Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Perpetually-parked motor homes may have to move on from Eagle Rock and Garvanza [updated]

RVs parked on Eagle Vista Drive

RVs parked on Eagle Vista Drive

EAGLE ROCK — There are many RVs and campers that seemed perpetually parked around the Eagle Rock Recreation Center. When one resident asked police last year what could be done to get them to move, officers said their hands were tied when it came to people living in their vehicles. But those RVs may eventually have to find a new home – at least during evening hours. Councilman Jose Huizar has proposed preventing big vehicles like RVs from parking overnight around the Eagle Rock Recreation Center and Garvanza Park in nearby Garvanza.

“We have received a lot of complaints, many from people who are sympathetic with the homeless individual’s plight, but who also are concerned about public health and safety,” according to a statement issued by Huizar’s office. “We are actively working with our homeless advocates who have already reached out to these individuals and will continue to do so before any rules go into effect to ensure that those in their cars/RVs are informed and have the chance to get linked to services.”

But similar over-night parking restrictions have been used in areas where large number of homeless living in  motor homes and even small buses have been parking for long periods on city streets, drawing complaints from nearby residents. Last year, over-sized vehicles were prohibited from parking overnight along Figueroa Street near Sycamore Grove Park.

If approved by the City Council, Huizar’s motion would prohibit vehicles that are longer than 22 feet or taller than 84 inches  from parking between 2 am and 6 am on both sides of these streets:

  • Eagle Vista Drive between Lunsford Drive and North Figueroa Street
  • North Figueroa Street between Colorado Blvd and Scholl Canyon Road
  • Meridian Street between North Figueroa Street and North Avenue 64
  • North Avenue 63 between York Boulevard and Meridian Street

“No Parking” and “Tow-Away” signs would be posted in the area.

Part of the City Council’s $10 million allocation for “Rapid Re-Housing”  are available to support homeless individuals living in vehicles who require “less extensive support to regain stable housing,” according to Huizar’s office.

Update: The City Council approved the amended motion on April 6.

Update: This post now includes comments from Huizar’s office.

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  1. I mean Screw the HOMELESS, The RV’S are an eyesore!
    Wonder what you would say if it where you?

    • They are also obviously high, there is also a care center at The Park.
      How would you feel if your child was there all afternoon while you worked?

    • It would be so great if the city could designate a parking lot or area where folks in this situation could park. I know there are countless issues inherent to providing such a service but didn’t the mayor call a “state of emergency” regarding the homeless situation in LA? Or are these folks not considered technically “homeless”?

    • “But similar over-night parking restrictions have been used in areas where large number of homeless living in motor homes and even small buses have been parking for long periods on city streets, drawing complaints from nearby residents. Last year, over-sized vehicles were prohibited from parking overnight along Figueroa Street near Sycamore Grove Park.”
      This is a FALSE statement. Yes, the City Council passed a resolution back in November to restrict RV parking on North Figueroa St. between Woodside Drive and Avenue 49. But to date, no signs have been posted!!!! The RV;s were ticketing and towed a few weeks ago but have now returned because the city is not enforcing the law!!!!!! Cedillo is doing nothing!!!!!

    • Yes, there’s a nice child care center at the Rec Center. But the RVs usually park further down Eagle Vista toward Figueroa, away from the main park areas (except the tennis courts). They mostly seem to try to stay out of the way, and not bother folks.

    • I have a lot of sympathy for the homeless. However, have you been by this area lately? I babysit for a family in the area and take the kids to the nearby park often. I also have to drive past it to get home. The RV folks loiter on the sidewalk urinating, drinking and are obviously high. There is trash everywhere. I’m OK with people living in RVs and cars as long as they do not become a public nuisance. Why does living in a car mean you have to turn into a pig?

      • I live in the neighborhood and drive past the RV’s everyday. I have to disagree with you, Echo Park. I have never seen the RV people urinating or drinking in public. I am also surprised how courteous they are by making a conscious effort to pick up their trash and keep the surrounding area clean. I feel they are being extra careful to keep things clean because they know if they do not the neighbors will kick them out and they will have to find a new place to go.

        Do I want them parked in my neighborhood? No. However, I have to disagree with you calling them “pigs.”

  2. They will just move to another area in Eagle Rock, like around the old Super A and along Ellenwood Drive.

  3. Are these people really bothering anyone? In what ways?

    I’m around the Eagle Rock Rec Center all the time, and, yeah, there are lots of RVs parked along the street at night. But what problems is this actually causing? It seems better that these RVs park there, than that they park in residential neighborhoods.

