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

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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 or RV parks, and it makes the newspapers really quickly. Years ago, there was a case of a single camper, parked on Washington St. near Houston St. for four days, and the Daily News ran a story on it. Years later, there were reports of three or four RV’s or campers parked on Riverside Drive in the W. 70’s and W. 80’s. Those people made it a point to move their vehicles every day. After a short time, they disappeared.

    I side with these property owners. But as someone who very well may wind up homeless himself (through no direct fault of my own), I have to weigh one against the other. The homeless are there. Should we kill them or ship them off to FEMA camps?

  3. 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 find places to put them with surveillance, away from neighborhoods. Even in my little town the population of homeless keeps growing and growing. Now it is difficult, if not impossible, to walk down the street without encountering them.

    They are literally EVERYWHERE and they go where the best pickings are. The jobs of local mayors and cops is to protect the populace. We have social workers and legislators (ha!) for the rest. If they know that its ok to sleep in doorways and panhandle all day they will.

    I’ve spoken to local restaurant owners who say they come in, hover over other diners and grab their food when they get up for some reason. They call the cops and nothing happens. Our mayor is sympathetic. I’m “sympathetic” to their plight, but that doesn’t mean I want to be harassed and bothered either.

    • “There has to be enough jobs for those able and willing to work.”

      There is. Washington’s unemployment rate is 4.4%. But why work when you can make big bucks selling drugs?

      “There has to be consequences for those who just want to lay up and shoot drugs.”

      In Seattle, laws are only for law-abiding citizens (i.e., firearm owners).

      “There has to be mental facilities for the insane.”

      There is. But the mentally ill won’t go and Seattle can’t force them.

      All your questions seem to have reasonable answers. Yet liberals are not reasonable.

      Seattle has budgeted $90 MILLION to deal with the homeless…I mean steal more taxpayer dollars and keep the homeless industrial complex alive and well…

      • 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 has. If they have them the cops should deliver customers. This sounds, again, like unwillingness not impossibility.

        I don’t know why “Seattle can’t force them”. When I lived in California they rounded them up all the time in the ’60’s and ’70’s. You didn’t see wild-eyed people muttering to themselves. If they were “sane” and just homeless, if they didn’t have $2.00 they got a ride outta town.

        Anyway, my point was that it is bad having a curable problem and not doing anything about it. It is worse to have “your government” tell you you’re obligated to put up with it.

        • Yeah, Seattle bureaucrats are just plain crazy themselves. It’s such a mess.

          There is a publicly-funded mental health facility, Sound, that receives a lot of local and federal funds to treat low-income people/homeless. From what I’ve read about them, they are pretty mismanaged (that’s par for the course in Seattle).

          I have another post scheduled for tomorrow about the homeless/trash and how business owners are now obligated to put up with it…

        • There’s also Western State Hospital which is a COMPLETE MESS. They recently lost $53 million in fed funding for failing inspections.

          Gov. Inslee has done just a terrible job managing that facility (which can treat patients committed involuntarily). Demorats are so incompetent…

  4. 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 from a 14-hour day….to find an inoperable junked 1960’s motorhome parked in front of my door. It had a tow line on it, & I remembered seeing it a few houses down w/a truck preparing to tow it from in front of a neighbor’s home. I thought it had something to do w/my neighbors. When I later came home to let my dog out to use the potty before returning to my evening school event….I again saw it, still attached to the tow & truck, but this time moved to a part of my street surrounded on both sides by 20+acres of vacant land. I remember thinking “good” to myself ….it is in a place that won’t bother us, but is still OK for whatever problem this person is having (we’ve experienced people sleeping in their cars there for maybe months through the winter….once another derelect motorhome (which probably was in running condition….) for most of our short “winter.” NO one cared….b/c it was NOT in front of our homes. But the REST of the story IS——–

    But what happened to us shows a NEW TWIST to this problem: we called the police, who treated us terribly, challenging US instead of helping us or telling us what & what not we could/they could do….one challenged my description of seeing it on a tow–(-in which case, being inoperable means a different an immediate course they could take to get it off the street) & told me “I could take your car the moment you park it on the street if you think I can take this vehicle off the street, etc etc….). The TWIST THO’ to our situation is that no one was living in this inoperable vehicle….they were towing it around, house to house in order to stay within the 72-hour law here…w/brand new vehicles (2 different ones)….but the rotting hulk of motor home was their STORAGE vehicle, full of tools/whatever. The plates ran from Brea—-100 miles away from us….So….while it appears these people had enough money to buy or pay payments on two late model high-end vehicles…new and LARGE enough to tow this wreck around…..if they were indeed “homeless,” they were not spending the night in this wreck…but instead hauling it around in our neighborhood for weeks, house to house, in order to avoid storage fees for their “stuff” (?) or rental places for an RV or their “stuff” (?) or renting their own place with a driveway/storage space (?). My husband stayed up until late each night for 3 nights during the 72-hour police notice to see who came to the wreck in front of our house…..and when he came, my husband questionied him….and the owner admitted that it was inoperable, and that he tried to park it at the local WalMart, which allows this….but he didn’t think it was “safe,” and so he chose to tow it into our neighborhood and the homes on our street (3 in front of which he’d parked it) looked “safe” to him b/c we had porch lights on. (Doesn’t WalMart have more lights than any average rural American home???????? We DON’T EVEN have street lights on our street!!!!). So, I can’t figure this, other than, it could be a NEW thing…….at least here on the Left Coast. I guess even if I might not be my “brother’s keeper” by popular stance……now, I am legally forced to be the “keeper of my brother’s STUFF” deposited at my front door.


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