BERKELEY, Calif. (KTVU) - RVs will no longer be allowed to park overnight on Berkeley streets after the city council approved a ban early Wednesday morning, but the enforcement of the ban has been delayed.
The contentious meeting went into the early-morning hours with Berkeley City Council voting 6-3 in favor of the ban just after midnight.
The meeting was heated at times and there were dozens of people, both homeless advocates and concerned residents and business owners, who spoke during the public-comment period.
The ordinance bans RV parking on city streets between 2 and 5 a.m., but the city will start a three-month renewable permit program that will allow some RVs to park overnight temporarily.
The immediate enforcement of the ban has been delayed for 6 to 8 months, according to Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguín, who joined KTVU on The Four on Wednesday.
"We're sympathetic to the fact that there are a growing number of people living on our streets or living in recreational vehicles, because they can't afford the rising cost of housing. We are seeing a significant impact towards residents and businesses," said Arreguín.
The mayor added that while there is no easy solution to the affordable housing crisis and homelessness, moving people into permanent housing is the goal.
The city says they’ve gotten more than 1,500 complaints from businesses and residents about RV parking including fewer parking spots, illegal dumping of trash, debris and human waste on the streets.
Supporters of the ban argue safety and sanitary issues are the two biggest concerns they have.
During public comment one supporter of the ban said the problem needs to be resolved and that it was "really impacting businesses."
The mayor said well over 200 RVs, mostly concentrated in West Berkeley, are parking overnight.
Those against the ban said people living in RVs do it because they have to and passing this measure will basically kick those people out of the city.
A woman against the ban said during public comment that she moved into her car, followed by moving into a van. She said she is scared to get anything bigger, but her bottom line was that she can afford a car payment in Berkeley, but cannot afford a rent payment in Berkeley.
Opponents are considering taking the city to court over this vote.