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Seattle business owner continues fight over homeless RV

An RV parked in front of Harbor Island Machine Works. (Mark DeFaccio)

In early August, reports emerged of Harbor Island business owner Mark DeFaccio’s battle with a homeless RV parked in front of his property. Now, he’s in the midst of a complex shell game to ensure the RV doesn’t return.

Initially, DeFaccio placed concrete ecology blocks in the space the RV was parking in. That caused problems with the Seattle Department of Transportation, who told him he couldn’t place the blocks there without a permit.

He soon got a notice from SDOT in the mail. He then told them he would comply while he goes through the permit process. In the meantime, he’s employing a different strategy to ensure the RV doesn’t simply return in the dead of night.

“I did remove (the blocks) in the morning, and I just parked my vehicle in that location for the balance of the day,” DeFaccio told KIRO Radio’s Candy, Mike and Todd Show.

SDOT tells business owners to remove no-parking signs for homeless

Since he’s not allowed to use the ecology blocks overnight, once the truck is gone, he gets creative with a steel scrap bin used by his business.

“I do have to store a scrap steel bin somewhere,” he pointed out. “So I move that over into the location where the blocks were overnight, and that pretty much prevents (the RV) from moving in the in the middle of the night.”

The RV itself has been a concern for DeFaccio’s business for awhile now. It often will see 15 to 20 mysterious vehicles drop by overnight, visiting for five minutes at a time and then abruptly leaving.

That and more has had him filing numerous reports with the police over the last five years.

“Definitely the garbage piles up,” he described. “We don’t know where the [human] waste goes. In the past, we have witnessed people carrying the portable oil and human waste containers that you can use with an RV towards the Duwamish [River]. We have pretty big piles of garbage right now piled in the parking area, on what would be the public right of way.”

For now, DeFaccio is continuing to work with SDOT on acquiring the proper permits to place the ecology blocks outside his business on a more permanent basis.

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