Berkeley police tell Marina RV campers to move out … or get towed

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Berkeleyside – By Natalie Orenstein

Update, Thurs., 11:30 a.m.: The enforcement of parking rules at the Marina is part of ongoing efforts to address increasing reports of criminal activity and health and safety issues in the area, Berkeley spokesman Matthai Chakko said Thursday.

“We’ve had break-ins of cars. Visitors and staff have been physically assaulted and verbally threatened. Those who have berths at the Marina reported multiple and increasing numbers of altercations and threats — particularly from people living in these vehicles,” Chakko said. “Restaurants and hotels there reported an increasing number of customer complaints in respect to vehicles there overnight. We’ve had mothers complaining that their small children are dodging between needles” in the parking lots, he said.

The city has fielded these complaints over the past 18 months despite increasing safety staff and private security, hiring waterfront managers, increasing garage pickup and resetting keys, Chakko said.

The parking enforcement is occurring along Marina Boulevard and in the lot for people who have boats, where together there have sometimes been 70 unauthorized vehicles a night, Chakko said.

Original story, Weds. April 4: Berkeley police have warned the dwellers of RVs lining Marina Boulevard that they’re breaking city law and have to clear out.

At least 20 trailers and large vehicles have been parked on the gravel, just south of the DoubleTree Hotel across the street, in some cases for months. BPD officers came Sunday evening to distribute red warning notices, telling the vehicle residents they’ve been reported to be in violation of a law prohibiting street parking for more than 72 hours.

“If your vehicle is determined to be in violation of this ordinance, a citation will be issued and the vehicle will be towed and stored at your expense,” the notices say.

The notices “definitely sent everybody into a panic,” said Amber Whitson, who lives in one of the RVs. “It’s been a scramble to get everybody ready.”

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