Frustrated by city inaction, residents contact KSL Investigators over Salt Lake’s RV Row
Last year, KSL investigators revealed that the abandoned Seven Peaks water park in Salt Lake City was a magnet for mischief. Now local residents say the mischief has gotten worse and spread to their neighborhood. So what is being done to stop it? (KSL-TV)
SALT LAKE CITY – There’s a lot to love in the Glendale neighborhood: a golf course, cute little park, a couple of tennis courts, and the Jordan River Trail.
“Damn it, this is a good neighborhood!” exclaimed the longtime resident Dub Slade.
It’s so good that Slade said he noticed a lot more people have moved in over the past 18 months.
“We agreed to have a couple of them move in,” he said. “Little did I know that we would have 20 families as new neighbors.”
Slade wasn’t talking about families moving into neighborhood houses. Instead, these new neighbors are on wheels, parked on the street for days, weeks, even months.
Dub Slade told KSL investigators that the RVs showed up about a year ago and were parked in front of an old water park along 1700 South and on neighboring back streets. (Photo: KSL-TV)
He told KSL investigators that the RVs showed up about a year ago and parked in front of an old water park along 1700 South and in the neighboring back streets.
Angry water. Seven peaks. It has had different names over the years. Now the slides and pools are in ruins as the city decides what to do with the property next.
While teenagers invaded for TikTok videos in the summer of 2020, neighbors say the gadgets near the water park have gotten worse and spread across the neighborhood.
“We just jokingly called it the RV park,” he laughed.
But the jokes turned into valid concerns.
Adriel moved to her house across the street in 2019. She said she had found used needles in her yard since the RVs moved in, toilet paper with excrement, and she took pictures of a man she said had an extension cord from her home to his RV.
“No trespassing” signs now adorn their fence.
“There are people showering in the drinking fountain and homeless people everywhere,” she said.
Local residents are fed up with rubbish and criminal activity. For 18 months they have been trying to get the city to enforce its laws, to no avail. Join @MikeHeadrickTV on @ KSL5TV for an hour as he investigates this neighborhood neglect. pic.twitter.com/i7TEiXDfFS
– KSL investigates (@KSLInvestigates) September 21, 2021
Adriel said the public toilet in the park has become a place her family avoid, stating, “You shower over there and get completely naked in sight of our house. It’s a pretty common thing that happens over and over again. “
She said a couple of RVs caught fire and there is trash all over the RV stores.
Complaints abound, what is being done?
Several residents we spoke to shared their frustration with us. They said they contacted Salt Lake City and the police multiple times, but claim that little was done.
“We called and asked for help and the story we got is, ‘We’re just not getting this through right now,'” said Slade.
“We called the park attendant and then we were told, ‘Oh, I’m sorry, there is nothing we can do about it,'” added Adriel.
According to public records, Salt Lake City Police responded to 214 service calls on 1700 South between Redwood Road and 900 West from June 1, 2020 to August 24, 2021. The # 1 reason for these calls was “temporary problems”. . “
City records show more complaints filed through the SLC mobile app. The area code 84104 includes the Glendale neighborhood plus Poplar Grove and parishes to the west.
“Homelessness concerns” have become the number two reason for calling the police. These complaints started oozing around 2017, but they have increased 512% in the past two years – from 81 in 2019 to 496 this year.
“Parking Concerns” fell third in total complaints in this area, and those calls saw a 287% increase: 87 in 2019 to 337 complaints in 2021. That is an increase from fewer than 10 complaints about parking in a whole year in 2015 and 2016.
Last year, KSL investigators revealed that the abandoned Seven Peaks water park in Salt Lake City was a magnet for mischief. Now local residents say the mischief has gotten worse and spread to their neighborhood. (Photo: KSL-TV)
“(We got complaints) at least last year, year and a half,” said Andrew Johnston, current Salt Lake City director of homelessness and public relations.
However, Johnston said the current municipal parking violation ordinance is inconsistent with the current urban problem of the people living in their vehicles.
“Technically, we have 48 hour parking rules,” he said of RVs, “but there wasn’t really anything that could be enforced for people who lived in a vehicle. It was for vehicles that stopped to park . “
Park attendants can write notices, but they cannot tow a vehicle with people in it.
At this point, Johnston said the RV issue requires a multi-faceted approach that includes the response from the Salt Lake County Police and Health Department.
It was difficult to get everyone on the same page.
“We presented a pilot program for the city … the city council to start a discussion, how can we target RVs and RVs in the city more effectively and more humanely?” said Johnston.
Man is the greatest challenge.
People who live in these vehicles are not homeless by federal definitions, but this is a homeless problem.
Dan Dixon had lived in one of the RVs parked at 1700 South.
“If it’s towed, I’ll be devastated,” he said. “That’s the only thing I have, all I have.”
The feeling was repeated by Chuck Layton, who also lives in a motor home.
“That’s what everyone calls it, RV Row,” he said. “It was like a downtown tent city … and we were called RV Row.”
In early September, the Pioneer Park Coalition appealed to Mayor Erin Mendenhall for failing to enforce the city’s anti-camping ordinance.
Although these RVs appeared to be camping along 1700 South, they are not covered by this ordinance. The only enforcement the city can use are those who break the illegal parking code.
A day of cleanup, long term solutions needed
On September 8, the county health department, along with the Salt Lake City Parks Department and Salt Lake City Police Department, held a scheduled cleanup day along 1700 South.
KSL-TV was there when non-functional trailers and mobile homes were hooked up and towed away.
“It’s a great day,” exclaimed Slade. “After weeks, months, even years of crime and constant complaints.”
Others weren’t that enthusiastic.
“I’m supposed to go to my daughter’s funeral,” said Krystle Keller through tears. “Instead, we have to deal with it.”
Lt. Russ Amott of the Salt Lake City Police Department was on hand to explain that the trailers that were towed were classified as hazardous by the health department.
“If they want to live in it they have to be tidied up,” said Amott. “Most of them were inoperable. The health department looked at them and said they were uninhabitable.
Glendale residents considered enforcement a victory that day, but worry that this is a temporary patch on a complicated fix.
“They’ll park somewhere for a couple of weeks and then they’ll move,” said Adriel. “Then they come back and it’s a vicious circle again.”
KSL investigators returned to 1700 South on September 20 and observed two RVs and two delivery vans parked in the street.
It was unclear how long they were parked there.
Mike HeadrickCindy St. Clair