Navarro v. Mountain View

Scroll to case documents Date Filed: 07/14/2021 Status:

If you are a person who is houseless in Mountain View or one of the nearby communities and have parked or may park any vehicle that could be considered “oversized” by Mountain View, (over 6’ in height, 7’ in width, or 22’ in length) then click here to read the Class Notice describing a proposed settlement of a class action lawsuit that may affect your rights.

In July 2021, DRA, The Law Foundation of Silicon Valley, and the ACLU Foundation of Northern California joined with pro bono partners Hewlett Packard Enterprise and King & Spalding to file a lawsuit against the City of Mountain View on behalf of Mountain View residents who live in RVs and oversized vehicles. The class action lawsuit aimed to strike down a law that effectively banned RV parking within city limits.

In September 2022, DRA and partners reached a tentative settlement with the city on behalf of Mountain View residents who live in RVs and oversized vehicles. If approved by the court, the tentative settlement will provide several protections for residents living in oversized vehicles and guarantees that at least three miles of streets will be made available for oversized vehicle parking without overnight restrictions.

The class action lawsuit was first filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California last summer by six plaintiffs on behalf of all persons who live in RVs and other oversized vehicles in Mountain View. The lawsuit asserted that the citywide RV parking ban was unconstitutional, inhumane, and disproportionately impacted people with disabilities, in violation of federal and state law.

Once enforced, the ordinances would have resulted in the immediate towing of oversized vehicles found in violation of the law. These ordinances, along with other parking restrictions, would have effectively banned RVs from the vast majority of city streets. Further, the City was refusing to provide a map or other resources to inform residents of available parking. 

In addition to designating areas for oversized vehicle parking, the City has agreed to the following, which have already gone into effect:

  • From September 1 through September 20, 2022, the City distributed a map that shows restrictions based on the Ordinances and parking available to oversized vehicles.  
  • The City will commence ticketing oversized vehicles parking in violation of the ordinances starting on October 1, 2022.
  • A map will also be provided with each ticket issued.
  • The City will provide at least one parking ticket 72 hours prior to towing an oversized vehicle in violation of the Ordinances. Police officers also have the discretion to extend the time before towing for good cause.
  • The City may immediately tow a vehicle in violation of the Ordinances if it is blocking traffic, a driveway, or the oversized vehicle has previously received three tickets for parking in violation of the Ordinances.
  • People with disabilities may request a reasonable accommodation for their disability, such as more time to move their vehicle, which the City will consider in good faith.

The plaintiffs in the lawsuit all have strong ties to Mountain View—where they receive health care for chronic conditions, work in the city, or have children in the school district. They have all lived in the city for years, some for decades. Through health care, resources, family, and friends, these residents have strong support networks that they stand to lose if forced to leave the area. 

Enforcement of the RV parking ban by the city of Mountain View would have unfairly impacted people with disabilities, Spanish-speaking families, and people of color, all of whom already experience homelessness at disproportionate rates. These kinds of parking ordinances effectively punish residents for not having traditional homes or the financial ability to afford permanent housing, all while subjecting low-income residents to the constant threat of excessive fees, seizure of their home and belongings, and banishment from their community.

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