UPDATE: ‘RV remediation’ planned for SW Andover

ORIGINAL REPORT, MONDAY NIGHT: Last Wednesday afternoon, just before the long holiday weekend, “No Parking” signs went up along the stretch of SW Andover where more than a dozen RVs are usually parked along the south side of Nucor Steel (a source of growing concern for the plant, as reported here two months ago).

(WSB photo, Wednesday night)

The infosheet that accompanied the signs cited only “RV remediation,” Because of the holiday, we were not able to reach city departments until today to ask what that will involve. Seattle Public Utilities is the lead agency, so here’s what spokesperson Sabrina Register tells us:

Seattle Public Utilities’ RV Remediation Program works to reduce negative impacts to public health and safety by removing garbage and debris from roads, sidewalks, and the public right-of-way near RVs. This effort started initially as a pilot in November 2017 in Seattle’s SODO neighborhood.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, program staff observed safety protocols and best practices based on guidance from health experts, including maintaining social distancing during cleanups of areas impacted by RVs. SPU staff passed out purple trash bags to assist people with cleaning around their vehicles and aimed to gain voluntary compliance from RV owners.

In October 2021, the program ramped up to engage RV occupants to voluntarily move their RVs, which allows crews to clean and remove garbage, waste and immobile, unoccupied vehicles that pose a major health and safety risk. 

Days prior to a clean, staff trained to support RV occupants connect with them to let them know about an upcoming remediation clean, so the occupants can prepare to move their vehicle on the morning of the clean. If an RV is occupied but inoperable, staff work through our community partners to try to assist that person, including help with a battery jump, fuel, or a spare tire. SPU’s goal is 100% compliance with RV relocation in order to remove garbage and debris, plus address any fluids or materials that could enter a storm drain. RVs that are abandoned, derelict or pose a public health risk may be towed on a case-by-case basis.

The RV Remediation clean taking place along the 2400-2600 blocks SW Andover will involve multiple City departments, including SPU, SDOT and SPR.

The “No Parking” signs that went up Wednesday (but were not in view this afternoon) were dated tomorrow through Sunday, so it’s not clear what day the work will happen; we’ll go by periodically but if you see it in progress, please let us know if you can – 206-293-6302 text or voice.

BACKSTORY: We first reported on the RV parking on Andover almost six years ago.

ADDED TUESDAY MORNING, 11:11 AM: Thanks to everyone who texted to say it appears the work is beginning. We went by and all we saw was one junk-hauling truck working right at the corner of Andover/28th, with a Parking Enforcement Officer there to direct traffic.

The truck was labeled South Elmgrove; a company by that name is listed online as a city contractor for junk pickup. We’ll be checking back in a few hours.

WEDNESDAY NOTE: We checked back at 3:30 pm Tuesday, no sign of further activity. Went by again just before 10 am today, and junk-hauling trucks are back but no other activity in view.

WEDNESDAY NOTE #2: A reader who works nearby saw at least one RV being towed. We went back over around 3:15 pm, no activity but there seemed to be a larger gap on the north side of Andover – 12 RVs total on Andover and 28th. Tonight another reader reports the RVs all have been tagged.

61 Replies to "UPDATE: 'RV remediation' planned for SW Andover"

  • Derek November 29, 2021 (5:24 pm)

    This is bad. I’m booing. There’s nothing going on over here and it’s much better than having people on the streets. 

    • skeeter November 30, 2021 (1:07 pm)

      Do you think the employees and managers of Nucor Steel  would agree with your assessment of “There’s nothing going on over here?”  I’m not trying to be a wise guy.  

    • Amanda November 30, 2021 (1:10 pm)

      Derek, you must not live in the neighborhood, huh? I live less than a block away, and I can assure you, things are BAD here. It’s very necessary to remove this encampment. 

    • Blbl November 30, 2021 (1:15 pm)

      @Derek:  That is just not true. The health club and its members have endured multiple incidents, including significant damage that closed parts of the gym for weeks or months. There are fires, syringes, and garbage strewn everywhere. You’re entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts. 

    • 1994 November 30, 2021 (9:57 pm)

      Those people are literally living on the street ! 

  • Auntie November 29, 2021 (5:50 pm)

    So far nothing has been done and not one vehicle has moved – drove by there today.

  • Lagartija Nick November 29, 2021 (6:25 pm)

    I just drove by the area and it looks like the residents of the RV’s moved all of the No Parking signs around the corner to line 26th.

  • Jeepney November 29, 2021 (6:45 pm)

    Enough is enough.

  • Pete November 29, 2021 (6:46 pm)

    Maybe the authorities can check out all the bikes, grills, garden furniture etc that is piled up in amongst the rvs. It would be cool if anything stolen was returned.

