I am writing to you regarding Colin Rigley’s well-written, timely article (“You can’t go home, and you can’t stay here,” Feb. 23) on the plight of motorhome residents in SLO city and county.
I am a “full timer” mostly by choice, and I absolutely love the freedom this lifestyle allows.
Not all fulltimers are out of work, fringe members of society, but many are unfortunate and need our help. I do object to the term “homeless” to describe our situation. Our vehicles are our homes. They contain sleeping, cooking, and sanitary facilities, just like an apartment.
I do not support the situation that developed on Prado Road. The temporary residents there just kind of set up camp and hung out. They cooked outside and acted as if the surrounding grounds were their property. It was an eyesore and needed to be broken up. I used to sleep there a night or two every couple of weeks, but have had to avoid the area since it became like a “gypsy camp.” I do support our local police and recognize the mixed feelings they have on this subject. I have been told to move often, but usually treated with respect. I am, however, disappointed by the purported unjust way these evictions were handled.
Retired and on fixed income, I could afford a small apartment but would have little left over for food, gas and other expenses. I would be a prisoner in my own place.
This problem could be resolved without a great deal of bureaucratic confusion. The city and county of SLO seem to have a penchant for paying large sums of money for outside consultants to investigate and make ridiculous recommendations.
A dedicated parking area would be one solution, but perhaps even easier would be to merely enforce the 72-hour parking ordinance that already exists. Just allow the vehicles to be occupied during the 72 hours, but mandate that they be moved (not just a few feet) every three days. Outside paraphernalia should not be allowed.
Let’s continue making this the happy place we all say it is. Allow us our freedom of choice, our pursuit of happiness, and let us remain productive citizens of our beloved SLO County.