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Should Lawrence City Commissioners approve an ordinance to make it illegal for long-term campers to set up living quarters in public parking spots in front of South Park?

Response Percent Votes
Yes
 
77% 786
No
 
19% 198
Not sure
 
2% 24
Total 1008

Comments

pace 2 years, 6 months ago

Pretty soon it will be against the law for homeless families to live in their car. I hate to see all the law against the homeless, don't offer food, don't let them sit or stand. If the law applied to all, then they would be more careful with their law but it isn't applied to all . It is an old old story, making being poor against the law.

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Jonathan Fox 2 years, 6 months ago

First off, your slippery slope fallacy is invalid to say that just because the city doesn't want an ugly plywood fort on a trailer with a crap bucket behind it parked next to where kids play equals an attack on homeless people.

Move out of Lawrence and you'd be hard pressed to find a city that has spent the MILLIONS of dollars it is spending on the new homeless shelter, given the size of Lawrence.

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deec 2 years, 6 months ago

The city has nothing better to do than write an ordinance targeting two people, one of whom is a disabled veteran. Nice.

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Gotalife 2 years, 6 months ago

Deec, you are totally missing the point here...It is not just about this one man's choices, but the choices and concerns of the many. According to this poll, your opinion is at the bottom of the heap.

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Liberty275 2 years, 6 months ago

Top of the heap. Heaps are inverted cones in shape so the smaller part will be on top.

Both sides have valid points. But the more-laws group fails to convince me it's worth giving up more of our freedom to address a non-problem.

Given the situation, I'd leave the campers alone and frankly I ashamed the city for considering such a petty ordinance.

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Gotalife 2 years, 6 months ago

Not sure I understand how anyone in their right mind can call this a non-issue. It's nasty, it's embarrassing, it's unsanitary, it's an eye sore, it's defiant, it's a safety hazard for anyone trying to see around it as they cross the street, and it is simply a statement by those who live in it and nothing more. It's absolutely ridiculous!

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asixbury 2 years, 6 months ago

So if it were a nice, new camper you wouldn't mind? The bucket is for donations and suggestions while the man who lives there plays his guitar and entertains passer-bys.

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jafs 2 years, 6 months ago

I find many things people do to be nasty, embarrassing, an eye sore, and defiant. Should I be able to make laws prohibiting all of those?

If it's unsanitary and a safety hazard, then there are almost certainly laws on the books about those that could be enforced, no?

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Randall Barnes 2 years, 6 months ago

who and what are they hurting ? no one and nothing. just a waste of tax payers money even thinking about an ordinance.

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RoeDapple 2 years, 6 months ago

We need our government to regulate every heartbeat, every breath, every thought. Otherwise how will we live up to their higher standards?

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asixbury 2 years, 6 months ago

+1. The same people complaining on here also complain about big government....talk about hypocrites. It's not pretty to look at, so we should ban it. Maybe if they all walked a mile in these men's shoes, they wouldn't be so quick to judge.

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Richard Ballard 2 years, 6 months ago

A bum by any other name smells as sweet. So does a bucket of human waste setting in the street next to a historic park.

It's about time the city fixed this unsanitary eyesore once and for all.

rc

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asixbury 2 years, 6 months ago

That bucket is for donations....assume much? Just ask the guy and he will tell you all about it. Live and let live. If it causes no harm, than why waste taxpayers money just because the trailer isn't as nice and new as some people would prefer?

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Kendall Simmons 2 years, 6 months ago

Sorry, but I don't think the City owes it to anyone to provide mobile home lots on city streets. Not even if they're homeless. Not even if they're disabled veterans. Not even if they show ingenuity.

(As an aside, shouldn't the disabled vet be receiving disability benefits? If he is, that would give him significantly more financial resources than a lot of homeless folks I know have.)

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Kendall Simmons 2 years, 6 months ago

Well, getting disability payments is based on disability, not just on being a veteran :-)

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asixbury 2 years, 6 months ago

It is actually quite difficult to get on government disability. They almost always get denied the first several tries. I know this from family experience. My uncle had to hire a lawyer, and for some reason, he now qualifies. It only took him a total of 4 tries, and did not succeed until a lawyer was involved.

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3up3down 2 years, 6 months ago

I like the parking meter ideas. Use the money, buy them a one way bus fare out of Dodge. Time to clean up the City before it becomes a huge slum with portable shanties on wheels parked where ever.

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gccs14r 2 years, 6 months ago

We have a KOA. No need to permit streetside camping. And what are these guys claiming as a permanent address for vehicle registration, insurance, and driver's license? And is the trailer tagged? Any trailer with a GWR over 2,000 lbs. has to be tagged.

The problem with helping the homeless is that if you're too good at it, homeless folks from other cities will migrate to yours. The last thing we need is for 60-70 vehicles to show up every summer and take all the long-term spots downtown. And what's currently an eyesore and minor sanitation problem will quickly morph into a major health hazard with rivers of excrement running down the gutters.

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deec 2 years, 6 months ago

KOA is a for profit business. They charge. There are no "rivers of waste, unless you count the drunk college kids urinating in the streets every weekend. These men are hurting no one. The city is making a law targettng two humans. This is wrong. They are violating no laws, so the city is wasting valuable time and resources to make a law for them to be in violation of so they can be harassed.

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gccs14r 2 years, 6 months ago

Two today, ten tomorrow, 200 by June? Word will spread and we'll have slop buckets hanging from the backs of dilapidated vehicles all over downtown if we don't stop this now. And yes, the KOA is a business that specifically caters to vehicle dwellers. They probably have weekly rates.

