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Elings (Trailer) Park
updated: Dec 06, 2012, 2:22 PM

By Edhat Subscriber

Are there zoning rules for recreational vehicles parked and occupied on private park property? Five trailers/motor homes have taken up residence at Elings Park in two areas, including a roped off parking lot. They've been there close to two months. There are hoses, barbecue grills, astro-turf, awnings, tables, and extension cords left out. One of the trailers appears to be connected to a huge propane tank. Surely there is a need for someone to watch over the park at night. But these multiple rigs with their set[ups make the park look more like an unsafe campground. I've heard only a rumor that these are out of state traveling "park hosts." The park has never explained who the folks are or what their job is.

Recently one of the RV owners followed a dog walker in his truck to hassle her about where she parked (though never identifying himself). So, I wanted to ask Edhat folks: Is this ad hoc trailer park legal? Is it a good idea? Does the park owe paying members an explanation of who these folks are or why they are living there?

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Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 COMMENT 350989P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-06 02:38 PM

No, it is not. Elings is not zoned for "residential" or "camping park". If they applied via a CUP, the neighbors sure were not informed.

 

 COMMENT 350992 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-06 02:40 PM

Classic first world problem...

 

 COMMENT 351003 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-06 02:56 PM

I certainly would like to know!

 

 COMMENT 351004P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-06 02:58 PM

Good Old Elings Park. Never a lack of controversy and can always be depended upon to overcharge for everything. Who's living in this unit? Security?

 

 COMMENT 351007P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-06 03:00 PM

Self-correction: Who's living in "these units?" I didn't realize it was a little enclave of RVs.

 

 COMMENT 351014 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-06 03:11 PM

To the OP ... why don't you just contact Elings to directly discuss any complaints you may have?

Phone numbers for park staff & on-duty host, including hours, are here:

www elingspark org/contact-us/

Park Office
Located at the top of Jerry Harwin Parkway
Phone (805) 569-5611
Fax (805) 569-3316
Office Hours 9 AM — 5 PM Mon — Fri

Administrative Staff

Danny Vickers
Executive Director
dvickers@elingspark.org

Marinella Baker
Marketing Director
mbaker@elingspark.org

Christina Franquet
Office Manager
cfranquet@elingspark.org

Jenny Calvin
Office Assistant
jcalvin@elingspark.org

Park Host On Duty
Phone (805) 698-7064
Evenings & weekends

 

 COMMENT 351015 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-06 03:11 PM

I was wondering about this same issue.

 

 CAPTAIN HALEY agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-06 03:32 PM

I thought Elings closed at dusk...

 

 COMMENT 351033P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-06 03:43 PM

014- i am not the op however, having tried to deal with Elings directly on other issues, i would never reccomend talking to them directly, if you are looking for facts and a straight answer. Contact CityZoning enforcement

 

 COMMENT 351055 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-06 04:40 PM

the big rv pays road taxes big time.

 

 COMMENT 351060 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-06 04:44 PM

@055 Except that from the look of it, not one of those is registered in CA.

 

 COMMENT 351062P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-06 04:45 PM

I have been harassed by one of the RV dwellers when I walk my dogs on the morning.....acting like the gestapo because the tag I paid over $100 for was left at home. It is clear to me these people are not "locals" and I have no idea why Elings is allowing them to take over the Park. I really wish the City would take the Park back.

 

 COMMENT 351085 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-06 05:15 PM

Why is there 15 units around Alice Keck - Every day - All are out of town - I live around here and pay a lot in rent - go home -

 

 COMMENT 351090 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-06 05:26 PM

I also live near Alice Keck. Where are you seeing 15 units in that area? I drive by almost daily and don't see what you claim to see.

 

 COMMENT 351141 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-06 07:08 PM

Just got back from Alice keck and didn't see them either. by the looks of the RV'S from the photos they don't look to be squatter types and surely the park watch is aware. As for an answe just go in the office and ask they are pretty friendly.

 

 COMMENT 351148 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-06 07:42 PM

The guy in the brown and white megasaurus RV introduced himself as the "winter host" when I said "Hi" back in mid September.

At that time, his rig was the only one - now there are what? three or four?

I think they are breeding.

 

 COMMENT 351159 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-06 08:03 PM

I'm puzzled why some don't want to discuss their concerns with Elings. I sense some hidden animosity.

