Westside Councilman Bill Rosendahl on Monday said he was he was “very disappointed” by the California Coastal Commission's recent vote to reject a plan that would have eventually allowed Venice residents to restrict overnight parking on their blocks. “I am very disappointed that the California Coastal Commission rejected a settlement proposal that would have given residents of Venice the same ability to regulate street parking as every other community on the California coast,” the councilman said. “The proposal would have simultaneously given residents local control and increased visitor access to the beach.”
The issue has been a political fault line in Venice, often with newer homeowners backing parking restrictions in an effort to keep RVs and other potential outsiders at bay, and longtime, liberal residents saying permit parking in the community would not reflect its open, bohemian roots and would restrict access to the coast.
The group Venice Action Alliance praised the commission's 6-3 vote as a move that would preserve access to the coast: “The arguments for permits came across like pleas for using parking restrictions to fight crime,” said Karen Wolfe of Venice Action, “while those against permits sounded like a community trying to defend its diversity and a tradition of embracing the public.”
The vote denies a deal initially approved by the commission, the Venice Stakeholders Association and the city of Los Angeles would have allowed residents to ask for permit parking after a six-month test in which oversize vehicles, namely RVs, would have been banned from some areas during the late-night/early morning hours.
Those in favor of overnight parking had argued that homeless people were sleeping in cars and RVs and degrading the quality of life in some Venice neighborhoods. The vehicle dwellers were accused of drug use, narcotics sales and trashy conditions.
Rosendahl said he would continue to fight for permitted parking in Venice: “I am determined to use every tool at my disposal to help Venice residents regulate parking in front of their homes.”
He said the City Council would soon vote on stricter measures that would essentially ban RVs from parking in some of Venice's residential neighborhoods overnight, and that he has a plan to get the RV's move “from residential streets while providing those living in their vehicles with much-needed social services and a path to housing.”