Oakland, CA – On Tuesday, November 5 and Wednesday, November 6, the owner of an approximately 4-acre parcel of land in West Oakland will begin a clean-up process on its property to enable it to lease the land to the City of Oakland, at no cost, for use as a Safe RV Parking Site for the next two or three years.
The parcel, which is immediately adjacent to an encampment running along Wood Street, has been inhabited for the past 18 months by campers living in RVs, buses, and other vehicles and structures. The property has also become a dumping ground for abandoned vehicles and large amounts of trash and debris. In order to begin construction of the Safe RV Parking Facility, the site needs to be completely cleared and graded. Once the land is cleared and graded, fencing, electrical service, and other amenities will be installed. The campers currently living in RV's on the property will be encouraged to join a waiting list to move back onto the property as soon as the new facility opens.
“We are excited about cleaning up the property to allow it to be used to address the homeless crisis that is impacting this community—especially the impact of RVs parked all over West Oakland neighborhoods,” said Pat Smith, who represents the owner. “The first step is to remove all of the vehicles currently on the property, and we have asked the City’s Vehicle Abatement Unit for assistance in this process as required under the State Vehicle Code.”
During the past month, OPD personnel have identified 139 vehicles parked illegally on the property that need to be removed. More than 100 of the vehicles on the property are in various states of disrepair, either partially dismantled, inoperable, or vehicles that appear to have been dumped on the lot. Outreach workers began contacting campers on the property in August 2019 to discuss the plan to convert the area to a safe parking facility. Since then, outreach workers have been offering campers the opportunity to move onto other Safe RV Parking facilities while the construction takes place. During the operation, the City has made arrangements to avoid impounding vehicles that serve as residences and, in the days leading up to the operation, the City has redoubled its outreach efforts on site in order to assure a smooth transition.
# # #