Tough on crime: Seattle threatens property owners who post signs to deter homeless RV parking

The signs are a “public nuisance.”

From KIRO: Seattle business owners say they are plagued by issues with homeless people living in RVs parked by their businesses and the city is going after them for trying to do something about it.  

KIRO 7 got copies of letters from SDOT to multiple property owners saying the “no-parking” signs posted on their buildings are a “public nuisance.”

“If you can’t laugh at that right now when our city is in an absolute state of crisis,” Ballard property owner Erika Nagy told KIRO 7 on Friday. “And this is the stuff they’re going after, this is the stuff they’re prioritizing.”

Nagy says in the past, it has taken weeks for the city do anything about issues with homeless cars and RVs impacting businesses that lease on her property.

The letters from Seattle DOT came from the Curb Space Management division. They say the property owners must take down the no-parking signs on their building because part of the area where people park is in the city’s right-of-way. The letter cites Seattle Municipal Code, Sections 11.50.520, 11.50.540 and 11.50.560, which say they signs are a “public nuisance.”

Ari Hoffman said he put up the signs at properties he owns in SODO because of trash and crime that come with the RVs, including one that parked there Wednesday.

“We went over to him and said, ‘Move, you’re not parking here, move,’” Hoffman told KIRO 7. “And he said, ‘I make more money selling drugs than you guys will ever see in a lifetime.’”

The warning from SDOT says if the property owners don’t remove the signs, the city will remove them and charge the property owner for any costs.

The city and Seattle Public Utilities launched the RV Trash Remediation Pilot program in May. KIRO 7 has told you how they’ve done more than 25 cleanups in SODO to clear out RVs and clean up their trash.

Property owners told KIRO 7 on Friday they’re still dealing with issues daily, and both Nagy and Hoffman plan to keep their no-parking signs up.

“You want them down, you come down and cite me,” Hoffman said. “And then we’ll file a class-action lawsuit for everything that’s going on around here. If you want to call this a public nuisance, what do you call the RVs, what do you call the drug-dealing, the prostitution, the damage, the vandalism? But this is a public nuisance, this little sign here?”

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2 years ago

Parts of Seattle are a pathetic sh@thole and the ‘leaders’ of the city are a disgrace to civility.
I’m glad to say I live nowhere near their sewer.

Steven Broiles
2 years ago

Which would be worse—to have the homeless in the streets by themselves, exposed to the elements, or, to have them in RV’s that can be moved? If they are in RV’s, then they have to have some sort of income, otherwise, they wouldn’t be able to buy gas for their RV’s. I do understand the property owners’ rights: They don’t want to be harrassed or menaced. And, having RV’s being parked on one’s block all the time does tend to lower property values. So I side with them on that. Here in New York, on occasion, a trailer or camper… Read more »

2 years ago

I think what makes this so disturbing is the attitudes of the council that “hey, it’s your problem”. Either you throw more good money after bad, or they’ll stack your neighborhood up with homeless and go home to their gated communities. There has to be enough jobs for those able and willing to work. There has to be consequences for those who just want to lay up and shoot drugs. There has to be mental facilities for the insane. Encouraging them to park and stay is not a solution. If they are going to do that they will have to… Read more »

2 years ago
Reply to  DCG

I have consistently said that they need to apply and enforce the vagrancy laws. Of course, putting people in jail costs money too, but it is far less pleasant than hanging out with your “buds” doing heroin. I’m in agreement with you that they need to enforce the law. Obviously they’d rather have the citizens who pay their salaries simply make more room for and put up with their behavior. Instead of organizing Queer Rights meetings and marching for Mao they should think about getting rid of that Communist Cabal (the City Council). I don’t know what mental facilities Seattle… Read more »

2 years ago

Living in a semi-rural SoCal w/large homeless population…I understand/have sympathy. My husband & I voted for/supported our small town council on a project to build a homeless shelter–w/rehab services…. in a large vacant area within a mile of our home. (But were shouted down & the measure lost). My feeling was/is…I’d rather know WHERE they are, instead of stealing our car covers to drag into local fields/depressions to sleep/live……or using the water district brick pump enclosure across the street for an open air bathroom…… This part I’ve written about b/f here: All that said, however, I came home dead tired… Read more »