    The Rec Center gives them access to restrooms, and some outdoor space. I haven’t noticed trash or crime or felt uncomfortable. What are the specific concerns about “public health and safety”? If RVs are emptying waste tanks onto the street, that’s gross and a problem. But if it’s just guys hanging around and having a smoke?

    • I’ve run with my dog at this park every day for the past three years. In the past few months I’ve noticed an increase in the number of campers parked near the park and have also noticed discarded needles and other drug-related debris in and around the porta-potties located by the lower ballfields on a daily basis. I’ve spoken with the Parks and Rec workers – who all seem hard-working and dedicated to the park – and they said that they find needles in the port-potties every morning when they are cleaned and have now gotten a “sharps” disposal bin in the Parks and Rec office to dispose of them. The reason the port-potties are there is because someone stole all the copper pipe out of the permanent restrooms TWICE. These are the restrooms meant to be used by parents and kids who’ve come to picnic, play team sports, or just enjoy being in the park. I’m not saying that the folks in the campers are to blame for all these problems,, but there ARE problems in the park.

    • Yes, they’re bothering people. The sidewalks near the tennis courts smell like urine and there’s trash everywhere.

      The park, its restrooms, and the surrounding grounds are paid for and maintained by taxpayers for neighborhood and community use. The rec center is not a homeless services center.

  4. I live near here and if anything I think its deters crime because criminals know that they are people in them.
    I would not be surprised if the person who made this complaint is an old paranoid white person.

    • That assumption and attitude is exactly why you are seeing a buffoon like Donald Trump having a successful candidacy. Racism is too easy and for simple minded people. Why be like that man? What does race have to do with this issue? You owe white people an apology especially old paranoid ones.

    • Sexxxier than joe

      wow dude, really? Playing the race card, youre pathetic? Having people in RV’s helps the crime rate? Good god man, you must be high. People avoiding having to pay property taxes and things like that, that help provide for the park and the services THEY destroy.
      The problem here is Cedillo making promises and not following up with them.

  5. Over the last 8 years there have usually been one or two RVs or vans parked here all day and overnight. There has been an influx of these vehicles in the last year. While I have empathy for the people, I do not look kindly upon the people that come and visit them. Seeing someone shooting drugs into their hand in the same spot that people do tai chi means we have reached a saturation point. The one rule the city has is that vehicles cannot sit in one place for longer than 72 hours. The people parked here don’t even abide by that.

    I am doing hat I can to work with the city to encourage them to implement their safe parking plan for people in motorhomes. In the mean time please direct all concerns to Jose Huizar’s office. If you know other people that wish to see a change, please send them a link to this article and ask them to comment.

  6. Let them stay. Treat them kindly and respectfully. Talk to them like good neighbors. I used to complain about homeless encampments and RVs as well, until I realized that they are doing the best they can just to survive.

  7. I would also worry that they will just disperse and set up in front of people’s homes. Isn’t it far better that they live next to a park instead of in front of houses? Also as others pointed out at the park there are bathroom facilities. The city really needs to do something to help the current homeless and eventually provide services such that there no longer is such a thing as homelessness. Just making them move to other streets in the neighborhood is not a solution.

  8. Services! Ha! There isn’t much going on for services unless you have a child. No welfare, no housing. There aren’t even cots at the homeless shelter to handle more ethan a very small percentage of the homeless. This is why nearly all the people you see homeless are men.

    A shame they are not doing what the city said it would do and direct these people instead to a parking lot where they will be allowed to stay for the night in their vehicles. The Council talks big, but no action. In the end, these people are simply being rousted.

    In fact, I would not be surprised if they are the ones previously rousted from the stretch of Riverside Drive that for 50 or more years was a place where homeless people salvaged their life by living in their vehicles away from residences and next to the freeway. Eric Garcetti as councilman had them rousted from there, and now wants to make himself out as concerned about the homeless.

    If you roust them from where they are, they will have to go somewhere else, and then you will get the same issues and roust them again. And again.

    Stop rousting them and actually help them. The councilman is very wrong to come up ONLY with banning overnight parking while doing NOTHING for the plight those homeless people are suffering. They talk big before the cameras, but this is what they really do.

  9. Going forward, can everyone please stop using the word “folks”. It really needs to be addressed. We’re wasting far too much time cringing.

    • Finally, someone else has said what I’ve been stewing about for months. What’s wrong with the word “people?”

  10. The park, its restrooms, and surrounding grounds are paid for and maintained by taxpayers for neighborhood and community use. The rec center is not a homeless services center and the influx of RVs and people living in their cars have resulted in the grounds/sidewalks being laden with trash and the smell of urine.

