West Anaheim Resident To City Council On RV Dweller Street Camping: “Enough is Enough”

West Anaheim resident Sal Ortiz simply, directly and powerfully articulated the frustration and anger of his fellow residents at the July 17 Anaheim City Council, tell the council “enough is enough” regarding the degradation of their neighborhoods due to the proliferation of RV dwellers street camping in their neighborhoods:

Ortiz forcefully channeled the frustration felt by residents who obey the law, pay their taxes, raise their families and care for the neighborhoods – only to feel ignored in favor of “community advocates” and other squeaky wheels who claim the “right” for people to live on public property.

The ad hoc RV Owners of Anaheim are the latest to add to the list of invented rights. One individual told the Voice of OC she has a “constitutional right” to live on the street in her RV. That’s nonsense, of course – but why not make the claim? Progressive activists have elevated that to standard operating procedure: take the latest political priority or policy desire, call it a “human right” and lobby the government to give it to you.  When Councilman Jose F. Moreno and homeless advocates wanted to install porta-potties at the Santa Ana River Trail homeless encampment, progressive activists swarmed council meetings claiming sanitation as a “human right.” The Robbins and their cadre want the government to provide free housing, and press their agenda by claiming it is a “human right.”

So when RV dwellers rhetorically turn their desire to live on city streets into a “right,” their only following a path which progressives have blazed for years.

The balance of competing interests weighs in favor of residents with fixed addresses who are paying mortgages, property taxes and rents. RV owners are, by definition, mobile. RV stands for “recreational vehicle” – not “residential vehicle.” Their homes are own wheels. Residents like Sal Ortiz cannot drive their house or condo to another part of the city, county, state or country.

Yet, Councilmember Jose F. Moreno wants city staff to look into turning city property into “safe parking” sites – complete with RV infrastructure – where RV dwellers can stay. In other words, get City Hall into the RV camping business. Is that really a wise use of the time and resources of city staff? Doesn’t Anaheim have bigger fish to fry on behalf of residents?

Anaheim resident and former council candidate Sergio Gonzalez posted a trenchant observation on Facebook:

It’s easy to be moved by the personal stories of some of the RV dwellers. But there’s an old and wise adage that “hard cases make bad law.” City streets were not intended to be ad hoc campgrounds.  City government is neither obligated for able to solve everyone’s problems. Operating “safe parking spaces” falls well outside the legitimate purposes of local government: public safety and civic upkeep.

That’s why residents like Sal Ortiz are so fed up. All they want is for city government to hew to its fundamental mission: keeping their neighborhoods clean and safe and maintaining parks so they aren’t afraid to let their children play there. They want to be able to go for a walk without seeing used needles, human waste or drug addicts sprawled in parks or even in their neighborhoods. As Mr. Ortiz said, they’re tired of “advocates” trying to make them the bad guys for asking the city to uniformly, effectively enforce the laws that they themselves obey. Governing is about making choices. The use of public property as impromptu dwelling places – whether sanctioned officially or through indifference – is incompatible to safe streets and neighborhoods.

Government has enough difficulty discharging those core, traditional duties. It has a miserable track record when it comes to solving the human condition – a task better left to individuals, organizations and institutions that can treat the whole person.


  1. Larry Herschler

    I guess we can add this to illegal marijuana dealers. They set up shop and there is no way to close them. Not only are they staying and refusing to leave, they are in violation of state law, well within 600 feet of a local high school and on a major walkway to the school. Only answer we get, we are in negotiations. No negotiation, you are in violation and shut in down. Those of us that try and follow rules, no longer have a say so.

  2. People that live in RV’s are NOT paying property taxes. For that reason and others, RV Dwellers should NOT be allowed to park where ever they chose. I am speaking of residential streets or business property. It’s not a constitutional right of any sort. Besides illegal parking, it’s a serious safety issue for local families. Be reminded some of the dwellers may be perverts or criminals hiding and lie in wait.

    The City of Anaheim and responsible citizens owe RV dwellers diddly squat -0-. For a council member to even recommend the City get involved and council to follow through to find RV dwellers a place is beyond ludicrous. Dwellers must do what ordinarily responsible RV owners do, rent space in an RV park expressly designed for RV’s. Dwellers are NOT above the law and do not deserve special treatment. In that vein, Anaheim Police Department needs to put in force our local laws about RV’s parking on city streets even if it means massive fines to dwellers and or impounding their RV’s, and incarceration if they don’t pay fines. There’s NO excuse for breaking laws.

    As for Jose Moreno and Mayor Tait and his majority gaggle, they are posing some severe problems for the City of Anaheim by creating an ugly unstable environment for not only city employees but all responsible residents; they must be removed from office, ASAP. They have lost all semblance of judgment as well as reasoning and fiduciary responsibility to the City of Anaheim and residents.

    We must take control of our city. Check out JMAC (John Machiaverna) for Mayor.

  3. Where does JMAC stand on any/all of our issues?

  4. I was going to suggest the RV dwellers pull in front of Dr. Moreno house for his fundraiser today. I bet the neighbors would love that.

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