Vancouver vows to move 'zombie RV' abandoned in neighborhood

Zombie RV parked near NE 8th Street and 104th Avenue - KATU image

VANCOUVER, Wash. – Vancouver city officials say they will take action to move an abandoned RV that neighbors have been complaining about for months.

The RV is parked near the corner of NE 8th Street and 104th Avenue, and nearby resident Carolyn Wright said it has been there since the end of January.

“They would park in front of it and park behind it so nobody could tow it,” said Wright.

In the past, RV owners have moved on once they were contacted by city code enforcement.

After receiving several complaints, code officers told the group living in the RV to move along. They checked back in March and found a different group of people, and told them to leave.

When code officers returned for a third time, the people were gone, along with the RV’s wheels.

Vancouver Mayor Anne McEnerny-Ogle said this is the first time Vancouver has faced this kind of “Zombie RV” situation.

“I know Portland has been working on this problem. This is our first one,” said McEnery-Ogle.

Wright tells KATU News the large group living in the RV was also a magnet of all kinds of disturbances.

“There was a guy out here with a gun one day and they were having an argument with somebody over on this side that I couldn't see,” said Wright.

The mayor says the RV's out-of-state plates revealed big problems. Police are tracking down the owner and finding out whether the vehicle is stolen.

Code enforcement officers don't have the authority to search vehicle license plates, and must ask for police assistance. The mayor says the city may have to look at streamlining that process.

McEnery-Ogle admits that tow companies don't want to take RV's like this because of the high disposal costs from potential asbestos and other hazardous materials.

“We'll get it taken care of and hopefully in the next couple of weeks we'll have that done. But I know how frustrating it was to the neighbors to have something like that parked on their street,” she said.

Neighbors say another RV has been parked not far away on NE 137th Avenue for quite some time.

Neighbors are glad Vancouver's mayor has vowed to have this one dealt with by may.

“I'm happy that something is being heard and done about it. And I'm just crossing my fingers that soon that this will be all taken away,” said Bradley Lebow.

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