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Disability Advocacy Group Questioning How San Diego’s Overnight Parking Laws Affect Homeless

Homeless people crowd a parkway with tents and makeshift housing in San Diego...

Photo by Associated Press

Above: Homeless people crowd a parkway with tents and makeshift housing in San Diego, July 6, 2016.

The San Diego Association of Realtors reported the average home price in San Diego was just over $775,000 in August. That is a 9% increase from reporting last year.

As housing prices continue to rise in San Diego, people are looking for alternatives, with some even turning to motor homes or recreational vehicles. But — you cannot park them overnight on San Diego city streets.

RELATED: Tiny Homes In San Diego Face Big Hurdles

City documents show Mayor Kevin Faulconor and the San Diego City Council were briefed about a threat of legal action from Disability Rights California last week.

Documents show the group sent a letter in March concerning ticketing recreational vehicles owned by people who are homeless.

Current San Diego municipal code states: “It is unlawful for any person to use a vehicle while it is parked or standing on any street as either temporary or permanent living quarters, abode, or place of habitation either overnight or by day.”

The disability advocacy group is also questioning San Diego’s Neighborhood Parking Protection Ordinance, which restricts overnight parking for vehicles and trailers longer than 27 feet without a permit. The ordinance also states permits are only valid on the same block as a resident’s address.

Although no suit has been filed by Disability Rights California, in March, attorney Ann Menasche with the organization, sent a letter to the city.

“We asked for a reasonable accommodation or a change in the city policy as required under the American Disabilities Act by stopping the ticketing,” Menasche said.

In a statement to KPBS, the City Attorney's Office said "we discussed the letter in closed session with the Mayor and City Council. No action was taken."

Current law in San Diego stipulates that cars cannot be used for temporary or permanent shelters.

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Matt Hoffman
General Assignment Reporter

opening quote marksclosing quote marksI am a general assignment reporter for KPBS. In addition to covering the latest news and issues that are relevant to the San Diego community, I like to dig deeper to find the voices and perspectives that other media often miss.

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