Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa recently expressed his opposition to a deal that would have allowed Venice residents to create overnight parking districts, according to Venice Paper.

In a letter he rejected the City Council's approval of a deal with the California Coastal Commission and the Venice Stakeholders Association that would have allowed the permit-parking districts.

The mayor's move, however, was moot as the California Coastal Commission ultimately voted down the deal. (In typical Villaraigosan style, the mayor is a day late and a dollar short). A lawsuit could change that, but the mayor's lack of a sign-off on the plan would not have made a binding difference on whether the City Council could have approved overnight parking. Here's what the mayor wrote in his rejection letter:

… It's time we embraced the challenge and began working toward real solutions, not those that push problems from one block to another, from one neighborhood to another. We can do better, and we must do better.

Overnight-parking's proponents are especially concerned about what they describe as quasi-homeless RV dwellers in Venice who are blamed for blight, narcotics activities and quality of life crimes.

Opponents say permit parking would deny access to the coast and change the open nature of Venice.

Says the mayor:

… I believe we have the ability to differentiate between the needs of those legitimately suffering from economic dislocation who are in need of safe places to park and help in obtaining services and housing, and those who are taking unfair advantage of both the system and the historically welcoming tradition of the Venice community by creating nuisances and sometimes committing crimes. We can combine compassion and pragmatism with appropriate measured law enforcement to avoid the further victimization of both the housed and the un-housed populations of Venice


LA Weekly