    Why not provide a designated RV park / car park somewhere in the city that has restrooms and facilities for these people? They most likely don’t want typical “homeless assistance” since they seem fine living in their cars.

    This problem has negatively impacted Eagle Rock. Hopefully these changes will be enacted quickly.

  11. We still have a long way to go in the exercise of a successful political strategy based on exclusion/transfer socioeconomics.
    The councilman receives neighborhood complaints about camper-living eyesore
    He responds by carrying forward an exclusionary parking ordinance.
    This low cost solution is then used by the councilman as a basis of support among homeowner/voters in winning reelection.
    Meanwhile, the exclusionary parking ordinance forces the camper community to relocate to another zone within the same council district or a bordering council district. The cycle begins again where homeowner complaints are solved by exclusion which is turned into credits for winning reelection.

  12. I am all for helping people in need but some people don’t want help. I have personally seen the homeless around the park go into the Hi Ho market and buy $400 worth of lotto tickets at a time. If you have that kind of disposable income you should find somewhere to live! I live by Garvanza park and have personally seen the homeless urinating and defecateing in the park and surrounding areas. As well as turning the park into a yard sale everyday. For some of these people it is a lifestyle choice and I am sorry but I don’t have sympathy for that. If you CHOOSE to live that way you can do it somewhere else as far as I’m concerned.
    If you are truly down on your luck and need help I’m all for helping though. I have been homeless and know how hard it can be to pull yourself out of it. The thing is there is a lot of help out there if you want it.

