We are in the midst of a housing emergency and a social crisis. If we don’t solve this problem fast, we will continue to lose service workers, and social service recipients will not be able to age in place on the Coastside.
- employed minimum wage workers
- seniors on social services
- businesses hampered by the “help wanted” epidemic
- the homeless
Here is a possible, quick and inexpensive solution.
The HMB Residential Camper/RV Permit
I let two people park their campers for over 4 years on my front driveway (each for 2 years). I spoke to my neighbors and even the-“nasty”-neighbor-for-decades agreed when she met Jeff (college educated, veteran, State Park Ranger) and Lily (college educated, vet asst. and kayak instructor). They paid me $250/month to plug in. They took showers at work or friends. They were tidy and quiet.
This is what we are up against: Do the math on $11/hr minimum wage: $1,760 gross. “Rent generally should not be more than 25 percent of your gross monthly salary,” Quicken.com.
Some experts say 30%, but no one has ever had to pay 50% to 75% of their income for housing before. On the coastside $700 is really, really good for a single-bedroom. A master bedroom is $1,500. But that is where we are today for fully employed, full-time, minimum wage workers on the coast, as well as fixed income seniors.
Local seniors are not served by the local senior housing, but I know, working with Judy Macias and the Village of the Coastside,, that many seniors would be willing to live in a camper, rather than be banished from their community, family and friends. Campers are better than a room in a house, as they give a sense of privacy to young and old.
ADUs are slow to implement, expensive, and requires significant time for staff, but they will serve young professional, like teachers.
HMB has only 14 ADUs in the pipeline. The problems above are bigger than ADUs can solve. Even pre-approved ADUs are time consuming and expensive. Due to their expense, they will not be rented to minimum wage workers or seniors. ADUs will not solve the problem for minimum wage workers, but it is great intermediary housing for young professionals.
HMB Residential Camper/RV Permit Process
- Walk into City or go online to get one page permit form.
- Fill out form.
- Pay $150 (cost of admin labor to do the site visit ).
- Inspector comes out to property, takes pictures for file. They contact neighbors by phone, or email, or in person, to confirm their approvals.
- Renewed every year for $150, same process.
- If there are complaints for poor camper behavior, these will be investigated by the City /Sheriffs. If the complaints are valid, the privilege of the camper parking permit is pulled. The camper is moved within 48 hours. Enforced by sheriffs.
Note: Could consider adding a residential clean-out permit, or creating more public clean outs around town.
Permit Form Requirements
- Camper must be on wheels and can be moved at any time.
- Can be with engine, or an engineless trailer.
- Must be DOT approved.
- Physical area must be kept tidy and clean.
- Must fit on driveway without overhanging road or sidewalk, or it can be placed in the backyard.
- Neighbors on either side, and across the street, must sign off to approve the parking of the camper. (I think that if people explain and introduce the potential new camper neighbor, there will be less and less resistance to this idea.)
- Lastly, camper person must produce proof of employment in Half Moon Bay, like a pay stub, or local social service documentation.
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
Submitted by Michelle Dragony; Coastside Buzz.com, 650-740-4384, 111 Vassar St. HMB