A new law banning oversized vehicles from parking overnight on city streets might have fueled the creation of an unauthorized campground in Mission Bay. People who live in cars and recreational vehicles have increasingly settled on Fiesta Island. Now the city’s stepping up enforcement.
What makes Fiesta Island great for so many people is you can do many different things there, from shooting rockets to letting your dog swim to having a bonfire. Now, it’s become a place to settle for those in RVs and campers with few other options.
For weeks this summer, dozens of people have parked their campers and cars along the Mission Bay island’s western shoreline during the day and overnight, inspiring complaints about blight, safety and trash.
A new ordinance barring large vehicles from parking on city streets overnight may be contributing to the phenomenon.
Camping is not allowed but the new residents of Fiesta Island stay in large vans, trucks and RVs – some sun-faded and others, likely owned by tourists, still shining – packed with their belongings and pets. As the sun set Wednesday night, nearly 30 vehicles had stopped on the beach, along with another 40 smaller cars and trucks.
Some planned to stay for a few hours or a night. Others may have parked there for days or even weeks at a time. One evening last week, police towed 10 vehicles after warning those who remained that it’s illegal to park on the island between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m.