FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 29, 2010, Venice, Calif.—The Los Angeles City Council today voted to pass amendments to the Oversized Vehicle Ordinance (OVO) drafted at the request of Councilmember Bill Rosendahl. This “enabling ordinance” sets out the procedures for creating districts that restrict parking of oversized vehicles. An “implementing ordinance” will be crafted to determine the precise locations of the districts.
Because the ordinance impacts a large vulnerable population, Venice Action is gratified with Councilman Rosendahl’s repeated promise to implement the oversized vehicle restrictions only in conjunction with a Safe Parking Program for vehicle dwellers.
“Venice Action has always supported the use of the OVO in tandem with a Safe Parking Program,” said David Ewing of Venice Action.
Councilman Rosendahl has repeatedly referred to the OVO as necessary in his “carrot and stick” approach to the problems of homeless people forced to sleep in their vehicles. The “carrot” is the Safe Parking Program, currently being outlined by the councilmember’s office and for which he has secured $750,000 in funding. He has requested Venice Action’s input regarding the locations of potential parking spots for the RV’s. Additionally, the councilman has sought the opening of the public restroom facilities at the beach in order to alleviate some of the sanitation concerns associated with homeless people.
“We need to understand that the population of people living in their vehicles is diverse. Many people living in their cars are veterans and senior citizens who need a safe place to park and the right connection to services. Many are economically disadvantaged, in need of help getting back on their feet.” Councilman Rosendahl said in an earlier statement.
At the City Council hearing today on the “enabling ordinance”, members of Venice Action expressed various public policy concerns that will need attention in the implementation phase. The ordinance gives tremendous latitude to each council member in determining the procedures, as well as specific criteria and standards for districts. In fact, according to the DOT, a parking district could theoretically be created for the entire city.
“Where the rubber meets the road is the ‘implementing ordinance,’ said Ewing, “and we look forward to working with the Council office on crafting that.”