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Eugene approves stricter parking rules aimed to curb car camping

RV and tent camping on a city street.
Brian Bull
An RV shares space with a tent and other vehicles on a street in Eugene. New parking rules recently approved by the city council will challenge vehicular camping on city streets.

The Eugene City Council voted 5-3 on Wednesday to pass stricter parking rules aimed at limiting vehicular camping on city streets.

The new rules include raising the maximum fines for some parking violations and setting a per-day limit in 2-hour zones—to prohibit cars, trucks and RVs from circling back to park on the same block later in the day.

The ordinance revisions also allow the city to impound vehicles that block a mailbox or are parked in front of homes or hotels overnight three times within 90 days.

During lengthy discussion, Councilor Randy Groves said the city’s car camping problem is persistent.

“People are frustrated with the current situations. They’re frustrated that they have no choice. You talk about choice but they have no choice," he said. "Our residents, our workers, our businesses—they have no choice in how public space is being utilized in front of their place of residence or workplace.”

While a majority of the councilors agreed the new parking rules are a step in the right direction, Councilors Lyndsie Leech, Jennifer Yeh and Alan Zelenka voted against the changes, saying they were overly punitive.

Leech urged further consideration of the code amendments to make sure the rule changes will not negatively impact the most vulnerable unhoused people.

“My worry is that a mom with a baby in a minivan can’t figure out how our code works—that they could potentially have their vehicle impounded,” she said.

Tiffany joined the KLCC News team in 2007. She studied journalism at the University of Missouri-Columbia and worked in a variety of media including television, technical writing, photography and daily print news before moving to the Pacific Northwest.
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