MOUNTAIN VIEW - This Silicon Valley city is considering doing what several other Bay Area communities have already done: ban overnight RV parking. On Tuesday, the city council will consider making it illegal for any vehicle that dumps sewage to park on city streets.
But some legal activists are defending the rights of RV dwellers to stay where they are. The American Civil Liberties Union and the Law Foundation of Silicon Valley have sent a letter to Mountain View warning against passing the ban.
Michael Trujillo, a staff attorney with the Law Foundation, says it is not fair to punish RV residents based on their circumstances. "Many of them have chosen to live in oversized vehicles because that's the only means that continues to provide them access to legal services."
Trujillo says the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that banning RVs without an offer of housing amounts to cruel and unusual punishment and is therefore unconstitutional.
Mountain View Mayor Lisa Matichak told KCBS Radio earlier this year that there are public health and safety concerns that warrant an RV ban, and the city is considering adding parking lots to its safe parking program to provide people with an alternative. "The lots will be phased in over time as they become available and the folks that are in those will also be getting services because we do want to help them."
Both the proposed RV ban and an expansion of safe parking are scheduled to go before the city council on Tuesday.