Despite city notice, Zombie RV still in NE Portland

Lawsuit ruling forces city to give adequate notice before forcing a move

This Zombie RV has been parked for weeks at NE 55th and Alberta, July 5, 2017 (KOIN)
This Zombie RV has been parked for weeks at NE 55th and Alberta, July 5, 2017 (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A Zombie RV, parked for weeks outside a home in Northeast Portland and slated for removal is still there and will likely stay there through the weekend.

It’s frustrating for homeowner Leah Clause. She called the city and the mayor’s office multiple times, but it wasn’t until a KOIN 6 News story that real action was taken.

The dwellers of a Zombie RV, left, speak with Leah Clause, who lives in the home where they parked weeks ago, July 5, 2017 (KOIN)
The dwellers of a Zombie RV, left, speak with Leah Clause, who lives in the home where they parked weeks ago, July 5, 2017 (KOIN)

The 2 dwellers, Jordan Bilyeu and Michael Dean Patterson, of the RV told KOIN 6 News they were gathering materials from the Cully neighborhood and planned to build a tiny home on top of the RV right on the street in the area of NE 55th and Alberta.

But the city placed a 72-hour towing notice on the RV Thursday, the same day Bilyeu was arrested on an outstanding felony warrant.

While KOIN 6 News was at the site, Patterson approached Clause and apologized “for not meeting the time commitment Jordan put in place. We still have a tow in the works,” he said.

On Friday a city contractor posted a notice the RV needed to be gone within 24 hours, but Patterson ripped down the notices.

“I was told it would be gone by noon today, and not just by the occupants,” said Clause. “The police, the mayor’s office, biohazard. So, what’s the hold up?”

KOIN 6 News learned that, because of a lawsuit ruling, the city must give the homeless adequate notice before forcing someone to move.

That’s why the Zombie RV is likely to stay in the road throughout the weekend.

City Commissioner Dan Saltzman, who is in charge of housing, told KOIN 6 News the city is “overwhelmed by the number of abandoned RVs and autos. We have had close to 14,000 this year.”

Just last week, 800 calls came in to the city on this problem.

Asked why the city doesn’t just keep a space on city-owned property for these Zombie RVs to park, Saltzman said it doesn’t work.

“Other cities have tried it and it has turned out to be a massive failure,” the commissioner said. “It doesn’t work that plainly. You end up having too many people on the footprint of the property set aside.

He did say the city is looking into an ordinance that would ban anyone from selling RVs and trailers that are not fully functioning. But he admitted the problem is out of control.