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Photo by Ryan Kelley/QNS
Photo by Ryan Kelley/QNS
The RVs parked along a Woodhaven Boulevard service road on the Glendale/Forest Hills border by Home Depot on June 26.

It’s no secret that Queens’ housing market has exploded, sending property values and rents sky high. There have been stories reported of people escaping the financial burden of living in New York City by purchasing a recreational vehicle (RV) and parking it on city streets, so when two of the vehicles recently showed up on the same street in Glendale, it naturally caused a stir.

Conversations began on Glendale Facebook groups early in June about a group of RVs parked on the Woodhaven Boulevard service road next to the Home Depot parking lot, on the border of Glendale and Forest Hills. Many accusations were made — such as people living in the RVs, plugging extension cords into city light poles and leaving garbage on the street.

The RVs were still there on June 26 when QNS went to investigate. While there were no people present at the RVs and the doors were padlocked from the outside, the RVs were surrounded by items that could give clues to the reason for their presence. 

The first vehicle in line — an older model with a custom paint job including depictions of cameras, microphones and musical notes — had a trailer attached to the back and a stack of clutter leaning against it. An aluminum ladder, a step stool, a water cooler, a chair, a mini fridge, a broom, a plastic bin filled with random waste and more made up the pile.

Also attached to the back of the RV was a security camera, and there was a small solar panel on the roof as well as solar-powered lights attached to the sides of the vehicle. There was a folded up beach chair on the roof too, and a cinder block rested under the front right wheel.

The second RV has a large camper hitched to the back of it and both are surrounded by more items. There were insulation panels and plywood leaning against the camper, an unused gas-powered generator by the door, and another gas generator with its engine humming between the camper and the rear of the RV. There were also extension cords, a propane tank, two-by-fours, garbage cans and folding carts between the camper and RV.

A pair of bicycles were chained to the fence nearby, and another rested against the door of the second RV.

Despite the outcry online and the obvious signs of life at the RVs, Community Board 6 District Manager Frank Gulluscio said that he was only made aware of the vehicles on June 25.

“We know nothing. We got one call on Monday about this and we sent it to the precinct,” Gulluscio said. “If they’re running a generator I think that’s a situation.”

Gulluscio added, however, that RVs are allowed to park anywhere on the street as long as they are obeying regular parking restrictions. At the vehicles’ current location on the service road, there are no signs that restrict parking.

At the 112th Precinct Community Council meeting on June 25, newly appointed commanding officer Captain John Cermeli acknowledged that the precinct has received complaints about vehicles parked on the service road, but he did not specifically mention RVs.

“In the last two weeks, I think we’ve done two or three tow operations over there where we’ve towed the trucks out of there,” Cermeli said. “The tickets at first, it came to the point where it was a cost of doing business for them, so now we take their whole truck. That’s the message we want to send out there.”

The next day, another law enforcement source familiar with the situation told QNS that police have been made aware of the RVs and have visited them several times, but they are limited in how they can deal with the vehicles. The source also suggested the vehicles have been vandalized in the past.

Another neighborhood source claims to have spoken to a man at the site of the RVs, who said he lives in the neighborhood and is renovating the vehicles for other people.

After a second visit to the site on June 28, several of the items around the RVs had been re-arranged and the generator was no longer running. QNS has not been able to locate anyone involved with the RVs.

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