Spokane City Council addresses RV dwelling

Spokane City Council addresses RV dwelling

Spokane city leaders are trying to figure out how to help people living in recreational vehicles across the city. Councilwoman Kate Burke is leading the discussion after hearing complaints and concerns from many of her constituents.

According to Spokane Municipal Code, it’s unlawful to park a motor home or camper on the street in a residential zone of the city or for longer than four continuous hours for active loading or unloading. The code goes on to note that overnight parking between 9:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. is also illegal.

People are still parking their recreational vehicles on the streets and living in them, despite city code. It’s an eye sore for many neighborhoods and causes crime concerns for some residents.

That’s why Burke said she wants to work with other city leaders and residents to connect RV dwellers with resources.

“I think it’s something we need to really start humanizing people’s experiences and make sure that they know that we are listening to what they’re going through and that we don’t want to make their life harder, we want to help them get to housing, get to shelter,” Burke said.

Discussion is still early on this issue, but leaders are already weighing some ideas. Councilwoman Candace Mumm suggested a program where people get passes to park in designated areas with water and sewer hookups. Then, city outreach agencies can go to them to help them get back on their feet.

Burke said she’d like to hear from people across Spokane who have suggestions to solve this issue or personal experience living in an RV on the streets. You can email her at kateburke@spokanecity.org.