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Huntington Beach may apply the brakes on bicycle and scooter sharing services

Huntington Beach may apply the brakes on bicycle and scooter sharing services
LimeBikes commuter bikes sit parked near the Miami Shores Business District in Miami. (Omar Antonio Negrin / AP)

Huntington Beach may soon ban bicycle and scooter sharing services.

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Citing public safety concerns, the City Council on Monday will consider introducing an ordinance barring shared mobility devices and businesses.

Transportation rental companies, such as Lime and Mobike, enable customers to unlock and rent bicycles or scooters using a mobile application. In some cases, users can park the devices anywhere and re-lock them through the app. The business model is similar to the Lyft and Uber car ride services.

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City officials contend scooters and bicycles pose a threat to public safety by creating traffic and other challenges in streets and alleys and on curbs and sidewalks, according to the staff report.

The proposed ordinance would make it unlawful for any operator to provide, place or offer shared mobility devices in any public right of way. Shared mobility device operators would also be banned.

If approved, city or public safety officials could impound the scooters. Offenders would be fined $100 for the first offense, $200 for the second and $500 for each additional violation within a one-year period, according to the proposed ordinance.

Huntington Beach placed a four-month moratorium on the services. Other coastal communities, such as Newport Beach and Santa Monica, are also grappling with the issue.

Sea Dance development is up for final approval

Applicant Rick Wood of Irvine-based TRI Pointe Homes is seeking final approval for his proposal to build 51 single-family homes on a former school site at 14422 Hammon Lane.

The project needs the City Council to amend the land use designation from semi-public to low-density residential and open space. If denied, the project will not be built on the former Franklin Elementary School site.

The Sea Dance residential project calls for 51 homes, a 1.3-acre public park, private streets, public utilities and a water quality basin lot. Each unit would have a two-car, enclosed garage and a 400-square-foot minimum yard area.

The Huntington Beach Planning Commission supported the project in September after Wood scaled it down in response to community feedback.

Permit parking for recreational vehicles

In other business, the council will consider finalizing an ordinance that would restrict recreational vehicles or cars more than 22 feet long or 84 inches wide from parking on public streets without a permit.

Police Chief Robert Handy told council members Oct. 2 that the proposed municipal code amendment is intended to “enhance pedestrian and traffic safety” and address parking issues.

The proposal includes a tiered penalty system for multiple violations. Violators are currently fined $82. The proposal suggests a $162 fine for a second violation and $246 for a third.

Under the proposal, RVs would need a permit to be parked on the street near local parks. RVs are currently allowed to be parked near parks for two hours without a permit.

Monday’s City Council meeting begins at 6 p.m. in the Civic Center at 2000 Main St.

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