If people weren't getting their cars rifled through on a weekly basis, they might be more compassionate to those less fortunate.
The NIMBYs who think they speak for all homeowners need to get one thing through their heads:

You are unpopular. The reason people like Mike O'Brien keep getting reelected by ridiculously large margins is that their approach is the one that most people want to see. Most voters know that crime everywhere in Seattle is very low, especially the north side. They know that the people you assholes want to push around from one place to another so you don't have to look at them very long need help. Most of Seattle wants to help them. Shoving them around is not help, it's just mean. The number of citizens infected by anything from a discarded drug needle remains zero so far this year. Just like last year when it was also zero, and every other year before that as long as anyone can remember. Your level of drug needle hysteria has no basis. Pro tip: They're gross. Don't touch them. Live your life.

There were some mayor candidates who shared your sad delusion that homeowners and "taxpayers" are the World's Biggest Victims. Those guys got crushed. Most news stories about them were written for comedic effect. The Times knew they could smirk at them and not offend enough subscribers to matter.

A big chunk of any renter's rent is the landlord's property taxes. A property tax hike means a rent increase. Renters pay more sales taxes than the upper classes who shop more online and more out of state. Renters don't take a tax deduction for mortgage interest. You have to make a lot of money before deducting your state sales taxes gets you anything. That's a perk for the rich.

They young and the low income and anyone who rents bears a bigger tax burden then you whining "taxpayers". Nobody dodges more taxes than you. This phony victim act is more of the same: playing the ref to try to give your privileged self even more privileges.

You're not fooling anybody in Seattle with that shit. I refer you to the fact that you candidates always get their asses handed to them.
@2 - you and I generate tons of trash, too. We just have somewhere to put it
I'm going to start carrying a homemade cardboard sign that I can put in my car window that says "Don't ticket- this is my home!" and park my BMW where ever I want for free! Yay! Best news I've had all day.
Obviously we need to reach a compromise.

I suggest Rich neighborhoods that are only Single Family zoned be designated Homeless Camping zones, but that those zoned for 85 ft 6+2 Multi Family be exempt.

Problem solved.
@32: In most states I believe, internet sales are now taxed.

Also, all income groups, including lower income who have internet, shop online.

Also, there is no tax deduction for state sales tax on federal income taxes.

@36: "Also, all income groups, including lower income who have internet, shop online."

Not if they don't have a fixed address for the FedEx truck to make a delivery.
@34: Just as long as you don't litter my front lawn with discarded Evian bottles.

"mentally ill, substance abusers, folks with pets, people with outstanding warrants, folks with anger management issues,"

So the best way of dealing with these people are just letting them camp in neighborhoods? Really?!? Come on.

Also its stupid that there are rules preventing people with pets from going to shelters. Thats just fucking stupid. As long as the pet is well behaved they should be let in.
@37. Actually yes -- for many large businesses -- you can shop online and pick-up at a store.
@32 most of Seattle does want to help, but are the "camp anywhere" bills actual help? Why can't taxes payers be pissed that the only options are either: 1) camp anywhere or 2) sweep them out of sight.

The only reason we can't find some sort of shelter that includes sanitation and social services is lack of $$$. The only reason we lack the $$$ is cause our leaders are cowards.
GROOVER: (The “political machine” O’Brien consulted for this ordinance, by the way, was a group of homeless service providers, legal advocates, and people who’ve experienced homelessness.)

Heidi, you're being disingenuous. If you really don't think that homeless service providers and legal advocates such as Columbia, ACLU, etc., are not among the most present and vocal power centers in city hall, you need to look harder. You can't swing a cat in city hall without hitting someone like Sharon Lee or Lisa Daugaard. They are most certainly part of the machine. As are you, Erica, etc. You might as well own it because you have access to and the ear of the city's power structure (aka machine) and they appear entrenched for now.
@ 11 There is indeed a ton of unused Port land that could be used to house the homeless. I attended a Port of Seattle Commissioners meeting on Aug. 8 in which the commissioners expressed serious interest in providing some of that land for use by Tent City 5 when the City kicks them off their current site in Magnolia.

Courtney Gregoire, a member of the Port Commission, is married to Scott LIndsay, who is running against Pete Holmes for Seattle City Attorney. Together with Christine Gregoire, Reuven Carlyle (state senator) and all the other mainstream "Democrats," they are supporting Jenny Durkan for mayor. Republicans have become fascists while Democrats have become Republicans.
"The law, O'Brien said yesterday, recognizes that "someone who's living in poverty and doesn't have the tools and resources to get into permanent housing..."

Oh they have those tools alright. Bricks, crowbars, you name it. Whatever tools they need to get into SOMEONE ELSE'S permanent housing.
Fuck you and your fake moral superiority. Junkies are in my back yard, my front yard, trying to make camp in my ally, leaving shit, garbage and needles everywhere I go. Fuck you social justice creeps. Like I'm a bad person because I don't like every park and public area in the city being full of shit and garbage.