  • NoticedSomethingWalking November 29, 2021 (7:31 pm)

    An RV Remediation Clean may occur at the SW Marginal Place encampment (the one with the recent fire) simultaneously. I walked by there and noticed “No Parking” signs also dated tomorrow through Sunday. The signs were piled in the cul-de-sac.

    • WSB November 29, 2021 (7:47 pm)

      Thanks. Hadn’t gotten any tips about that one and haven’t been up there since the day after the recent fire.

  • Spooled November 29, 2021 (8:00 pm)

    About bloody time!  If they’re going to live in vehicles, they need to keep it IN the vehicle, not outside and around the vehicle, and the vehicle moves every 72 hours.  Good start.  Keep it up.  Do Cambridge St.  Barton St.  and Henderson St.  next!

    • Patience November 30, 2021 (8:39 am)

      YES, please include Cambridge, Barton, and Henderson (between 15th and 16th Ave S.W.).I have to walk in the middle of the street if I want to walk down any of those blocks.  One rig has even set up a couple tarps between his rig and the neighboring corner fence, rope is actually tied to this neighbor’s fence. I feel for this neighbor as this is a form of trespassing.  Plus all the crap that is piled along the whole sidewalk.   One of our neighbors located his daughter’s bike in the pile – he was threatened while retrieving it.

    • S November 30, 2021 (9:02 am)

      Agreed. You can’t even walk through Barton or Cambridge anymore due to the RV’s and the attached tents. It is crazy that the city is trying to set up a neighborhood greenway down Barton when you literally cannot walk through it. Hopefully Highland Park gets some relief soon. 

  • Mel November 29, 2021 (8:09 pm)

    I drove by today as well and only noticed more tents that had popped up. Hoping they move soon. It’s getting ridiculous.

    • bolo November 30, 2021 (12:52 am)

      I feel bad for these folks– they are, after all, fellow human beings on this planet we share together at this time.

      I only recently figured out that this country was built on homelessness. From the beginning, that’s what the pioneers (colonists?) did to the first nations peoples. Made them homeless. Everything built on that. Is my logic flawed?

      I did count 18 RVs there and around the corner yesterday 5pm, not including non-RV vehicles or tents.

      • Mel November 30, 2021 (5:02 am)

        I can’t speak to that. What I do know is that my child goes to daycare next door and I drive by the RVs twice per day. Yesterday there was some sort of verbal argument taking place in the middle of the street at 8am and the number of stolen bikes I see riding up to that place every morning is ridiculous. Yes these are humans and yes they should be offered services for help. Unlike a lot of people in this city I don’t buy into the belief that we should just let people camp wherever they want…especially when it starts impacting businesses. In my case, it’s my child’s daycare I worry about. And yes I do think the safety of these kids comes first. 

  • Brian November 29, 2021 (8:14 pm)

    Oh wow they came up with a fun buzzword for “sweeps” really fast. Impressive. 

  • flimflam November 29, 2021 (8:57 pm)

    If the vehicles are inoperable I also assume they aren’t insured, have current tabs or could pass an emissions test. What is the city’s official stance on that, I wonder?

    • Duffy November 29, 2021 (10:09 pm)

      Hahahahaha. What’s their “stance” on that? It’s clearly “we won’t ticket those that can’t pay, only those that can. How else will we raise infraction revenues?” In other words taxpaying rule-following citizens like you and I pay…

      • bill November 30, 2021 (1:09 am)

        What infractions would you pay for if you truly are a rule-following citizen?

        • Pelicans November 30, 2021 (2:35 am)

          I pay for not moving my vehicle every 72 hours because I have 4 days off work at a time and don’t go anywhere. Even more so since Covid. I pay when I underestimate parking time downtown. How about that?

          • Duffy November 30, 2021 (8:11 am)

            This is what I was getting at…

          • Brian November 30, 2021 (2:40 pm)

            If this is routinely happening to you then it’s 100% because your neighbors are calling it in. Might be something worth ruminating on?

    • Carnofcarnage November 29, 2021 (10:22 pm)

      I assume that once sombodys home and all of their possessions get towed away, you will also be one of the first to complain about a new tent campsite that just popped up on your sidewalk, or of them shoplifting food to get by, or maybe even just being disrespectfull too you because they have given up on life.I wonder what remarks could be made about your living situation if we turned the spotlight on you as well

      • D-burger December 2, 2021 (8:12 pm)

        What is your solution then, carnofcarnage? Just “let it be?”

    • 1994 November 29, 2021 (10:34 pm)

      Emissions tests are a thing of the past in WA State – no longer needed. More concerning is what waste they are dumping on the streets and the garbage piles that grow by the day around the RVs.

  • eric November 29, 2021 (9:30 pm)

    I’m sure Nucor is delighted. After paying millions in taxes for 6 years, the city and three agencies $$$$ might finally do something on a case by case basis.  How nice. Meanwhile I just paid $464 for my new car tabs.  Parking enforcement has no problem putting a chalk line on my tire, but these RV’s?  No, they’re sacred, for they are not privileged like lucky me.