  13. I have a dozen personal encounters with the “homeless” in my neighborhood- the area in question- and only a few times did the hoped for response of compassionate humility reverberate. I’ve waited in line inside of Wells Fargo and watched half hearted covert drug deals go down, almost right out in the open, but the police have little interest in dealing with it. It continues and festers and what we have now- nearly unbearable, is growin worse every few weeks.
    There’s a serious drug culture among the people encamping here now and I’ve seen plenty of nice cars and SUV’s park to “chat” with the RV encampment folks also. They’re buying/selling drugs- hard drugs- and wherever they go they’ll bring their drugs with them, drawing the addicts, sex trafficking and so on. I saw someone shooting up on a blanket with their dog, on the tiny grass patch outside of cvs. That was by chance while waiting for the light.. Remember 4th of July when a homeless man was stabbed to death, and another nearly dying? We were pushing a stroller up Colorado to watch fireworks from the hilltop while swat flew overhead tracking down murderers on the loose only one block from us. It was intense and tragic, the result of words exchanged between homeowners and homeless. I don’t pretend to know more than was in the news, but if those illegally living on the streets in this area were held to the law that crime could have been avoided.
    The district attorney is currently using the testimony of 2 neighbors and myself, along with a patron of the Wells Fargo to pursue a host of felony charges for a violent drug user who threatened to rape and murder my infant and my wife while forcing me to “invite” him up to my home or else he would “slice” me. I was punched several times and thank god he didn’t have a knife, but my vehicle has $3500 in cosmetic damage and this guy went on to claim he had a gun to my neighbor after banging on his door to wash up after attacking me. He did this over and over again until finally arrested hours later, getting in one last sucker punch to a random man at the atm just before being handcuffed. This person was a familiar face in the area, at the intersection of Loma Linda and Colorado, with a backpack and baggy clothes, unkempt, selling stuff, or begging. Weeks prior at Vons he was part of a three man team who grabbed a case of beer each along with a few other items and walked right out of vons without paying, all when I was in line at Starbucks. I told the manager of vons exactly where to find all of them. Many corroborated that the guys are always hanging out in the vicinity. The manager told the police when they came. The guys accused were “questioned”, knowing better than me that ignoring the police is all they had to do when they asked them about the theft, and the police did not make an arrest. Maybe the police are restricted or disinterested, I don’t know.
    Most recently, leaving McDonald’s drive thru, the large white male who lives in the encampment on the east side of Figueroa under the 134 overpass was shouting at a full suv with loud bass and “rims”, talking trash and whatever until the windows rolled down. They talked trash back and he walked out into the street, and although it wouldn’t have been a fair fight anyhow, thankfully the light turned green and then they took off. When we pulled up to exit the drive thru (my family in the car) he saw that we had watched it all go down. So he stood in front of my car, he looked in bending down, making eye contact with my son in his car seat telling him his dad was a “pu$$y fa##ot” and his mom was a racial explitive c-word. His eyes were all black- enormous pupils, and he was sweaty with veins bulging. It was humiliating and terrifying. I reported to LAPD immediately and watched from a distance up Figueroa for almost an hour. No cops came, not for an hour.. We went home. The thing is, our recognizable car is parked out front of our home and he regularly walks by, probably knowing exactly who lives in our house. What happens now? I pay $7600 annually in property taxes – a ridiculous amount of money for a mediocre house in a mediocre area- and even still there are times where I live in fear with no confidence in law enforcement should someone choose to just start beating my face with my baby in the car. Is this the NELA everyone wants to move to?
    The compassionate defense I’ve read in this forum is of the “peaceful” RV dwellers, or of the plight of the homeless or less fortunate, but in all sincerity that has not been the experience of those living on this street or nearby streets. That opinion is more of an ideology, and is not from enduring close encounters on a daily basis.
    I’ve lived here for 4 years, literally as close to the debated area as anyone of my neighbors could claim, day in and day out encountering these folks, sometimes with a compassionate and soft heart, sometimes annoyed, but the one constant is that some, if not the majority, have turned this area into a hub of drug activity along with subsequent criminal activity. The park is not a safe place. The needles near the little wooded area in the park are so common that we no longer walk our dogs there, just to be safe. The park employees do their best but it’s sketchy after dark and the once bright future of this area for a dog park and other activities is- for the time being- just a place to avoid or warily experience.
    This is not new but hasn’t become the problem it currently is until the shopping center was completed, whether or not there’s a correlation. Approximately 1 year ago there was an influx of RV’s and live-in cars that posted up in the vicinity of the park/VONS shopping center, made permanent vehicle accommodations (jacking up vehicle to level, removing the transmission or clutch for maintenance and posting a “security” sign?, setting buckets and containers behind the RV to collect the human waste).
    I called LAPD after months of this and very descriptively noted that I have been patient but this is beyond 72 hours in one spot- beyond 72+ days in one spot for that matter. Cobwebs under an immovable vehicle resting on jack stands 5-6 parking spaces from my home was making me feel ill. I had been waiting for someone else to call and see to it that the vehicle and the little maroon car- apparently a pair- was towed or forced to move but alas, it was up to me. That’s when I figured out that others had very likely called LAPD after all, because they never called me back and the vehicle wasn’t moved. So I kept at it. I called half a dozen times and the RV finally got a sticker on the window. It rolled forward sometime that week and that apparently counted as moving. The little maroon car moved also. The 72 hour law is not enforced and even then is not difficult to work around. No wonder they do what they do. I decided to do my best to stick with it. I waited about a week and started calling again. The truck/camper shell ended up parking under the bridge on Figueroa, north of Colorado, about a month later. That’s the same RV and car parked under the bridge today, more than 10 months later- if not more. If they had a lease it would be month to month by now. I’ve called LAPD about the RV’s, the encampments, the drug needles and etc on several occasions in the past year, and with patience I plan to continue. But the most action I’ve seen to date is the shuffling of the RV’s from one side of the street to the other. I feel terrible for those people- how hard it must be to struggle in the heat of the day or to not have a working bathroom or shower, and even the cloud of addiction keeping them enslaved is a tragedy. I hope and pray for solutions that are humane but fair to all. However, short of going to an eagle rock neighborhood council meeting to complain with the others, I’ve done all I can and spent countless hours of wasted effort in the process. As powerless as I feel on behalf of the people out on the streets, the feeling is deeply contrasted by how emboldened i feel to do something about it. We need to address this as a community and whiteboard some solutions before someone else ends up stabbed to death or victimized on their own property, or addicted or diseased.

    • Thank you for this impassioned post. The garbage and filth around these RV’s is disgusting and I also am sick of it. What’s to come? Signs along Eagle Vista Drive prohibiting overnight parking, which, if they are actually enforced (don’t hold your breath), will just push these shitty vehicles into neighboring streets.

    • Hey,

      I’m sorry you have to deal with this, but please know you’re not alone. I’m with you!

      What’s your plan? Go to ERNC meeting and complain? I’ve called LAPD multiple times too, to little avail. A senior lead officer DID call me back at one point and said that it’s up to the Department of Sanitation to handle (???).

      I agree that these folks are not the “peaceful RV dwellers” that people say. They’re dangerous, combative, and on drugs.

      You could also consider filing a complaint here:
      https://myla311.lacity.org/ > Create a Service Request > Investigation (Homeless Encampment)

      Beyond that, post your plan to address this. You have neighbors who WILL stand with you!

