St Kilda East parking rules allow campers, vans

Melbourne residents were angered when campers and caravans were dumped on their street.

St Kilda East resident Justin and tech entrepreneur Danny Gorog appeared on the Today show in front of a wall of trailers on Tuesday morning.

They said since the pandemic, people have found they can park their trailers on the street.

“It hasn’t been a problem for a while, but now there are so many here that they’re displacing the actual residents, so the residents can’t find parking here anymore,” Justin said.

“We have so little public open space here and we want that extra space on this road to be turned into a park by the council so we can have somewhere to walk our dogs and somewhere for the community to use.”

Mobile homes, storage trailers, boats and apparently even dog washing wagons occupy parking lots on Alexandra Street in St Kilda East, an eclectic but generally well-to-do area a few kilometers south of the Melbourne CBD.

Port Phillip Council is doing what it can but is stuck between the wheel chock and the bike as the current time, length and weight restrictions do not allow the vehicles to be removed.

“We don’t want to just move the problem out of here. We want to solve this problem,” Just said.

“It looks like an RV behind you right now,” said show host Sarah Abo.

The founder of problem reporting app Snap Send Solve, Mr Gorog, said illegally parked and potentially displaced people with nowhere else to go were a “huge problem”.

The council’s motion, proposed by Deputy Mayor Louise Crawford, gets the gist of the greasy situation.

The long-term storage of caravans and motorhomes in the area has been a long-standing issue, Cr Crawford says in the proposal.

But the council has “no mechanism” to remove a large proportion of the vehicles.

A vehicle longer than 7.5 meters or weighing more than a ton cannot be parked for more than one hour, and people are not allowed to camp in vehicles.

But most of the vehicles concerned are below the restriction guidelines and only a small percentage “are determined to be phased out as they follow processes under the Local Government Act”.

“In light of the above, a large proportion of vehicles impacting on the local community are parked legally with no mechanism in place to deal with this issue,” Cr Crawford writes.

Thirteen residents have signed a letter calling for a four-hour on-street parking limit and council officials will conduct a seven-day survey to determine the situation.

Cr Crawford’s proposal calls for council staff to investigate and report on options to reduce the amenity impact of vehicles. The proposal is expected to be discussed at the council meeting on Wednesday.

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