Gail Benjamin, Linda Prisajni and Mark Stechbart/My Turn
This year-long homeless RV shell game has got to stop. City council has to reject the Pacifica Resource Center plan to drive homeless RVs into residential neighborhoods.
At the July 15 council meeting, homeless RV camp-outs on city streets were rejected.
Councilmember Mike O’Neill, voting to ban on-street parking, said no one wants it (RVs) in their neighborhood or near schools. So far so good.
But then he proposed allowing homeless RVs and vans to be parked on residential driveways all over town. This effectively drives homeless into every neighborhood where a homeowner decides a driveway homeless squat is OK.
Welcome to your new neighbors and say goodbye to property values.
Additionally, homeless RV camps in church parking lots and private lots were given new life as Council decided to look at these locations again.
St Pete’s Catholic church has requested liability coverage, security and waste management for their lot. We wonder how Council can be so tone deaf to these issues.
Council banned on-street RV parking, so at some level they understand there are problems.
The Church recognizes liability and security issues around camp-outs. Yet Councilmember O’Neill wants to import RVs and vans into our neighborhoods, right next door to some unlucky homeowner? Will homeowners get insurance, security and guaranteed waste management for the squat next door? How in the world will anyone sell their house if a driveway squat is anywhere within walking distance?
Hundreds of homeowners have spoken out against this persistent, wrong-headed Resource Center homeless push. It’s time the City Council represented the 40,000 people in this town and not a microscopic small group of homeless advocates built around the Resource Center.
The Aug. 24 council meeting appears to be where this homeless import program to driveway parking will be discussed, yet again. Time to pay attention and be prepared to inundate council with opposition emails.
Or you can wait to meet your new neighbor. When asked about expected neighbor pushback against a driveway squat, Councilmember O’Neill suggested the homeowner sponsoring the homeless persons could invite the neighbors over for coffee meet and greet. Does that sound like fun?
(Long term Pacifica residents Gail Benjamin, Linda Prisajni and Mark Stechbart are involved in neighborhood issues.)