Horizon Shine RV Village - Why are there RVs on the site already?
That's an excellent question. It has an excellent answer: The choices for the RVs that were moved onto the site were limited. If they had not been moved to the site, the RVs would have been towed and their occupants would have been completely homeless, sleeping rough in our parks or the Laguna or elsewhere in town.
Feb 2 Update: Asked of me today: Why is it that the RVs on Morris Street would be subject to towing?
Here’s the answer, from my personal perspective: The situation on Morris Street has become increasingly untenable. It’s become worse, not better, for everyone, those in RVs as well as the rest of the greater Sebastopol community. The sanitation and safety situation has worsened, as has the sense of increasing impatience from the public. This has led to a general sense of impending threat and potential violence directed toward the RV dwellers. Police have continued to do what they are expected to do: enforce the laws, in a compassionate manner that doesn’t undermine their primary duty as officers. The ultimate step our police can take with RVs on Morris Street is towing them. Unfortunately, there are a number of these RVs that have progressed to that stage in the law enforcement process. They were notified that they would be towed. Within that group were some who had been accepted into the RV Village and some that had not. In the end, as was noted in my original post, those RVs that had a spot in the RV Village were moved to the Horizon Shine RV Village. The remaining RVs have been towed.
Continuing with my original February 1 posting: SAVS informed City Staff and the Ad Hoc Committee for the Unhoused of the situation, and requested permission to move these RVs to the site early. With the condition that a temporary fence be installed, that the RV Village operator SAVS be regularly present at the site and monitor the RV villagers moved there, that a portapottie and hand washing station be placed there, City Staff and the Ad Hoc Committee agreed to the request. The obligations in the written agreement remain in place, as does the expectation that SAVS will meet those obligations prior to the full opening of the Horizon Shine RV Village.
How do I feel about this decision? I am proud that we are choosing the humane option in dealing with this development. I am confident it is the best choice for the people who would have lost their lived-in vehicles. I'm equally confident that our greater community is better served by moving these RVs onto the site. It does not help any of us to add more people to the population that is completely unhoused, with the increased safety and sanitation issues they bring for all of us who live in this community. This is yet another instance of having to choose between imperfect choices. Personally, I have no doubt we chose the best (and most humane) not-so-perfect solution in this instance.