Traveling to different destinations in renovated, livable passenger vans and other vehicles has become very popular of late. There are numerous social media sites that document the “van life” lifestyle and St. Petersburg is getting a reputation as a “van lifer paradise.”
Van life vehicles have taken advantage of 24-hour parking on Old Northeast streets, especially those near the waterfront parks. Camping and parking RVs overnight in city parking lots is not allowed, so these vehicles had opted to turn streets into quasi campgrounds. “Residents began complaining to the HONNA board about the situation,” says HONNA President Nick Bell. “There are sanitary and safety issues with these vehicles, so we worked with the city parking department and our city council member, Lisset Hanewicz, to address the situation.”
After several months of meetings and discussions, the city council approved a measure recently that now classifies these types of vehicles as domestic equipment. As such, they will be limited to 4-hour parking on residential streets Monday – Thursday. “This allows owners of these vehicles to enjoy all the benefits of our neighborhood parks but prevents them from setting up residence for days and weeks on end,” Nick explains.