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Gotalife 2 years, 6 months ago

Are you kidding me? It is pretty obvious that these men are putting their nasty life choice in the faces of local authorities by parking right there on the very spot where they are located. Of all the places they could be, they decide to plant themselves near the police station in the middle of one of the busiest areas of town. What a joke!

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Gotalife 2 years, 6 months ago

My above comments are directed at Deec

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booyalab 2 years, 6 months ago

Get rid of public property and it won't be an issue.

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grammarrodeo 2 years, 6 months ago

If nothing else, please write an ordinance against the poo bucket. That's just sound public policy regardless of party affiliation or absurd fringe ideology.

While we're voting I'd think we could look at ordinances in other cities that won't allow RV owners (or big rig owners) to park their RV on their own property without it being garaged or behind a fence. That doesn't just target the free-riders but everyone with an enormous eyesore vehicle parked on our public streets.

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juma 2 years, 6 months ago

Puleeezzze. Homeless??!!! I lived in Somalia for over 20 years. You want to see 'homeless' go there. I have NO time for these 'wannabes' here in the middle of America; move out and/or pay tax!!!

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prairie_girl 2 years, 6 months ago

I have no problem with these two men parking their RV's and living in them. However, I do think they could park them someplace besides in front of the park on one of our main streets. Are their no vacant lots in town they can park in? Maybe even the lake? They both must receive some kind of income and get it at a PO box since they have no street address.

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kugrad 2 years, 6 months ago

I agree. Is it too much to ask for them not to move their location from time to time? The guy with the trailer got himself in this mess by parking there every single day. The RV is just an eyesore. I wonder if those in favor of letting them just set up their home right there in front of a beautiful park would feel that way if the fleet of 2 grew to a fleet of 25? To the guys who are living there - could you please just not park right on Mass every day? Could you just move about to some different parks on different days? I know my family, who lives nearby, is tired of looking at that RV already. It's a real eyesore. Just move around a bit more, that's all it would take to make this right.

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Richard Heckler 2 years, 6 months ago

These campers must pay taxes after all they own vehicles and they probably generate sales taxes with their spending.

And they are not at this location 24/7. There is a local ordinance that prevents any vehicle from parking on any public street more than 48 or 72 hours without being moved. Be careful what one wishes for...

What if a 2-4 RV Senior Citizen motorcade wants to stop over for a few days near the park, which is not unusual, shall we chase them off as well? Seniors love their homes on wheels as they move from climate to climate.

In reality who are they bothering? I suggest they new shiny Airstreams and Winnebagos that will beautify Lawrence.

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Richard Heckler 2 years, 6 months ago

I suggest they BUY new shiny Airstreams and Winnebagos that will beautify Lawrence.

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Flap Doodle 2 years, 6 months ago

Who is "they" in this post, merrill? You seem to be very good at telling other people how to spend their money.

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Richard Heckler 2 years, 6 months ago

An RV is an eyesore? Says who? By what standards?

Some SUV's are downright ugly according to my standards and take up way too much space. In fact backing out of a downtown parking space has become a threat to safety because I cannot see through those monsters.

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grammarrodeo 2 years, 6 months ago

The reason for those ordinances tends to be the size of the vehicle vertically blocks a view/natural light from reaching neighboring properties. Easements prevent constructing there, but if someone puts a mobile home there it has the same effect of constructing there.

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asixbury 2 years, 6 months ago

It does not in any way keep people from enjoying the park. My family from out of town noticed those campers. They did not think anything of it; they were just wondering if there was some event in town that would attract campers. I told them the story behind it; they thought the campers were clever for beating the system.

They are not a nuisance. The one guy in the grey trailer is actually quite entertaining when playing his guitar and singing. The bucket is used for donations, by the way. I asked. The guy is not so scary when you view him as just another human.

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Joe Hyde 2 years, 6 months ago

I voted YES in the poll. The city streets bordering South Park are there to help attract and enable temporary public recreation, not permanent private habitation.

The sort of long term camping that's been conducted by the folks in those trailers at South Park is appropriate only in parks specifically designed and outfitted for that type of use (e.g., Clinton State Park and the federal campgrounds at Clinton Lake).

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Gotalife 2 years, 6 months ago

WELL, the Yes votes have it! Head em' up, move em' out!! LOL

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jafs 2 years, 6 months ago

Sure, because the majority is always right.

Oh wait, that's not exactly true.

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Rae Smith Evans 2 years, 6 months ago

my concern is not that they are on a public street. My concern is that they are staying in front of a park where children are playing. Even if these men are harmless, the next might not be. I have no problem whatsoever with them choosing to live in their trailer parked on the street. The ordinance should limit how close to a park, school, etc that this is allowed. We have to protect children the best that we can.

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missjai 2 years, 6 months ago

I don't really care if these guys want to live in a trailer but I don't think they should be able to stay in front of the park, there are children playing and just because these guys aren't pervs doesn't mean there aren't others. Also, why would they even want to park there I mean find somewhere else less obvious cuz clearly people have noticed lol

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asixbury 2 years, 6 months ago

Private driveways are a whole different story than a public street. He could park it on my street and I would not care. Especially if he entertained us with his music every once in a while.

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jonas_opines 2 years, 6 months ago

No need for an ordinance, just have the city start charging them rent for the use of city property.

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asixbury 2 years, 6 months ago

Just adjust the ordinance to exclude the parking spots in a certain proximity to schools and playgrounds. I can see why parents would be concerned, even if these men are harmless.

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JackMcKee 2 years, 6 months ago

look, it's simple. These people are the very reason we have laws. There is always some jerk that if you give an inch, they'll take a mile. This guy is too clever by a half. I'm sure he's been running into this exact same situation his entire life. You know what they say about doing the same thing repeatedly but expecting different results.

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