Portland business park frustrated by homeless RV squatters

Business park frustrated by homeless camps

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Business owners near Airport Way are frustrated over a growing number of derelict RVs and campers, many of them illegally parked on the street.

“We want to see these people get help but unfortunately it's becoming just too overwhelming with this area, said Chris Dalano, 'It's really discouraging.”

Dalano is vice president of IPD Company which sells Volvo Performance Parts. He’s counted up to 22 RVs outside his business on Ainsworth Circle, and he says they’re taking a toll.

Background: Portland addresses 'derelict RVs' that vex residents, businesses

“We’ve had multiple tools, very expensive tools, stolen, cars broken into, glass being shattered, gas being siphoned from gas tanks," he told KGW, "and that's not just my business.”

Across the street, Penny Haakinson can attest to that. She owns Learning Tree Day Care and says last week someone cut the gas line in one of the day care’s vans.

Haakinson says besides losing gas, her staff is losing peace of mind, having to navigate through drug paraphernalia while taking the kids on walks.

“It is an eyesore and our parents are worried,” said Haakinson. “We've had lots of parents call police.”

Dalano says he’s called the police, who often talk with the campers but can’t do much more under current city ordinances.

It’s illegal to leave them parked in a commercial area for more than four hours at a time. Dalano says he’s seen some RVs parked for weeks at a time.

“I have seen notices, but then two days later they're just pulled 40 to 50 feet away from where they were and they've set up camp again,” he said. “We try to make a safe place for our employees and unfortunately we're running out of options at this time.”

Related: 27,000 reports of abandoned cars last year 

© 2017 KGW-TV


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