From the ‘in case you wondered too’ file: RV lineup on Andover

We’ve heard from several readers wondering about the lineup of RVs that turned up recently on the north side of SW Andover along the southwest side of Nucor, across the street from West Seattle Health Club. We went over for a look and counted nine parked there as of midday today. Several had orange tags on windshields or windows:

This lineup arrived concurrent with the departure of a group that had been parked under the West Seattle Bridge east of the Delridge/West Marginal Way intersection.

Questions about RVs parked on city streets have come up at recent community meetings including this one in September, when city attorney liaison Matthew York said overnight parking is not allowed and that police can issue citations. Researching further, though, we find that is not the case with city streets in industrial zones. The 72-hour rule still applies, though. So we asked the Southwest Precinct today if this is on their radar; precinct commander Capt. Pierre Davis replied that “a majority of the owners have been contacted and should be making plans to move their rigs,” while pointing out that “other social-service issues” are involved as well, and that Community Police Team officers are involved with that. He added that this is considered a city-wide issue that multi-agency teams are working on, too. The citywide program Road to Housing offers spaces in church parking lots for people living in their vehicles, though none appear to be available in West Seattle currently.

32 Replies to "From the 'in case you wondered too' file: RV lineup on Andover"

  • m December 18, 2015 (9:48 pm)

    I have been watching that happen in the last week or so …from the gym across the street. I think I saw a drug dealer two days ago. Two guys drove up in a construction truck and an RV pulled up. The guy in the RV delivered a bag and he joined the other two in the truck.

  • John December 18, 2015 (10:18 pm)

    I saw the RV’s there tonight. I understand the need for people to have a place to stay but this concerns me. It can get very dark in that area and many people walk their dogs and pass by on bike. Plus this is very close to the West Seattle Athletic Club. Thank you SPD for addressing this.

  • chris December 18, 2015 (11:29 pm)

    The only way to get rid of them is for the city to put up no parking 2 to 5am signs. It has worked in other parts of the city.

  • Jim December 19, 2015 (1:41 am)

    Glad they found a place to park. Welcome. Hope they stay a while.

  • TS3 December 19, 2015 (6:02 am)

    I really wish the 72 hour rule would be changed. I have a rental in West Seattle and have been trying to get an RV moved for over a year. All the parking enforcement can do is write them a warning, then they move it and start the cycle again.

  • D December 19, 2015 (9:00 am)

    Everyone should have a dry worm safe place to sleep it’s much better than them taking up residence in abandoned homes give them a break this is supposed to be a free country

  • mike December 19, 2015 (9:05 am)

    TS3, I hope they don’t change the 72 hr rule. There are many older homes in west seattle that do not have off street parking due to the topography of the lot.

  • aa December 19, 2015 (9:35 am)

    Its not pretty that’s for sure but I’m too concerned with the massive amount of garbage piling up all over the city due to homelessness. I understand the issue of housing is multilayered but why can’t the city pick up the garbage??

    The little tent encampments all around create so much garbage, not more than we do but they don’t have a way to get rid of it. If it bothers you too please take pictures and send them to Ed Murray via

  • KT December 19, 2015 (9:57 am)

    “Capt. Pierre Davis replied that “a majority of the owners have been contacted and should be making plans to move their rigs,”…that sure sounds vague. Either enforce the laws or don’t. If you choose the ‘don’t enforce’ option then take them off the books.

  • Sandal42 December 19, 2015 (10:39 am)

    I’m actually involved in a Secret Santa for one of the families in one of the motor homes, to make sure their 2 year old & 8 year old can have a holiday. As well as a few needs for the parents.

  • Marty December 19, 2015 (10:43 am)

    This has been going on for several years on Harbor Avenue near Salty’s and the boat ramp. It also impacts parking for the water taxi. The gross part is that they have no sewer connections. Where does it go?

