Just when you thought our homelessness problem couldn’t get any more bizarre, let me lay this one on you.
King County Superior Court Judge Catherine Shaffer just ruled that a truck is a home. You heard me right. A homeless man named Steven Long had his truck impounded because it violated the 72-hour parking law.
You remember laws, right? Those written rules that supposedly apply to everyone? Yeah, me neither. Well Mr. Long decided to sue the city and won.
According to the reporting in The Seattle Times, Assistant City Attorney Michael Ryan is flabbergasted. He told the Times:
Someone could park right here in front of the court house on Fifth Avenue, and we couldn’t tow them, or if we did tow them, we couldn’t put them in impound. We’d have to put them somewhere else and we couldn’t charge them at all for it, because if we did, we’d violate the constitution if they were living in that vehicle.
If you thought the homeless population was brazen before, now all they have to do is park wherever they want and just invoke this ruling.
“This is my home. I don’t have to move it, you can’t impound it. I live here now.”
So a homeless person in any vehicle they choose can now drive up to a spectacular multi-million dollar waterfront view and boom, it’s now their home.
Or they could wind their way to a scenic vista overlooking the city, engage the emergency brake, and they are protected.
So what of the family 100 feet away that actually is paying millions for that view, along with the corresponding taxes? If this ruling holds, that family is just out of luck.
Listen, I get it. City officials have been scratching their collective heads trying to solve the homeless problem. But seriously Judge Shaffer? A truck is a home?
We are just going to start reclassifying objects now? Can my condo become a car? Cause that would save me a lot on property taxes.
I don’t have all the answers either, but I’m pretty sure waving the white flag and saying, “Go ahead, park wherever you want. Welcome home” is not the answer.
I implore the city to appeal this decision. Or maybe round up a few dozen homeless people living in their trucks and have them park in front of Judge Cathy’s place.
You can hear “What are we talking about here?” everyday at 4:45 p.m. on 97.3 FM.