Venice homeowners who want to restrict overnight parking to stop long-term RV camping on their streets must feel like Charlie Brown after Lucy pulls the football away at the last second, again. In the long-running battle to establish “overnight parking districts” (OPDs) which would restrict parking to permit holders between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. in several zones in Venice, the Venice homeowners thought they had a solution in their grasp. In May, they reached a tentative settlement with the California Coastal Commission in which they would withdraw their lawsuit against the Coastal Commission for denying their OPD request in return for the eventual right to establish OPDs after a six-month period in which the City of Los Angeles would permit “oversized vehicle” restrictions in Venice to see if they solved the problem without resorting to OPDs. But, like Lucy, the Coastal Commission then pulled the football away, backing out of the deal.
Advocates for the homeless are chalking up a victory. They maintained that the OPDs targeted them, and cut off their access to the beach. The Coastal Commission agreed, albeit pointing to no real evidence to back up such a charge. Given that the Venice proposal included relocation of the vehicles to nearby spots, some of which were considerably closer to the beach, during the wee hours of the morning, I am still scratching my head over that one.
The Venice homeowners now have to start over again. However, they have one head start: last month, the City Council voted to let them restrict “oversized” vehicles (over 7 feet tall or over 22 feet long) from parking overnight. If such restrictions are enforced, this might solve the issue as to a good number of cases. But then, given the history of failures in the effort to establish OPDs, I wouldn’t be surprised if the effort to restrict oversized vehicles in Venice hits a roadblock as well.