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RVers Living in Stored Vehicles in California

October 6, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Editor’s Note: The following story contains a specific slant on the news and should not be considered neutral on this subject.

California Storage Masters, the operator of a popular RV storage facility in the Los Angeles South Bay, was cautioned Tuesday (Oct. 5) after El Segundo city officials discovered that some RV owners were living in their stored vehicles in violation of the city’s land-use rules, examiner.com reported.

The California Storage Masters facility,  just off Douglas Street in El Segundo, is situated in a light-industrial zone and contains a variety of commercial trucks, RVs, boats, cars and assorted storage containers.

City officials believe that a number of RVs stored at the facility were being used as permanent dwellings. Given the current economic climate and the increasing restrictions being placed on overnight street parking in many South Bay cities, it is hardly surprising that people are choosing to live in their stored Mohos.

Assuming the RV owners are being responsible and not dumping raw sewage on the street as in Venice — and there is absolutely no evidence to suggest that this is the case — then one cannot begin to imagine what practical purpose was served by moving them on.

El Segundo does not have any mobile home parks and, given the condition of some of the RVs stored at the El Segundo storage facility, it would be unlikely that these RV owners could find spaces at nearby establishments such as the Hermosa Beach RV Court. It’s also doubtful that said owners could afford accommodation at the Marineland Mobile Home Park in Hermosa Beach or at the local RV Park at Dockweiler Beach – where prices start at $55 per night.

There is little doubt that cities like El Segundo and Redondo Beach are implementing or enforcing parking ordinances that treat the vast majority of RV owners unreasonably. Many RV owners in the beach cities are also homeowners and yet a number of city ordinances prohibit RV parking on your own property. Paid storage certainly appears to be the only viable answer and RV owners can argue – quite persuasively – that a proportion of their Vehicle License Fee (VLF) – which was raised from 0.65% to 1.15% in May 2009 – should be returned to them through the provision of a city- or county-funded storage and/or overnight parking facility.

Alternatively, if a city wishes to introduce a permit parking system this should be funded by the VLF and not via a fee system which would constitute a double tax on RV owners resident in the city. Unfortunately, it’s quite clear that the beach cities have no intention of providing any form of alternative overnight parking for RV’ers. This is regrettable because South Bay cities owe a fiduciary duty of care to all their residents irrespective of whether they chose to live in a house or a motorhome.

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