A smattering of RVs permanently camped on Bernal Heights Boulevard has grown larger, and now City Hall says they’ll enforce a long-forgotten 27-year-old ban on overnight parking on the street.

Much like the illegal vending bazaar at 24th Street BART, the recent rash of a dozen or so RVs camped along Bernal Heights Boulevard is a new, thorny issue that only popped up during the pandemic. And you can see why RV dwellers would camp there — it’s got a gorgeous view from just outside Bernal Heights Park, and there isn’t as much street cleaning that would require vehicles to be moved.

But enough residents of the normally quiet neighborhood have recently complained that KPIX now reports that the city plans to ban overnight parking on Bernal Heights Boulevard, effective March 28.

Image: Bernalwood: Discussion via Facebook

The above notice was posted on RV windshields on the street on February 27, reading “Parking Restrictions Returning to This Street, Enforcement Will Begin Soon.”

"They're very nice people, but for four years, they've been here,” a neighborhood resident named Mark told KPIX. “There's no place for them to take a shower. They throw their garbage. This is not how they should be treated."

But the reality is that overnight parking was always banned on that particular stretch of Bernal Heights Boulevard, it was just never enforced.

The Chronicle reported in late February that the city turned up a 27-year-old law old law that showed overnight parking was banned on the street. So now the city says they'll start enforcing the ban in late March, as residents have complained of the RV dwellers' dogs running loose, blackwater sewage being dumped openly, and some of the RVs being on blocks instead of wheels, indicating they’re not going anywhere.

The RV dwellers are being offered slots at the Candlestick Point RV triage center, though many are not keen to take it. “You feel like you’re being forced into a refugee camp,” Bernal Heights RV resident Armando Bravo Martinez told the Chronicle. (He’s also given interviews on the topic to Mission Local, the SF Standard, and El Tecolote.) He said the Candlestick facility is “a great idea for policymakers, but not for those who have to live there.”

That Candlestick RV center does offer running water connections, showers, electricity, and security, all things that are not available on Bernal Heights Boulevard.

But Mayor London Breed’s spokesperson Jeff Cretan told the Chronicle that “A lot of [Bernal RV folks] aren’t interested,” and they don’t consider themselves homeless.

The city cannot compel people to move to an RV shelter, leaving city officials to feel that their only option is to crack down on the overnight parking ban. But that will only work if they enforce the ban for the first time in 27 years.

Related: Bayview RV Triage Center Extension Approved, But Critics Howling Over Its Very High Cost [SFist]

Image: Google Street View