SEATTLE - Seattle business owners say they are plagued by issues with homeless people living in RVs parked by their businesses and the city is going after them for trying to do something about it.
KIRO 7 got copies of letters from SDOT to multiple property owners saying the “no-parking” signs posted on their buildings are a “public nuisance.”
“If you can't laugh at that right now when our city is in an absolute state of crisis,” Ballard property owner Erika Nagy told KIRO 7 on Friday. “And this is the stuff they're going after, this is the stuff they're prioritizing.”
Nagy says in the past, it's taken weeks for the city do anything about issues with homeless cars and RVs impacting businesses that lease on her property.
The letters from Seattle DOT came from the Curb Space Management division. They say the property owners must take down the no-parking signs on their building because part of the area where people park is in the city's right-of-way. The letter cites Seattle Municipal Code, Sections 11.50.520, 11.50.540 and 11.50.560, which say they signs are a “public nuisance.”
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Ari Hoffman said he put up the signs at properties he owns in SODO because of trash and crime that come with the RVs, including one that parked there Wednesday.
“We went over to him and said, ‘Move, you're not parking here, move,’” Hoffman told KIRO 7. “And he said, ‘I make more money selling drugs than you guys will ever see in a lifetime.’”
The warning from SDOT says if the property owners don't remove the signs, the city will remove them and charge the property owner for any costs.
The city and Seattle Public Utilities launched the RV Trash Remediation Pilot program in May. KIRO 7 has told you how they've done more than 25 cleanups in SODO to clear out RVs and clean up their trash.
Property owners told KIRO 7 on Friday they're still dealing with issues daily, and both Nagy and Hoffman plan to keep their no-parking signs up.
“You want them down, you come down and cite me,” Hoffman said. “And then we'll file a class-action lawsuit for everything that's going on around here. If you want to call this a public nuisance, what do you call the RVs, what do you call the drug-dealing, the prostitution, the damage, the vandalism? But this is a public nuisance, this little sign here?”
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