    • Pelicans November 30, 2021 (2:44 am)

      City of Seattle -Different law enforcement and different standards for different people. 

  • Simple November 29, 2021 (9:57 pm)

    RV instead coming to your neighborhood and parking in front of your homes, instead of where they are parked now- that’s what is going to happen! Just look around and drive through certain neighborhoods and you will see homeless people living in RV in front of people homes. 

    • Derek November 30, 2021 (4:58 am)

      One lives out in front of me. I ask if he wants food a lot and share jokes. I don’t get what the problem is? NIMFY? It’s silly. Let people live in RVs.  beats the streets.

      • Mel November 30, 2021 (8:45 am)

        The problem? The problem is the criminal activity taking place in and around these motor homes. Lots of needles on the ground as well which is a hazard to anyone in the neighborhood. Sorry but I’m not going to feel badly for wanting these people moved. Doesn’t mean I don’t support getting them help and into housing. 

        • Derek November 30, 2021 (3:36 pm)

          There’s no criminal activities happening around the ones I see. Maybe stop generalizing?? Criminals commit white collar crimes every day and don’t go to jail.

          • Mel December 2, 2021 (5:02 pm)

            You have no clue what you’re talking about. My child goes to daycare next door. I literally see the activity every day. 

          • D-burger December 2, 2021 (8:15 pm)

            Again, Derek needs to understand the real reality, and not propose that his limited experiences are the facts. I too see these rvs day and night, and their patrons, and have observed illegal behavior on several occasions. I’d go so far to say that there is an element of an organized crime ring at work. Not everyone, but enough of them that remediation is absolutely necessary.

  • M November 29, 2021 (11:01 pm)

    So they temporarily move and then they will be back after the city housekeeper cleans up their “room”.

  • Kathy November 29, 2021 (11:45 pm)

    So things are dripping from these RVs and adding to pollution? What about all the other fuel and oil burning vehicles people are driving around in? During the rainstorm the other day, there were oil slicks running out of vehicles parked on Alki Ave SW and in the alley behind Cactus and going into the street drains, probably straight into Puget Sound. These were likely not poor people’s vehicles. Before pointing the finger maybe we should examine our own  behavior. The oil and gas industry loves it when we buy and burn their products.

    • Jort November 30, 2021 (9:30 am)

      Great points, Kathy. These are the same car drivers who decry people who “don’t follow the rules” but then 99.9999 percent of them violate the speed limit every single time they drive, always. “Enforce the rules I care about, but not the ones I don’t like.”

  • JES November 30, 2021 (8:15 am)

    This story leaves a pretty big question for me: they’re being asked to move- to where exactly? 

  • ImNotSpartacus November 30, 2021 (8:23 am)

    Folks might want to read the letter that was sent to the mayor by Nucor’s general manger. Here’s an excerpt: “ I have personally been the subject of a threat against my life by an occupant of the encampment that entered and refused to leave an office building at the Nucor facility.There are large quantities of garbage, debris, and waste present in the encampment. Used needles have been discarded onto the Nucor Seattle property. Additionally, based on observations from our teammates, security personnel, and discussions with our neighbors, we believe that the encampment has created criminal activity beyond illegal substance abuse, including trespassing, assault, theft, prostitution, drug dealing, and illegal metal scrapping activities. Instances of trespassing on our property, related theft, and damage to fencing have all increased significantly during the time that the encampment has been located along our fence line. It was acknowledged directly to me by the same occupant of the encampment that threatened my life that he and fellow occupants often enter our facility at night. This is further corroborated by the fact that there have been 15 instances of holes cut in our perimeter fencing to gain illegal access to our property that required repair in 2021.”

    The letter in its entirety can be read here: https://westseattleblog.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/RV-Encampment-Letter-6.2.21.pdf

  • Joe Z November 30, 2021 (9:13 am)

    It appears half of these commenters did not even read the post, nowhere in there does it say the RVs are being forced out, they are just temporarily moving them out of the way so they can clean out the garbage and abandoned ones. That seems reasonable given the unfortunate reality of the situation.

  • Cranky November 30, 2021 (12:16 pm)

    about time for  cleanup. won’t deal with their behavior tho.   read nucor letter… ugh awful. not nice people

    • Derek November 30, 2021 (3:38 pm)

      And we’re to assume a Fortune 500 company’s employee is truthful and correct in their assessments and judgements? Hmm. I don’t assume that.