  • M December 19, 2015 (11:14 am)

    I don’t understand. Is it like a nomadic pack that travels in RVs together? I agree with @Aa. It’s not so much the parking that is in the issue but more the garbage and drug activity that is the problem.

  • flimflam December 19, 2015 (11:18 am)

    curious if these vehicles have current tabs? license plates? emission tests?

  • newnative December 19, 2015 (11:33 am)

    Be thankful you are not subjected to this level of homelessness.

  • Wsea98116 December 19, 2015 (12:41 pm)

    You only have to follow the rules if you pay for your home.

  • Merry Christmas December 19, 2015 (12:59 pm)

    How about some compassion during these cold dark days before the holidays?

    How about the health club open their doors (after hours maybe) for these people to go for hygiene?

    How about good neighbors providing trash cans and clean-up?

    How about the city allowing a Honeybucket for these caravans? The one at my construction site costs about $100 per month and all are welcome to use it.

    Maybe start a collection here or at the health club for these unfortunate people.

    Thank you Sandal42

    • WSB December 19, 2015 (1:11 pm)

      to the person who asked about current plates – We just drove by, slowly. We’re hoping to spot somebody to talk to eventually if we keep passing by when we’re in North Delridge – I’m interested in some of the questions others have asked, such as, is this a group that moves from spot to spot? Anyway, we saw one expired plate out of eight there currently. Rest are all 2016 tabs. And regarding “paying for homes” – why would you assume anyone in an RV hasn’t paid for it? People do live in RVs. We had one on the parking strip across from our house on a residential street for about two weeks. Turned out she had a friend nearby and is traveling the country but not necessarily staying in RV parks. – TR

  • miws December 19, 2015 (1:53 pm)

    Sandal42, newnative, and Merry Christmas;

    Thank you.


    To the point of expired plates, emissions, etc; if there is an issue of that, with any of the folks, (who quite likely can’t afford them, hence the likely main reason for the tabs being unrenewed), they are very susceptible to the only “home” they have being impounded, and with any belongings left in there, of, for example, they are at work, the library, wherever, when the towing occurs.


    Without the money to get the vehicle out of impound, and the tab getting (very) higher and higher on a daily basis. they will be forced to the greenbelts, quite possibly without even a tent.



  • GGores December 19, 2015 (2:07 pm)

    C’mon people. These folks are constantly moved from one place to another by the City. Yes, garbage is a problem. How much would it cost for a garbage truck to stop and let those folks toss there garbage in? As far as drug dealing, it happens everywhere in the city. And yes hygiene is a problem for these folks. Motor homes are self contained. They just need to find a dump facility to empty there tanks. I’ve seen them under the West Seattle bridge, seemed like a decent place for them. Not in a neighborhood not offending paranoid people, then the City kicks them out of there. Where are they supposed to go? Instead of complaining about homeless people, try to come up with a compassionate solution. There’s probably a lot of people in Seattle one paycheck away from losing there homes. What if it was you?

  • West Seattle Hipster December 19, 2015 (4:44 pm)

    This is clearly a citywide problem with “leaders” unwilling to address the issue.


    Magnolia and Ballard are also affected by it:


  • H December 19, 2015 (5:31 pm)

    It’s all over the city. I was sitting in my car responding to email right near Green Lake. Same situation, a cluster of RVs; unfortunately, I did see a string of people buying drugs from someone sitting in the RV doorway. Certainly not everyone living in an RV is selling drugs.

  • sophista-tiki December 19, 2015 (5:40 pm)

    Didnt the mayor recently declared homelessness and emergency in Seattle.

  • gifff December 19, 2015 (7:18 pm)

    I wondered where the RVs would go when they were moved out from under the Spokane St bridge. Ive read about affordable housing in the West Seattle blog so often with so many people being concerned that we need more of it. Yet, these rv people seem to have found their affordable housing and most writers don’t seem to like it. Perhaps it is the best they can do for now.