 

 COMMENT 351218P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-07 12:29 AM

159. I sense some good sense. 033P got it right.

 

 COMMENT 351259 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-07 07:59 AM

Privatized, fee charging parks are disgusting. $100 per year for running your dog off leash? The irony is that many of the well heeled dogs are the least socialized and most prone to fight; their owners being completely clueless about dogs. Dog bless Hendry's and the Wilcox. Time to go run our rescue dogs...[never @ eilings].

 

 COMMENT 351264 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-07 08:05 AM

Don't even get me started about the RV's around town! IMHO, it is, along with the homeless who've taken over key parts of town, an example of how the city is allowing itself to slip into a bad state of affairs. I'm compassionate for the people who are truly needy, and who've been made homeless by the economy. They should get the help and services they need. But there are others who chose to live off the grid (and off others who work and pay taxes), and it is they who are cluttering the streets and driving out tourist dollars. Who's really running the city? If you don't think it's becoming a long term problem, I think you may not be looking at the issue with an open mind... this is 2012 and homesteading the West has long been a thing of the past.

 

 COMMENT 351270 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-07 08:09 AM

I'm confused. Why is it okay for State Parks to invite "park hosts" to stay longer term but not private parks? And why is it any of our business how a private organization runs it's property? And lastly why does the OP consider campgrounds unsafe if there are RVs present? That would apply to all State and Federal campgrounds that are accessible by motor vehicle.

I believe this thread is about the personal feelings the OP and others have against RVs and the prejudice that they are associated with homelessness.

 

 COMMENT 351276 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-07 08:19 AM

270: Yes, you are confused. Eling's is a park, not a campground.

 

 COMMENT 351292 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-07 08:58 AM

I think this thread is about having agreed upon rules and everyone following them. I don't think it is begrudging to RV's, just making sure they follow agreed upon rules. Regarding the privatization of parks -- would that poster rather have it an closed dump with no trespassing allowed? I think EP has done a great job of filling a niche. Personally, I have no problem with the dog fees -- it sure cuts down on the amount of dogs running loose. I'd rather recreate in a semi-dogless EP than be overrun by the doggy crowd at Wilcox.

 

 COMMENT 351335 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-07 10:33 AM

Santa Barbara is known for being hostile to RV's. RV publications cover Ventura and Santa Ynez (el cap), while skipping SB completely. There is one local RV park here located next to the freeway and railroad, and it is expensive. NOT a nice offering to the wealthy Rv'er. At some point SB decided that it was better than RV's and would not participate in the RV economy. The irony is that monied RV owners pass over SB and spend their money elsewhere, and almost all the remaining RV's are occupied by poor folks who spend little and cost much. Keep that RV hate thing going and tell me how it works out for you. A first world problem indeed.

 

 COMMENT 351341 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-07 10:42 AM

I have absolutely no problem with Elings Park allowing their seasonal hosts to park their RV's on park property (assuming that's what is really going on).

The last time I was car camping near Mammoth, the park hosts lived in an RV, and they were a nice retired couple from Goleta.

I think there is a hidden agenda against stereotypes from some belligerant people in this thread.

 

 COMMENT 351347 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-07 10:55 AM

Cut the park some slack! As a Mesa resident who uses the park daly, especially South Park for dog walking, most of the commenters need to think and get the facts before they write. Elings Park has been referred to as the largest private/ non-profit park in the US. It exists and operates on user fees and donations. Dog walkers are supposed to pay an annual fee, which helps to provide for poop bags, cleanup and maintenance. The park host volunteers provide an important service, for their 20 hours per week patrolling, answering questions, and helping keep the park safe, just by their very presence. Many large national, state and county parks (like Lake Cachuma), rely on volunteer park hosts. They receive RV space for their volunteer service.

 

 COMMENT 351355 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-07 11:04 AM

347: Again. Eling's is a park, not a campground. Campground hosts at campgrounds, where other people are camping, are expected. But since Eling's closes at night, and nobody else is allowed to camp there, it doesn't make sense for RVs to be parked there all the time and people living there. At the very most, I can understand one "park ranger" being allowed to live in the park, but a whole group of RVs in a park is not normal, and not what Eling's was permitted for.

 

 COMMENT 351370P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-07 11:36 AM

351335, I've always believed the hatred has always been silently instigated and kept alive by professionals working in the interest of hoteliers. Sheeple pick up on the current whipping boy of the moment, blindly picking up pitchforks and torches, carrying the message forward making it look entirely organic. Long sentence, may be disjointed. Need coffee.

