Two sides in the fight over Venice's embattled “mobile homeless” fired off shots over the weekend, with the group Venice Action urging the California Coastal Commission to affirm its denial of resident-only parking zones in the area and Venice Stakeholders Association asking the commission to reconsider the move that would exclude RV dwellers who, it argued, often dump sewage on city streets.

The blasts came after last week's reports of three incidences of RV operators dumping their sewage tanks into area gutters. Proponents of the overnight parking restrictions that would push many RVs out of Venice pointed to the dumping as a reason RV dwellers shouldn't be allowed to camp overnight in the community. Opponents, while wary of such dumping, want the commission to affirm its findings that overnight parking restrictions would limit access to the coast.

Venice Action states:

The findings underscored the Commission's assertion that its fundamental responsibility is to protect the public's ability to access the coast and that the City was asking them 'to balance the needs of the local residents and the homeless problem.' … They further stated that alternatives exist to accomplish those goals without the adverse affects on coastal access.

Meanwhile, in light of the dumping incidents, Venice Stakeholders, along with the Marina Peninsula Neighborhood Association and the Venice Canals Association, want the commission to reverse course on its denial of “overnight parking districts” for Venice, according to a statement:

The California Coastal Commission, in light of its obligation to protect coastal waters from pollution, should reconsider its recent denial of a permit that would allow the City to implement overnight restricted parking in Venice, a measure that would stop camping in any vehicle, regardless of size.

Additionally, the groups want city Councilman Bill Rosendahl to fast-track oversize-vehicle parking restrictions that have already been approved by the city. It appears the councilman wants his “Streets to Homes” program, which would create special parking lots in the area for the “mobile homeless,” to get off the ground before many of the overnight zones are implemented.

Marina Peninsula Neighborhood Association Director Diana Spielberger states, “We cannot tolerate this kind of health-threatening pollution and irresponsibility from transients who live in RVs and cars. Our city streets are not campgrounds and what these people are doing is clearly against the law. We need our city officials to enforce the law.”

LA Weekly