Imports & Domestics: San Francisco Might Have to Kill Its 1971 Ban on Car-Dwelling

By Rachel Swan : sfweekly – excerpt

Utah-born entrepreneur Austen Allred became something of a local folk hero last summer, after living for three months in a two-door Honda Civic while launching his startup in Silicon Valley

Allred is an outlier among car-dwellers: He’s now running a moderately successful Web company with $50,000 in reserves. Most of the newly, partly, or perennially homeless are far less fortunate; they aren’t ingratiating themselves with venture capitalists; they don’t have the option to abscond to an apartment in Utah. Moreover, they’re contending with a 43-year-old ordinance in San Francisco — and a newly proposed law in Palo Alto — that make it illegal to live in a vehicle…

That might change in light of a recent 9th Circuit decision to strike down a Los Angeles law against vehicle-dwelling. Ruling that the law was “unconstitutionally vague” and likely to promote discrimination, the federal appeals court set a precedent for any city trying to eradicate this swath of the homeless population…

It could be a huge point of contention in San Francisco, where, in 2012, the city also added an additional ban against overnight parking of large vans and trailers, which created transient communities along the Great Highway and the outer lip of Golden Gate Park. Here of course, housing prices and a fecund tech economy have created a perfect storm for the Austen Allreds of the world… (more)

Maybe San Francisco could consider investing a relatively meager amount to establish a car park with facilities for people lucky enough to own a motor vehicle car to live in as a few other cities have done. It is a lot cheaper than building low income housing and would take a lot less time to complete. Of course their would be less money for developers and banks.