The city of San Jose on Tuesday is set to open a new temporary parking site for homeless residents living in recreational vehicles, but neighbors of the new location are protesting the move, saying they were not properly notified.
The new parking site at 71 Vista Montana will offer safe parking, security, sanitation and other services to up to 20 people living in RVs, the city said.
But according to residents of the Renaissance Drive and Vista Montana neighborhoods, the site is adjacent to a child’s playground and park and in the middle of a residential neighborhood, and the city failed to properly notify residents of the proposed site. A NextDoor post from Councilman David Cohen was the first means of notification residents received about the proposed site and the planned relocation, the neighborhood group said.
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The group of residents said city officials engaged in negotiations for several months with Apple, HomeFirst, the transient community and other organizations while willfully and intentionally keeping the residents in the dark.
According to a memo by City Manager Rosalynn Hughey, the idea for the site was created when a private property owner contacted the city about a community of unsheltered residents living on their property along Component Drive in North San Jose.
HomeFirst, a Santa Clara County-based nonprofit providing services and shelter for homeless individuals, is providing temporary shelter services and case management for the individuals being relocated. It is also helping individuals with working RVs or passenger vehicles relocate to the new site.
Currently, the city plans to keep the site open for nine months starting next Tuesday -- a plan estimated to cost between $400,000 and $500,000 -- but may alter their timeline based on the residents.
Funding for the site will be provided through the American Rescue Plan stimulus bill approved by Congress and signed by President Joe Biden earlier this year.
After nine months, the city hopes to transition toward longer-term and larger-scale parking sites.
Bay City News contributed to this report.