SAN DIEGO — Lucy and Bob Shipley have been coming to enjoy the views of San Diego Bay at Shoreline Park for decades. They pack up lunch in their RV and drive to the waterfront.

“This motorhome is just right,” said Shipley told FOX 5. “It’s about 26-27 feet long and for two people, we’re in hog heaven in there.”

But soon, many of the designated parking spots the couple uses will be gone. On April 11, the Board of Port Commissioners approved the amendments to its oversized vehicle parking regulations.

In recent years, the Port says it has been impacted by the “van camping” trend. Some visitors to the waterfront choose to “camp” in their converted vans rather than in a designated camping location with wastewater and trash disposal facilities.

As a result, the Port has received numerous public complaints regarding the dumping of human waste and trash in parks, on public landscaping, on streets and in parking lots, and these complaints have been on the increase. The amended parking regulations will continue to allow oversized vehicle parking in designated locations while clarifying that camping should be limited to designated camping and RV areas.

“As the Port of San Diego welcomes visitors to enjoy our beautiful San Diego Bay waterfront, we must be mindful of ensuring that our vehicle parking rules are fair and consistent for anyone wishing to access the coast,” said Chairman Rafael Castellanos, Port of San Diego Board of Port Commissioners. “The updates to the Port’s parking rules were developed with community input. They will provide more clarity to all visitors and will improve public access, protect views of the bay, and preserve the cleanliness of Port parks and parking areas.”

Key amendments to the oversized vehicle parking regulations include:

  • Updating the definition of oversized vehicles and expanding regulations from Shelter Island in San Diego to all of tidelands.
  • Prohibiting oversized vehicles greater than 20-feet long OR 7-feet wide OR 7.5-feet tall from standing, stopping or parking on Port tidelands where posted, except in designated oversized vehicle parking spaces, with some exceptions for commercial and service vehicles.
  • Converting 17 oversized vehicle parking spaces within Shoreline Park to regular parking spaces due to access, placement, and maintenance issues. The use of these spaces has resulted in significant damage to landscaping and curbs.
  • Preserving the 10 oversized vehicle parking spaces on Shelter Island Drive.
  • Preserving the designated parking for vehicles with attached boat trailers at all Port boat launch facilities.
  • Adjusting time limitations on parking in various areas.  

The changes were expected to go into effect Friday. Once the regulations are in effect, new signs and some parking space stripes and markings will be installed in affected areas. Harbor police will issue written warnings to violators and will follow up with citations as needed.