SDOT tells business owners to remove no-parking signs for homeless
Numerous Seattle business owners have been putting up “no-parking” signs to ward off the homeless people living in RVs near their property. They’ve recently been informed by the city via letter that such signs are a “public nuisance” and must be removed.
“When I got it, I just started laughing,” business owner Ari Hoffman told KIRO Radio’s Ron and Don Show. “We’ve reached a new level of insanity with the Seattle City Council and SDOT.”
The parking signs in question were ones that informed people that they’ll be towed if they park there, and that only back-in-angle parking is allowed. SDOT threatened Hoffman with citation, and said the owners would have to pay for the removal of the signs.
Having the RVs towed has been a legal grey area ever since a King County Superior Court Judge ruled that a vehicle could be considered a home, and that moving them forcibly violated the state’s homestead act.
Hoffman believes his own 14th amendment rights concerning equal protection under the law are being violated. He says SDOT hasn’t returned any of his phone calls since he’s received the letter, and he’s concerned about the numerous derelict RVs populating the SoDo area, along with the garbage and related crime they leave behind.
“They’ve caused damage to nearby buildings, they’ve blown up before. It’s really dangerous, the drugs, the prostitution, everything else that’s going on there,” he said.
Hoffman previously clashed with the city over the RVs parked at two Jewish cemeteries overseen by the Bikur Cholim Machzikay Hadath Synagogue board, which led to garbage, needles, and prostitution on the grounds. The $230,000 claim of homeless-related damage was rejected by the city.
“How many times are we going to have to sue the city council? It may come down to the fact that I’m going to have to run for city council just to change this kind of stuff,” Hoffman said. “How much more of this craziness has to happen? The only thing we can do is to sue the city to get any results.”
For now, Hoffman approaches the vehicles and asks them to leave, mentioning they will be towed if they don’t. He hasn’t heard back from the city as of yet, and plans to keep the signs up.
“You guys can come down and make me pull down the signs,” he said.
MyNorthwest also reached out to SDOT for comment, but has yet to hear back.