People who remain in their cars and RVs in parking lots at Mission Bay Park could be evicted.
The San Diego Department of Parks and Recreation is set to submit a plan to the Coastal Commission to block parking lot entrances overnight.
The Parks and Recreation proposal would include the installation of night gates and signage in all parking lots in Mission Bay.
Supporters of the idea say it would reduce crime and gang activity there.
Those who lived out of their cars during the pandemic say these parking spaces are a lifeline.
Cynthia Green has the night off. Listening to music at sunset on De Anza Cove is a favorite pastime, but she does it in her car, where she also lives.
âEven with a full-time job, you can’t pay the rent,â Green said.
Green is not alone. Lee and his wife Marybelle lost their jobs a year ago due to the pandemic, then they lost their home. They used their savings to buy a motorhome to live there.
“We also have people here with kids in their cars because the rent is skyrocketing. It’s the only place they have right now is the beach. You have the free bathrooms, the free showers. That’s all we can afford at the moment, “said Vert.
This parking community has been sharing space with parents, their children and other regular visitors for over a year.
âI feel super safe. I come at all hours of the morning and evening. I never felt threatened, âsaid visitor Eszter Heins.
âIf this is their safe space, I certainly wouldn’t want to hide it from them,â said visitor Emma Gee.
Parks and Rec proposal, found on the city’s website, says closing entrances overnight addresses community concerns over gang activity, parties and illegal camping
âPeople and the police were kind to people sleeping in their cars, camper vans and stuff like that,â said parking lot resident Jacob Cherry. “Now they are connecting them to the people in Pacific Beach who are committing crimes.”
Cherry, who lost his business and home due to the death of his wife and the pandemic, has become an advocate for other parking lot residents.
He has created a page on social networks and is launching a petition.
âThese parks are for the entire city and county of San Diego. They’re not just for people who live in Mission Beach and complain on Nextdoor.com, âCherry said.
The doors would cost taxpayers $ 6,000 each.
The proposed closing times are between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m., or from midnight to 6 a.m.
The Parks and Recreation Council, Mission Bay Park Committee, and Pacific Beach City Council support the move.
All night gate closures and parking restrictions in a coastal area must first be approved by the Coastal Commission.