Proposed ordinance would force homeless RV campers to keep on the move

"We're not about crime," Gee said. "We're not about going to jail. We're not about disrespecting anybody's laws. We're not about disrespecting anybody's buildings. We're just trying to live."

Posted: Jun 14, 2021 7:16 PM
Updated: Jun 14, 2021 9:14 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- Amendments to a parking ordinance are scheduled to be discussed during a Eugene City Council meeting Monday night.

The changes would require vehicles to move at least two blocks away from a location after being parked three days. Those vehicles must then stay away from the original block for at least three days before parking there again.

RELATED: POTENTIAL EUGENE HOMELESS CAMPING/PARKING SITES REVEALED

"It really is about helping drivers get to the public right away, the curbs. But also, the other part of this is also finding places for people to go," the city's parking manager, Jeff Petry, said. "They need services and a little more support."

One of those people is Jeff Gee. He's currently living out of his RV in the West Eugene area. Gee said moving so often would be unfair to those who are already struggling.

"A lot of these people have sick grandmothers that are living in these motor homes with them, have sick mothers, maybe they have dads that have broken backs," Jeff said.

Gee said for many homeless individuals including himself, living out of vehicles is the only option.

"I can't pay $500 for a space in a trailer park a month," Gee said.

Petry said he understands concerns like the ones raised by Gee and is working with the city to address them.

"One part of that plan is to find a location -- a place off the street -- and provide wrap-around services for the individuals," Petry said.

Gee said the majority of people he's met who live out of their RVs as well just want to be left alone.

"We're not about crime," Gee said. "We're not about going to jail. We're not about disrespecting anybody's laws. We're not about disrespecting anybody's buildings. We're just trying to live."

The proposed changes would also update the definition of a "block" to encompass the entire area between the two nearest cross streets. That means moving to the other side of the road would not count as switching to a new block.

Another change would add recreation vehicles to a list of those prohibited from "parking in front of or adjacent to a residence, motel, apartment house, hotel or other place with sleeping accommodations between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m."

The meeting materials can be accessed here and the hearing can be viewed on the City of Eugene Public Meetings YouTube page.

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