Southern California environment news and trends

Venice protest - holiday leniency for RV dwellers

This afternoon outside Bill Rosendahl's office (7166 West Manchester Blvd.) RV owners and homeless people will call for a temporary stay on arrests and citations for people sleeping in their cars overnight in Venice. At least through the holidays.

SO LET'S CATCH UP. Take the DeLorean time machine back to June of this year - when the Coastal Commission rejected a preferential parking plan Venice put forward.

"We were essentially rehearing the original permit requests," Wan said. "What the city was trying to do was use preferential parking to solve their social problems. They need to deal with their own social problems."

Councilman Bill Rosendahl saw a chance to step in. "[Rosedahl] was disappointed by the commission's rejection of the proposed settlement. But he said he hoped that the full City Council soon would approve his proposal that oversize vehicles be defined as those taller than 7 feet or longer than 22 feet. If approved, he said, that new law could be in place by Sept. 1 and the city could post "No Oversize Vehicles" signs where needed by November."

Then last month, Brian Watt was on the case for us to explain what happened when Rosendahl's plan worked.

Los Angeles City Councilman Bill Rosendahl has been working to reduce the number of recreational vehicles and campers people park overnight on the streets of Venice. The Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously Wednesday to approve new overnight parking restrictions.

If the mayor approves the ordinance, new street signs will ban parking vehicles more than 7-feet-high and/or 22-feet-long on certain blocks between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m.

"In Venice, where these parking restrictions are controversial, I decided to set a very high bar," Rosendahl explained to his colleagues before their vote.

For the signs to go up, two-thirds of the people who live in homes or run businesses on a block must sign a petition.

Rosendahl made the petitions available in August, and he says more than 700 people on 40 different Venice blocks have already signed them.

And now here we are. The fundamental tension between state authorities (the Coastal Commission) and the community of Venice (Bill Rosendahl's territory) has - most recently - even made the New Yor Times' greyish coverage (in an aside in an article about beach curfews). The NYT wrote: 

City Councilman Bill Rosendahl, whose district includes Venice, complained that the commission was insensitive to urban issues. Twice, it vetoed plans for parking restrictions in Venice, which Mr. Rosendahl had hoped would reduce the presence of people living in R.V.’s in the area.

“I say to the Coastal Commission, understand Los Angeles,” Mr. Rosendahl said. “Los Angeles is the homeless capital of the West Coast. In Venice, there are gangs, and issues sometimes spill onto the beach. The police have been very clear over the last few decades that this curfew gives them a breather.”

Venetians: what's at stake for you with the RV's parking at the coast? All your comments welcome.

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