Pods — or large storage containers dropped off by trucks typically for people moving or needing temporary storage while they remodel homes or businesses — aren’t currently regulated by the City of Manteca.
That may change in the coming months as the Manteca Community Development Department ponders establishing zoning rules for a number of endeavors that are currently unregulated including the placement and upkeep of boxes to recycle items such as soda containers and aluminum cans and possibly drop-off boxes for used items such as clothes and books.
Several residents have complained about Pods being plopped down on front yards or driveways for periods approaching a year.
One resident noted that their neighbor was using the pod as a storage shed because they lacked adequate space in their backyard to build or place one. City zoning rules prohibit storage sheds in front yards but make no mention of Pods or containers that are used for storage and not temporary purposes.
The drop-off boxes for recycling and other items such as clothing have been problematic over the years. Often times they are dropped off without the permission of property owners.
It isn’t unusual for people to stack up items against the bins when they are full. That leads to used clothing being rummaged through and tossed about. Individuals have also managed to reach into the collection boxes and pull items out and leaving what they don’t want on the ground.
Two such collection boxes — one for clothing and one for books — were in place on the northeast corner of Powers Avenue and East Yosemite Avenue for years before they were removed. The clothing bin sat on the corner and along the city’s main east-west thoroughfare. Rarely did a week go by that clothes weren’t strewn about the parking lot and cardboard boxes and bags of items left next to the collection box when it was full weren’t tossed about.
The book collection box to the rear of the property often would have additional trash placed next to it, including at one point an air conditioning unit.
Community Development Director Greg Showerman indicated the city would look at recycling collection boxes first and then address containers such as Pods.
If the city opts to propose to the Planning Commission and ultimately the City Council to establish ground rules for storage containers it will add them to other uses currently regulated by zoning and municipal code such as RV parking, placement of storage sheds, setbacks for safety issues, fence heights and other uses of property that are allowed without creating health or safety issues or accommodating a use that is not compatible to a certain zone.
Homeless man in court over $1,210
citation for illegal camping in Manteca
Norman J. Moore — the homeless man who was thrice roosted by Manteca Police from three different private property sites he was illegally camping based on city ordinances and cited the third time — is getting his day in court.
The 70-year-old is appearing in the Center Street Manteca branch of the San Joaquin County Superior Court on Friday at 8:30 a.m. to fight the citation that carries a $1,210 fine that was issued on Sept. 29 at 7:11 a.m. for illegal camping on private property in the 100 block of Pacific Road off of West Yosemite Avenue a football field or two distance from the SaveMart parking lot.
He is being represented by court-appointed Stockton attorney Michael E. Gregory.
Moore, for his part, says he thoroughly understands why the city would make such an ordinance. In a written summary outlining his case Moore notes that “I too have looked with disgust at the homeless camping in their sleeping bags, tents and bags, in the picnic area behind the Post Office for example, and there are criminals that hide behind . . . the ‘homeless’. I am not that person. . . All of my camps have been by myself and in a farmer’s vacant field at the time of the citation.”
He states that “although it was private property, it wasn’t the owner of the property that complained neither any neighbors adjacent to the property.” He added he was hidden behind a fence in a field that apparently has weeds they disc under once a year.
Moore contends no one “could possibly see me where I spent the night.”
He added two days prior he was evicted from his previous campsite and used “an old steel shopping cart I brought with me from San Leandro” to carry camping gear from his storage locker to the field after dark. He gained access through two boards that had already been taken down. Grounds maintenance crews that care for the United Cerebral Palsy property next to the lot apparently told police they put the two boards back in place on the fence every week.
He noted he had simply slept in the field that night as he had yet to remove items from his shopping cart to set up camp which he planned to do the next day and return the shopping cart to storage.
Moore indicated he’d relish a trial with a jury so that that the “whole homeless issue and problem” can be aired in a court of law that’s open to the public.
Moore ended up on the streets in August when he was given a notice to vacate in what he described “as a very short” time from the home he was living in on Linden Way for a year and eight months with a friend — Balbir Sangura —who Moore said was forced to sell his home for financial reasons.
That is when Moore found himself homeless for the second time in his life.
He receives $805 a month in Social Security retirement payments and has $7 in an account at U.S. Bank. That doesn’t leave him with a lot of options.
Not wanting to spend his days and nights on the streets he sought out help from the Manteca Gospel Rescue Mission on Sept. 4. That is where he learned about one of the few options open to him —Eskaton Manteca Manor.
A case worker helped him apply for an apartment at Manteca’s oldest subsidized low-income senior housing complex the Eastwood Avenue loop street off Northgate Drive west of the shuttered Kmart store. He was told he could live there for about $250 a month. He said the possibility “would be perfect for me, a single man, and affordable for sure, (as) I get $805 Social Security retirement.”
There is only one problem. There are no units available and the waiting list is long — very, very long.