Rantz: Seattle Council may legalize homeless RV camping

Aug 8, 2017, 6:59 AM | Updated: 9:05 am
homeless rv, rvs, vehicular living...
Homeless RVs line a street in Ballard. (MyNorthwest)

Seattle City Councilmember Mike O’Brien, who once floated the idea of letting the homeless take over city parks, is readying an ordinance that would essentially legalize homeless RV camping throughout the city.

Seattle City Attorney candidate Scott Lindsay posted what he says is a copy of the proposed ordinance and, if it’s what gets introduced, it’s alarming.

RELATED: Where do Seattle’s roadside RVs dump their waste?

“The bill would exempt vehicles used as residences from almost all vehicle safety laws and parking restrictions,” Lindsay warns. “Shockingly, the bill would also exempt from impoundment residential vehicles that are used in the commission of a crime of sexual exploitation – a critical law enforcement tool used to deter pimps and johns from taking advantage of the most vulnerable.”

I first heard rumors of this legislation last week. Thanks to Lindsay, we get a head start on debating this dangerous idea.

Making it easier to camp on the street doesn’t actually help the homeless; it makes the situation worse. There are pathways to getting housed; programs are in place to help this vulnerable community. Allowing them to stay in their RVs without any consequences keeps them on the streets longer than they otherwise would.

Beyond that, it’s dangerous for our neighborhoods and the homeless themselves. We know many of these RVs have been used to illegally sell drugs. Perhaps O’Brien is OK with that possibility in his neighborhood, but most of us aren’t. In fact, perhaps O’Brien can offer up his private property for unvetted RV users to set up a camp.

Further, it’s not safe for those living in the RVs, which, in many instances, are broken down and don’t have the ability to handle everything from human waste to basic heating. It’s not compassionate to have the homeless live in broken down RVs.

Lindsay says the plan is for the bill to be considered on August 15, with an eye towards being voted out of committee and onto the full council by September 8. This is a bad idea and it should be stopped before it gets too much traction in a council that has shown a willingness to punt any serious attempt at dealing with the homeless emergency.

As of this printing, Councilmember O’Brien has not returned an email seeking comment.

Jason Rantz on AM 770 KTTH
  • listen to jason rantzTune in to AM 770 KTTH weekdays at 3-6pm toThe Jason Rantz Show.

Jason Rantz Show

Jason Rantz

seattle police, traffic stops...
Jason Rantz

Rantz: New equity policy bars Seattle Police from some traffic stops, opens door to more car theft

Seattle Police are now barred from many non-criminal traffic stops after activists claimed concerns over equity.
3 days ago
Sheriff Fortney...
KTTH staff

Snohomish County Sheriff Fortney will run for re-election after failed recall effort

After a failed recall effort against him last year, Snohomish County Sheriff Adam Fortney says he will run for office again in 2023.
4 days ago
MultiCare hospitals...
Jason Rantz

Rantz: MultiCare hospitals order symptomatic COVID-positive staff to see patients

MultiCare Health Systems is forcing COVID-positive staff to work at its area hospitals, the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH has learned.
5 days ago
Redistricting ,senator...
KTTH staff

State senator escorted out after not submitting negative COVID test

State Senator Phil Fortunato was escorted out of the Legislative building in Olympia because he had not submitted a required negative COVID test.
5 days ago
King County Sheriff Mitzi Johanknecht, coronavirus...
KTTH staff

‘They never could figure me out’: Former King County Sheriff looks back on shortened tenure

Former King County Sheriff Mitzi Johanknecht left office at the end of 2021, and spoke to KTTH's Jason Rantz Show this week to reflect on her tenure.
5 days ago
transgender, gender...
Jason Rantz

Rantz: WA laws now allow teen gender reassignment surgery without parental consent

Washington state now appears to allow minors to undergo life-changing gender reassignment surgery without parental consent.
7 days ago

Sponsored Articles


Compassion International Is Determined to ‘Fill’ a Unique Type of Football ‘Stadium’

Compassion International SPONSORED — During this fall’s football season—and as the pandemic continues to impact the entire globe—one organization has been urging caring individuals to help it “fill” a unique type of “stadium” in order to make a lasting difference in the lives of many. Compassion International’s distinctive Fill the Stadium (FtS, fillthestadium.com) initiative provides […]

What are the Strongest, Greenest, Best Windows?

Lake Washington Windows & Doors SPONSORED — Fiberglass windows are an excellent choice for window replacement due to their fundamental strength and durability. There is no other type of window that lasts as long as fiberglass; so why go with anything else? Fiberglass windows are 8x stronger than vinyl, lower maintenance than wood, more thermally […]

COVID Vaccine is a Game-Changer for Keeping our Kids Healthy

Snohomish Health District SPONSORED — Cheers to the parents and guardians who keep their kids safe and healthy. The dad who cooks a meal with something green in it, even though he’s tired and drive-thru burgers were tempting. The mom who calms down the little one who loudly and resolutely does NOT want to brush […]
Experience Anacortes

Coastal Christmas Celebration Week in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.

Delayed-Onset PTSD: Signs and Symptoms

Lakeside-Milam Recovery Centers SPONSORED — You’re probably familiar with post-traumatic stress disorder. Often abbreviated as PTSD, this condition is diagnosed when a person experiences a set of symptoms for at least a month after a traumatic event. However, for some people, these issues take longer to develop. This results in a diagnosis of delayed-onset PTSD […]

Medicare open enrollment ends Dec. 7. Free unbiased help is here!

Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner SPONSORED — Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, also called the Annual Election Period, is Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. During this time, people enrolled in Medicare can: Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan and vice versa. Join, drop or switch a Part D prescription drug plan, […]
Rantz: Seattle Council may legalize homeless RV camping