RV owners play cat & mouse with parking officers - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

RV owners play cat & mouse with parking officers

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - It’s been two and a half years since San Diego enacted a law to target illegally parked recreational vehicles on city streets.

But residents complain the problem still persists, while those living in RVs say they have no place else to go.

For the past 12 years, Ricki Johnson has lived in her RV with a pack of little dogs near Sharp Memorial Hospital in Kearny Mesa.

“It was too expensive in La Jolla. Our rent went way, way, way up so I decided to get this RV,” said Johnson. “I hadn't had any problem until that law went into effect.”

The law she’s talking about made it illegal to park any RV on a city street between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m.

“The ticket we got three to four weeks ago was $112.50,” said Johnson.

The city of San Diego enacted the ordinance in 2014 because too many tourists were camping overnight in RVs near the beach.

Johnson parks her RV by Sharp hospital because she works there full time as a nurse.

“There's so many people that I met personally that live in their RVs and they work full time. So, why should we be penalized for people who don't work and they're down in the beach district all the time?” she said.

In Liberty Station, residents are fed up with illegally parked mobile homes both with and without people living in them.

Neighbor Sean Cadden reports the illegally parked RVs almost daily using the city's Get It Done app.

“These vehicles remain unmoved for days at a time. We need to have regular parking enforcement officers here in Liberty Station and they need to enforce the law, including towing the vehicles to impound,” Cadden said.

A spokesperson for SDPD told us RVs can be towed away after getting five citations.

But that typically doesn't happen because the RV owners play a game of cat and mouse with officers.

Diana Kelley plays the game in Kearny Mesa, moving her RV every night to avoid police.

“They need to give us a place to park so that we cannot be bothered,” said Kelley.

She says she works as an Uber driver and for the past four years she's been living in her RV with her husband and two dogs.

“We’re human beings too. We're not trash,” she said.

“At least give us a place to park where we won't get kicked off,” Kelley said while fighting back tears.

The city of San Diego does not offer any overnight parking for RV owners.

One local nonprofit, Dreams for Change, does offer temporary parking for homeless people living in their cars. But the group’s parking lots cannot accommodate RVs.

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