In Venice, Parking Restrictions are the Football and Homeowners are Charlie Brown

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.

2 Replies to “In Venice, Parking Restrictions are the Football and Homeowners are Charlie Brown”

  1. It’s easy to see why Matt became a lawyer instead of a reporter, but as a lawyer I’d expect Matt to recognize that the pro-permit parking Venice Stakeholder’s Association (representing a tiny group of Venice residents, by the way) failed to meet their burden of proof, and failed to present a coherent plan to the Coastal Commission.

    They rested their case entirely on the theory that every Californian has a right to preferential parking regardless of need and regardless of effect.

    Consider: There was no parking study presented, not even a simple count of RVs in Venice. There was no LAPD statistics demonstrating a link of RVs to crime, there was no real information presented at all. What was presented was anecdotes, the major thrust of which were that RVs were ugly and their owners sometimes were seen breaking the law. There were photos, but no testimony of where or when the photos were taken or what laws they showed being broken or what damage they were doing to anyone.

    And the proposal was loose to the point of carte blanche: it proposed a large district in which restricted parking might be imposed at the sole discretion of the City Council office. There was no timeline presented, no criteria presented, and the sole process contained in the proposal was a “letter from the City Council office.”

    So they assumed no burden of proof, and they asked for a free hand to do whatever they wished, and then got offended when they were turned down.

    I’d sue my lawyer if he presented a case like that, but here VSA chose to sue the Coastal Commission instead. It’s an example of the arrogance of this tiny group of people that they feel that they have no need to prove anything in order to close the streets of Venice to non-residents.

    Those whom Matt portrays as Charlie Brown are really more like Elmer Fudd.

  2. On one hand, we don’t want the poor and those without homes to live on the streets and sidewalks. On the other, we do not want to provide shelter or basic human accommodations.

    People avoid the street by sleeping in their car, or if they are lucky their mobile home. Now the Venice homeowners would rather not have mobile homes in front of their house. They think this desire should outweigh another person’s need for basic shelter?

    Obviously, the homeowners could retort back “Its fine sleep in your car, just don’t do it in front of my house!” Well, then the question becomes “where do they go?” The answer from the homeowners whether vocalized or internalized only, would be in front of poorer neighborhoods than Venice who have less influence and less of a voice.

    Either help these people so they don’t have to live in front of your house or just leave them alone.

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