 

 COMMENT 351404 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-07 01:17 PM

351370P: Your belief is way off base. I have nothing to do with the hotel industry, do not have any property to rent, sell or care about protecting its value, but I am very concerned about the public health, crime, litter and other issues that come up when people are living in RVs in urban settings and other places that aren't zoned and maintained for residential uses. I'm guessing you live up in the hills where you never have to encounter an RV parked on your street, but believe me, it's not pretty. And, I'm also concerned that Eling's is not abiding by the conditional use permit that they received. They are a private entity with very specific permits, and they do not have the right to allow camping on this property.

 

 COMMENT 351423P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-07 01:48 PM

My point was: if the City of Santa Barbara had embraced RV vacationers instead of being shortsighted, reactionary and spineless, there would be facilities in existence today that would accommodate RVs.

The image of dirty, disheveled folk always is brought to the forefront. In reality, most RV vacationers believe in daily personal hygiene and have disposable income to burn. These people would, instead of staying in a hotel here, would be staying in an RV, in a park, leaving their money here, taking their memories with them and going back to where ever home is.

The issue with the park hosts, RV vacationers and homeless living in RVs are all separate items. Park hosts will stay, obviously, in the park they are working. RV vacationers would be staying in a family RV "resort".

Being that this city and its inhabitants purport to be so socially conscious, the homeless living in RVs would also be given space. That is what's deemed "fair" these days, is it not?

Your "insight" into anything about me is unwarranted and doesn't belong. That's what some would call "creating a divide". Please refrain in the future.

 

 COMMENT 351426 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-07 01:52 PM

What about El Capitan Ranch - isnt that a high end RV campground?

Seems that the issue is not the city but the economics of owning/hosting a RV camp. There are simply not enough RV'rs to warrant the costs of running such a facility in SB. Otherwise someone would have built one in Carp or Goleta which are not under the jurisdiction of SB and its zoning.

 

 COMMENT 351466 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-07 03:51 PM

426- 335 here. El Cap is no where near Santa Barbara sights and money pits. It is new and priced based on current land costs=too expensive. 423p pegged it; had the city embraced RV dollars long ago when land was cheap the facilities would already exist. At current land/development costs, locak RV parks (or the Miramar) are history, done, kaput. A little 25' winnebago only costs $100k, but the big "pushers" cost 7 figures. Think there might be some dollars there?

 

 COMMENT 351505 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-07 05:08 PM

So is it true? Elings is now open for free RV and trailer parking?
It is about time.
Where can we sign up?
We have friends too, can they come along?

 

 COMMENT 351524 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-07 05:40 PM

Park hosts are necessary, especially in these trying economic times. Park hosts work a set number of hours per week and in return, they are provided a place to park their RV's. It is a very economical solution for many parks to continue functioning. If it were not for the park hosts at Cachuma Lake, that park would close down due to lack of funds, denying access for everyone. The folks in the Neil Taylor Nature Center, the folks raking leaves, mowing, picking up trash, shoveling ashes out of fire pits, checking boats at the boat ramp, painting curbs and signs, giving tours are all park hosts. Park hosts protect precious monuments and sites by keeping an eye on things, especially at night. Anyone can become a park host so no one is excluded. So don't complain about park hosts. Be thankful that they are there to help, protect, keep parks open, and keep them looking kept up and clean.

 

 COMMENT 351530 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-07 05:54 PM

This topic brings to mind Boyd at the Goleta Pier. He was an AVID lover of fishing and the Pier. He retired, fell on hard times, and found himself living in his RV. After many years, the the County bestowed upon him the title of Pier host. And allowed him to live in his RV on site. Boyd's RV was never a nuisance and he was very far from "dirty, disheveled folk" as commenter 351423P brings to mind in the RVer discussion. And yet, Boyd was otherwise homeless, without his RV.

He got kicked out of the position and was forced to move his RV. I haven't heard any updates and I can only hope and pray that Boyd is well, healthy and good.

As to multiple RVs at Elings, I would say that as long as they are neat and tidy, no trash, let them stay if they aren't a nuisance or threat to park users.

 

 COMMENT 352493 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-10 05:31 PM

The court monitor at Las Positas Tennis Courts (who is actually employed by Oceanside School of Tennis through Elings Park) was one of the first trailers set up on the propertyu. He's been living there since the Summer.

 

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