RV-dwelling couple evicted from great-grandmother’s driveway after neighbor complaint

A Menlo Park couple faces an uncertain future, after they were forced to sell the only place they have to live – their mobile home. The RV was parked on a relative’s property, but that apparently is afoul of city law.

Alex Mulholland and Arlena Bain have packed up but don’t know where to go. 

The couple faces homelessness, after what they say was a September ultimatum from the city, following a visit by code enforcement.

“There were cops and code enforcement walking towards the RV,” she said. “They were trying to tell us we had to move it right then and there.”

An extension to October and then November ultimately moved the “move-by” date for the Jayco RV to Tuesday. The mobile home was a staple, parked on a circular driveway.

A couple is looking for a place to go this holiday season now that their RV has to move from a relative's property after a neighbor in Menlo Park complained.

“They have always parked on their property, recessed from the sidewalk. Whether in the drive or parallel to the house,” said neighbor Leah Clark.

With the city leaving them no place to park, Bain sold what had been the couple’s home for the past nine months. She said they initially wound up here to help care for her 94-year-old great-grandmother, whose small home has no extra room for two more people.

“The issue was they had gotten a complaint from a neighbor, and that brought code enforcement. And code enforcement found it was breeching over a little bit, over the sidewalk,” said Mulholland, Bain’s boyfriend.

The city’s parking regulations were first written in the early 1960s, and state vehicles can’t park on residential streets or within 300 feet of a residential area between two-and-five in the morning. You’ll need a permit to do that. 

There’s also a section covering RV storage on private property, and that is apparently the section the couple is in violation.

Some neighbors, stunned the young couple has become another casualty of the Bay Area housing crunch, are offering physical and philosophical help.

“As the Bay Area gets increasingly more expensive, we have to be more flexible in providing reasonable housing accommodation. And if that means parking an RV on someone’s own property, and it’s back away from the street, I don’t think that’s an area that should involve the police,” said Clark.

Changing the parking ordinances is one solution, but that won’t help this couple, who are staring at being homeless for the holidays.