I’m a Criminal

Milan Exterior

Yep. I broke the law. And the heavy hand of law enforcement reached out and slapped me.

Trailer Violation 07-11-2014 cropped

I am a public nuisance. I parked by camper in my drive way. God grant me forgiveness.

When I first moved into my house in 1979, there was no ordinance against parking a recreational vehicle on private property. Or at least I couldn’t find one. And the clerk at City Hall said it was okay.

But somewhere down the line, the good folks of the city determined that continuing revocation of personal property rights were in order. Have to keep the populace under control, you know. Now I agree that some things should be restricted in residential areas; things that would interfere with a neighbor’s ability to enjoy their property. Raising cattle would be a nuisance and smell awful. Extremely loud music would be another problem. A swimming pool full of mosquitoes would inhibit a neighbor from enjoying their property. And I am not sure we even need all these ordinances and hiring a bunch of people to enforce them. The best way would be for one neighbor to sue the other in court if they are restricted from the proper enjoyment and use of their property. Let the court decide, and people can figure out what is not acceptable by reviewing court cases.

The problem with the Palm Springs RV and boat ordinance is two-fold. First, for a fee (of course) you can get a permit to park your RV. And second, we are wasting taxpayer on code enforcement personnel that would be better spent by actually enforcing our laws by hiring additional police. So let’s look at the first one – permissible RV and boat storage.


These can be stored in a side or backyard if they are set back at least 5 feet from all property lines and they are screened from view from the street and adjoining properties. I can do this. However, I would have to plant large trees to screen the trailer, which would effectively block my neighbor’s view of Mt. San Jacinto. How does that benefit my neighbor instead of parking it in the front of the house, on my property in the drive way? It doesn’t. As a matter of fact, a few years ago I cut down some large trees that were blocking my neighbor’s view. No one asked me to – I didn’t have to – I did it because it seemed the neighborly thing to do.

If I decide to park it in my back yard I would have to remove 4 large palm trees in my front yard and the surrounding landscaping, replacing them with a cement driveway. Do we want cement, or do we want trees and plants? Trees and plants absorb CO2, which the global warming climate change conspiracy people say is killing the planet. So let’s pour more cement in my front yard and reflect more heat into the atmosphere after we get rid of the trees and landscaping. Nah, that isn’t good for the environment, but obviously the City of Palm Springs could care less about our environment.


I don’t know why the City of Palm Springs is so worried about RVs parked on private property. They should be concerned about crime – and reducing it.

Earlier this year we were again victims of crime. I wrote about in Twice a Victim.  We have been the victim of other property crimes in Palm Springs. What I didn’t share was the Rest of the Story. So I shall update you…

When I found our tire and wheel missing, I was told to file a police report online, which I did.

Police Report 03-06-2014

I never heard back from the Palm Springs Police, except for a confirmation email that they had received my online report.

When I got to the Ford dealer to have the new tire and wheel installed, the Service Advisor showed me another Ford Expedition with tires and wheels exactly like mine. That vehicle only had one wheel. The other 3 had been stolen. And… get this, the owner only lives about 5 blocks from me. Total income to the Ford Dealer? $5,000.

I find it ironic that the police department does not have time to follow-up or investigate a theft – you know, come out and take fingerprints and such (is that only a TV script?), but the city does have time to cite me for my criminal activity of parking my personal property on my private property.


So for the heck of it, I decided to do some quick research on crime in Palm Springs. Even though we have been victims of crime several times inside the city limits over the years, well — heck it is Palm Springs. Famous resort destination. Can’t be that much crime or people wouldn’t visit, right?

This is what I found on neighborhoodscout.com

Crime 1

Palm Springs is safer than only 6% of the cities in the United States.

Crime 2

Violent crimes in Palm Springs are 40% higher than the national average and 36% higher than the state of California average.

Crime 3

The property crime rate is more than 40% higher than the California and national average.

So I guess the lesson here is that if you come to Palm Springs you are much more at risk of becoming a victim of crime than most places in the United States. The police aren’t going to protect you. But don’t park your RV or boat anywhere in town. The city has the time and personnel resources to cite you.


And now I have covered parking. My trailer is parked in a secure facility in another town. I guess it is a good thing the city forced me to do this — it is less likely to be broken into or vandalized — can’t expect Palm Springs to protect your property. Too bad I couldn’t find a suitable storage facility in Palm Springs. The tax revenue generated by my monthly fee won’t be going to Palm Springs.

So it seems the Palm Springs Police Department doesn’t have the time or ability to fight crime. However they do have the time and resources to have a Facebook page. Imagine that! And my wife tells me they have 1,860 Likes. Too bad Facebook doesn’t have a Dislike button.

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