As street homelessness spikes countywide, Chula Vista seems to be experiencing a different trend – likely fueled by policy changes.
The annual point-in-time count results announced late last month revealed the South Bay city saw a 31 percent year-over-year decrease in the number of folks living on the street or in cars and tents.
The decrease follows a change in how Chula Vista polices oversized vehicles parked in the city, and the creation of a new police team focused on homelessness.
Both Chula Vista and neighboring National City implemented oversized vehicle ordinances last year requiring permits to park RVs, trailers or other large vehicles on city streets. Both saw decreases in vehicle homelessness while the rest of the region saw a slight increase.
Other cities, including San Diego, already had measures on the books.
We Stand Up for You. Will You Stand Up for Us?
Why not charge storage fees for any vehicle left overnight on city streets? This would have many beneficial effects. It would:
- Make the streets safer (parked cars create line of sight problems)
- Eliminate visual blight
- Make street sweeping more effective
- Provide a revenue source to the city (voluntary taxes like this are the best kind)
- Create jobs by strengthening the market for vehicle storage (it's tough to compete with something that's subsidized)
- Discourage mini-dorms and Airbnb rentals
- Encourage people to clean out their garages so they can park their cars there