The idea was to create resident-only parking zones in Venice overnight, so that neighborhoods weren't overrun with homeless folks living in RVs.
See also: Gentry Against Funky in Venice.
But the city's proposed, so-called Overnight Parking Districts (OPDs) were denied by the California Coastal Commission. So the local Venice Stakeholders Association challenged the coastal commission's decision in court.
The neighborhood association lost against the state. But now a local city councilman is talking about reviving resident-only permits … this time for daytime parking:
After the city of Los Angeles pulled its support from the circa-2009 lawsuit, the Venice Stakeholders Association pulled its own case, officially causing its dismissal over the weekend.
Both sides – the neighborhood stakeholders association and the homeless-friendly Venice Action Alliance – seem to agree that the lack of support from the city spelled an end to the effort to lock the RVs out of overnight parking.
The tide seemed to have turned when Los Angeles City Councilman Mike Bonin last year took over the local City Council seat of Bill Rosendahl. Rosendahl had sympathized with homeowners who complained that crime, drugs and open-air bathroom use followed the RVs into their neighborhoods.
But the Action Alliance and the Coastal Commission argued that this was a matter of public access to the ocean, above and beyond the city's needs: It's the people's beach, and we can't pick and choose which people we want to be there.
The Alliance says the Commission agreed that …
… under state law, residents and visitors alike have a right to access this unique coastal community, and that the City should do even more to service Venice as the second most popular tourist destination in California.
David Ewing of Venice Action Alliance says:
The first victim of this was community civility. The second victim was common sense. OPDs were like using a sledgehammer on a housefly. Those who wanted to drive out the 'motor homeless' promptly found other methods. There was no reason to drag this lawsuit out for four years.
Councilman Bonin said in a statement to the Weekly that “it is time to move on.”
I am determined to dramatically improve the condition of Venice Beach and the quality of life in our neighborhoods, as well as to successfully move homeless people from our neighborhood streets into the housing and services they need and deserve. These goals will not be served by renewing and repeating an angry and divisive ideological battle regarding OPDs.
While I have long been a opponent of OPDs because I do not feel they would address homelessness OR quality of life issues …
But now Bonin wants to see daytime preferential parking districts for residents affected by beach-going crowds, particularly in summer:
A far more pressing, far more comprehensive, and far more real parking issue for our neighborhood is the need for daytime preferential parking districts for residents suffering from the parking shortage caused by tourists, beach visitors, and customers of our bustling commercial areas.
Bonin says a pending Local Coastal Plan created by the city will “allow our city to create parking and transportation solutions that meet Venice's needs.”
For its part, the Venice Stakeholders Association states, “the City completely abandoned the residents who have shown majority support for OPD … “
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