Brookings city councilors Monday evening will discuss RVs that have overstayed their welcome on public streets after requests from residents on Moore Street to address an RV they say hasn’t budged from its spot on the sidewalk for 13 months.
The complaint says the RV presents a danger for children who dart in and around the area, is a blind spot for drivers and accumulates debris underneath it with every passing storm.
The city already has a 72-hour limit for parking on city streets, but the RV in question has been parked in front of Sunset Court apartments for more than a year, the complaint said.
The city also has an ordinance that limits guests from parking vehicles in front of homes for more than 14 days.
“This is a non-issue for me,” said Mayor Jake Pieper in a workshop Monday evening. “Neighbors complain and (we can enact) an ordinance or (address it) onesie-twosie; I’m not looking to change anything. I just don’t see the crisis. There’s nothing to stop because nothing’s really happening.”
Living in the vehicles, however, is a different story, and councilors agreed that could become an issue as more RVs are seen parked in town during the day, relocate — often to the Port of Brookings Harbor — at night and return again the next morning.
Councilor Brent Hodges said the issue could come to a head if the city continues to see more homeless people passing through the area.
“Have you seen the homeless issue in the past year?” he said. “We haven’t seen this issue before. If we get travelers from down south who want to park their car in front of a friend’s house for months on end, I could see that becoming a problem. I see that becoming a big issue.”
Councillor Dennis Triglia said he visited the area and felt the situation was an accident waiting to happen.
Councilor Ron Hedenskog said he is more concerned with people who park in residential neighborhoods and the possible criminal activity that could ensue.
“We have a couple of people who are doing that right now,” he said. “We have people living in RVs, moving around from place to place.”
“And they’re getting smarter,” Hodges said. “They park somewhere for 72 hours, then move it 10 feet and say, ‘See you in 72 hours.’”
Public Works and Development Director Tony Baron noted that other places could prove problematic, as the streets and rights of way are narrower than that on Moore Street.
Police Chief Kelby McCrae said most complaints his department receives are due to vehicles parked for long periods of time that have expired registration tags and are an eyesore.
Some thought the situation might become worse, with RVs parked in driveways and using electricity from the home.
Hedenskog noted, too, that late-model RVs have become substantially larger over the decades.
“A friend of mine retired and bought a motorhome — it’s a Taj Mahal on on wheels. They park in front of a house and it’s a total eclipse of the sun. Some of these things need to be stored in RV parks or on private property.”
“You can’t outlaw being an ass----,” Pieper said. “There’s nothing you can do about that.”