    With a little more support from the city RVs like these could be a step up for folks living on the street. A water source, some sanitary facilities, and a way to dispose of garbage. These would surely help. Currently, there seems to be plenty of unused space at pier 5. An industrial or semi-industrial spot for such semi-transitional housing might calm neighbors fears.

  • Karl December 20, 2015 (5:41 am)

    Although I am sympathetic to these peoples plight, I am glad to see they moved on from the West Seattle bridge area (again), as I commute to work via bicycle and they had parked one of their RV’s partially blocking access to the trail.

    It’s bad enough they regularly force me out into the 50+MPH street to go around the RV’s and other homeless cars, and people hanging around them on the shoulder that are always there on Myers.

  • LAintheJunction December 20, 2015 (8:39 am)

    I for one am glad that these families have found a safe haven (albeit a temporary one) in West Seattle. I agree with the others who offer a little more compassion for our homeless neighbors – we’ve heard that at least one RV holds a family with young children. How devastating must it be to not have a permanent place for your children to call home. In this season of giving, instead of chasing the RVs off our streets we could be doing more as sandal42 suggests.

  • itsokaslongas... December 20, 2015 (4:05 pm)

    If they’re people who just need a place to stay for a while, that’s fine. From what I read about RV platoons in other neighborhoods though, these residents can be disrespectful to the area by littering. And that litter includes feces and needles. So as long as the RV’ers aren’t causing problems, I don’t mind. Just hope they’re not going to abuse any good will they’re given.

    • WSB December 20, 2015 (4:32 pm)

      Driving along Andover at mid-afternoon today, we noticed the lineup was about half what we had counted when we first looked after reader inquiries on Friday.

  • alyca December 20, 2015 (6:04 pm)

    How nice to read through the comments and see that a majority of them are compassionate human beings acknowledging the complexity of homelessness and coming up with ideas on how to help, rather than judging comments and paranoia. I love living in West Seattle!

  • What the Elle December 20, 2015 (6:06 pm)

    So, what is so wrong with folks trying to stay out of your neighborhoods and other more populated spots?? These are other human beings that are living a different way than you so that means it’s bad?? I have the craziest, scariest, home OWNER neighbors and they are also humans… We cannot have compassion or understanding for others if we do not change our way of thinking… Basically, stop judging. It has no merit in the big picture. Help or worry about your own life.. Especially if it does not directly concern or affect you. This is how we can live together harmoniously…

  • WsEd December 21, 2015 (4:27 pm)

    This is symptomatic of the leadership in Seattle pushing for a gleaming metropolis.

    The homeless in RV’s have been in and around Seattle for as long as I can remember. Anyone remember when they parked in Fremont along the canal in the summers for several years before the artists were booted from the area by Suzy Burke. Some were almost permanent under the viaduct and seemed to never move.

    The RV’s reflect poorly on the gleaming shiny stuff so pressure has gradually moved them out of the core further and further into neighborhoods just as it has with the homeless encampments.

    They were able to put a wonderful facade up for quite some time in this city, but the grungy Seattle I remember has crept back. Only now it is in the neighborhoods. I guess we all live in skid row now. Enjoy your $543,500 (median home price in Seattle) skid row home citizen. And don’t call me a NIMBY unless you have personally dealt with the drugs, prostitution, and other forms of desperation that comes with these encampments. Yes there are families that need a place to live, but we can’t be blind to the problems associated with this style (and it is a civil engineered style) of homelessness. SO call me a NIMBY, but are you happy about paying for the cost of rapid over development in this city via the reduced quality of life in your neighborhood. The developers are getting a free ride here.

    • WSB December 21, 2015 (4:38 pm)

      We just drove by again while out on an errand. Only two RVs remain, toward the west end of the block.

  • Darryl January 2, 2016 (3:58 pm)

    These guys are always around, it’s a little unsightly but it’s not like they have another option. They aren’t on vacation they’re homeless. The guy that’s been staying in the dodge pickup is the one I really feel bad for.

Sorry, comment time is over.