  14. why is this limited to JUST the Rec Center? why not all of Eagle Rock?

    I’ll tell you why – Jose Huizar is a HORRIBLE councilman

    • Horrible? In what world… the man is super nice, and has done a lot for Eagle Rock. What’s your beef? Ever talk to him?

      • in this “world”. is there another world? as for “in what way”? in THIS way – bums in RV’s, bums on Colorado Blvd, bums in the post office parking lot, bums up next to the 134, bums in the Vons parking lot..

      • I’ve gone into Huizar’s field office in Eagle Rock maybe four times in the past few years to ask them to help push the Department of Sanitation to pick up bulky items dumped on the sidewalk in front of Eagle Rock elementary School; to ask them to request that LA Parking Enforcement officers inform RV owners living in their vehicles for weeks in front of people’s homes that they were violating the law; to ask what was being done to assist the librarians at Eagle Rock Library with the influx of homeless people who were becoming increasingly problematic – stripping down and taking sponge baths in the restrooms to fighting with other patrons; and also to the increasing intervenus drug use in Eagle Rock Park to their attention.

        Every time, I was given multiple excuses and told to make the calls myself. The staffers I spoke to didn’t know where the Eagle Rock Library is located – three blocks from their office! – and were not familiar with Eagle Rock Park/Rec Center. They don’t live in the area and they don’t seem to have any mandate to help local residents.

        My take on Huizar – aside from the fact that he’s a liar who cheated on his wife while in office – is that he’s mainly interested in doing whatever it takes to stay on the public payroll and move on to his next elected position. He’s good at getting his name on signs – usually at the top and in the largest font. Did you know LA City Council members are paid roughly $140,000 a year? And yet Huizar and his cronies seem incapable of writing a simple law that will hold up in court. The city law forbidding sleeping in a vehicle on city streets was thrown out as being too vague. Their attempts to regulate medical marijuana dispensaries were an unenforceable nightmare for all parties involved – the dispensaries and neighborhood residents. Huizar took large campaign contributions from the billboard companies in his last elrelection campaign and has been unwilling, or unable, as chair of the committee charged with drafting laws to deal with illegal billboards, to generate any meaningful regulations or to force the removal of the many illegal billboards that cover the district.

        I’ll stop now, but those are a few things to consider when he announces his run for mayor….

        On the plus side, he wears expensive suits and has good hair.

  15. They are starting to pile up in Silver Lake, too.

  16. Heartless bastard

    When people pile useless junk on the sidewalk, wrap it in plastic, stand around smoking and drinking all day and take a crap in the bushes, I don’t care if you have a home or not, I don’t want you on my street.

  17. I loved reading all these first world problems. Your imperialist, corrupt, greedy lifestyles created these situations so deal with it. The system and status quo you desperately cling to disenfranchises people around the entire world creating starvation, poverty, and crimes of desperation. I live in an RV with 6 rescued pets and my sister who’s a documentary film maker and has a masters from Cal-Arts and we’re creating an entire caravan of urban campers out of other Cal-Artians and activists. You’re capitalist lifestyle and comfort mean nothing to us. You destroy the planet, and then have the nerve to complain about garbage on your street. You people are pathetic.

    • I am in total agreement with you on this one. I personally sat back and read everything negative comment that has been said and it’s sad I am sure that these people once had a normal life but due to the system that we live in has caused these situations to happen. These people have rights,,, they are not Alians they are humans. Just because someone has a home to live in doesn’t mean we should point fingers at others because of there circumstances or way of living Think about this for one minute, Image that it can actually happen to you and it can. Are we not suppose to be or call ourselves Christians? Are these people really bothering you or your home,,,,, NO! they are just people that had an unfortunate situation and now are trying to find somewhat normality. Can’t we just let them be, live and let live. What makes you people whom own homes think you are better then them? I am 100% sure that you home owners or renters have someone in your own families or friends that have serious issues with drugs, or even worse, murders, thieves or in jail or whatever it may be but the question is do you go around telling them or complaining to the city about how they should live or where they should live i’m sure the answer is NO right? Just stop picking on them please. Why should they have to move from an area because it bothers you. The city should be concerned bigger issues and stop picking on poor people living in an RV’s It’s funny because when you go camping you camp with others and you have no idea who they are and if they do drugs or have major issues but you give a S**T about these poor harmless people who are just trying to survive and probably in a town where they grew up in. Shame on all of you. You all need to take a few steps back and ask yourself if you never made a mistake because we all have made them at some point in our lives. LEAVE THESE RVers ALONE!

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