      • Tyr1001 December 1, 2021 (7:15 am)

        Derek, a handful of comments prior you got after someone for generalizing. Your apologist attitude is tiresome. It is not open for debate whether crime occurs their or not, It most certainly does. Drive by and you will see equipment with Nucor and other businesses’ name on it. Nucor employees and others have been victimized by at least some inhabitants of that pile almost since it began. They are tired of cleaning up needles and literal piles of human waste where they are supposed to work an honest and difficult job

        • D-burger December 2, 2021 (8:16 pm)

          Derek, I can assure you, the Nucor employees are being truthful. One of the key tenets of being a Nucor employee is integrity – if you don’t have it, you won’t last long there.

  • Scot Bastian November 30, 2021 (12:27 pm)

    It would be interesting to know how much the cost to the city for remediation compares to just putting up the folks into housing. 

  • Dragonfly November 30, 2021 (5:26 pm)

    As someone who lives a few blocks from the encampment I have a few comments and questions.  First of all the idea that it is better that they live there than on the street. They are literally living on the street. Half of them are in tents or living in cars. Second how do you know they haven’t already been offered housing?  Housing comes with restrictions that I’m guessing they are not willing to abide with. There is a trailer piled with probably an eight foot tall column of bikes. Where are they getting those from? When was the last time you saw a bike for free? Not to mention all the other stuff that is there.  Do you think they are getting it all off the for free listings on Craigslist? The drug use and dealing is rampant. I have come across individuals with needles in their arms and the Longfellow trail was once littered with pieces of burnt foil until a brave volunteer cleanup crew picked them up. And so far no one has mentioned the explosion of the rat population surrounding the site. Just my two cents. And to end on a positive note, like  Fauntleroy Creek,, the number of salmon in Longfellow Creek this year is probably record breaking.

  • Business owner November 30, 2021 (6:53 pm)

    Trash ridden, crime ridden, RV parks= tax paying businesses that don’t discriminate.  Basically- if those who feel that these people (who won’t take help with services and housing) should continue to break the law…Well I hope you are OK with businesses that don’t want to check vaccination status at the door.  Think about the irony.  “They can’t be shut down, they are humans!” but my business will be subject to fines and then forced to close if I allow people to enjoy themselves regardless of vaccination.  ALL FOR OUR SAFETY.  Seattle has lost their minds… especially since we are paying the taxes to pay for these services.

    • Wseattleite November 30, 2021 (10:09 pm)

      Well said with sound logic. Truly a crazy train. 

  • Audifans December 1, 2021 (11:35 am)

    well it’s voluntary. (in typical seattle fashion).  So what’s the big deal about requesting them to move for cleanup? 

  • 1994 December 1, 2021 (10:25 pm)

    The entire road shoulder stretch along the steel plant should be designated a park and ride for people to park and catch the bus on Delridge.  The RV’s were tagged last reported check Dec 1. Are any gone besides the 1 noted in the Wed update? 

    • 1971 December 2, 2021 (3:44 pm)

      No new RVs have moved since the one they removed. I live less then a block away and am tired of them and their thieving. My husband’s work van has been broken into 5 times in the last 18 months. Link rent-a-scooters won’t even leave them in this neighborhood anymore because they end up ripping out the batteries and piling them up near the pile of bicycles. Drives me nuts because parking tickets are being written to residents who live in this neighborhood but not to the RVs a block away. A week ago I was walking along Longfellow Creek and a man was defacing park signs and then peed right into the creek. This is not ok. 

  • smh December 2, 2021 (5:26 pm)

    the real question is how we prevent them from coming back once the city is done with their “cleaning”????i live nearby these meth enthusiasts and im so sick of them terrorizing the neighborhood with their dirty, stinky, toxic selves. i guess this is just the expectation in seattle for a law abiding tax paying citizen… contribute positively to society OH and also make sure you clean up the mounds of literal human feces in your front lawn, since defecating free willy nilly is acceptable for addicts. make sure to pay your trash bill too since picking up the poo is also a cost to you. tf???

  • Carnofcarnage December 2, 2021 (7:28 pm)

    Nobody will allow these people to use A restroom. Are they suposed to hold it indefinitely? Or maybe hop the bus to go pee in a poor neighborhood that isnt yours

    • Auntie December 2, 2021 (7:51 pm)

      If the city is going to continue to allow these encampments, then they need to provide sanitation services – porta-potties and hand-washing stations. Now, whether or not some of these people who do not want help would use them is another question. Just like the trash bags that are provided but not used. You can only do so much.

      • Carnofcarnage December 3, 2021 (6:58 pm)

        Oh no, but we cant do that. If we give these people what they need that would be saying it is ok for these people to exist, and we would also not be able to complain about them peeing on a bush. Restrooms for these lower then us people would be ridiculous and out of the question. Dumpsters too, cant beleive we allready gave them trash bags, geesh

  • hmm December 7, 2021 (9:32 am)

    No changes since last week… does anyone know what is up? RVs are still there… trash still present…

  • Auntie December 11, 2021 (12:52 pm)

    And still the Leaning Tower of Bicycles. 

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