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LCF City Council seeks feedback from Public Works on better regulating RV parking on streets

LCF City Council seeks feedback from Public Works on better regulating RV parking on streets
The city of La Cañada Flintridge is looking to strengthen parking restrictions for oversized vehicles. Above, an RV parked on Curran Street is seen in the background and another one parked nearby is seen in the rear-view mirror in this June 2012 file photo. (Raul Roa / La Cañada Valley Sun)

The La Cañada Flintridge Public Works and Traffic Commission will be reviewing how to strengthen a city ordinance on parking restrictions for oversized vehicles in the public right-of-way, following a staff report presentation to the City Council last week that expanded on enforcing a flouted loophole.

La Cañada resident Jon Burke, who had addressed the council during public comment at its June 5 meeting, first referenced a recreational vehicle having been parked by a neighbor on his street for several months. Burke attended with his wife and two neighbors from Alminar Avenue who also called the RV owner’s consistent practice of parking it on the street or his driveway a safety issue.

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“He’s been cited,” Burke said. “He doesn’t move it until police come back. He puts in his driveway, uses up the 48 hours, then moves it to the street, then moves it to his other house. It’s a big huge box sitting in the street.”

City Manager Mark Alexander said state law allows for parking in a right-of-way for no more than 72 hours, but if the vehicle is moved within that time period, it “starts the clock” all over again. A second means of enforcement beyond state law is the municipal code, which states if the vehicle is parked in the right-of-way for more than 24 hours, it gets marked by parking enforcement. Alexander said after the vehicle is marked, the vehicle owner has 48 hours left to comply to move the vehicle. However, if the vehicle is moved within the initial 24 hours, it “starts the clock” all over again.

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“I agree that this should go back to public works,” said Councilman Mike Davitt. “I also don’t want to be known as a community where you can park your RV or boat on the street for an unlimited amount of time.”

Paddy Tabor, senior management analyst in the Department of Public Works, presented a report that reviewed other adjacent cities’ regulations on parking oversized vehicles in the public right-of-way.

“If you [initiated a] permit process, you would limit him from how many times they can park,” Tabor said, referring to Burke’s neighbor.

Tabor said that in Glendale, oversized vehicles are prohibited from parking on a public street for more than two hours except for when loading or unloading the vehicle, including boats and personal watercraft. Permits are issued for a 48-hour period by the police department for $10, and only one permit is issued per vehicle, per month.

In Pasadena, overnight parking is prohibited for all vehicles, except by permit, and Tabor said permits are not issued to vehicles that exceed 7 feet in height or the width or length of a standard parking space.

In Burbank, oversized vehicle parking on a public street is prohibited except by permit. Tabor added Burbank prohibits oversized vehicle parking within 80 feet of an intersection to prevent line-of-sight obstruction issues for drivers. Permits, at a cost of $5 per day, are valid for a 24-hour period and conservative permit blocks of three permits cannot exceed 72 hours. There must be a 48-hour separation between permit blocks, and any vehicle can be issued a maximum of 96 permits annually.

In Los Angeles County, oversized vehicles are restricted from parking on any county roads except by permit, which are issued for a 24-hour period. Two 24-hour permits is the maximum allowed time for one oversized vehicle, Tabor said. Each oversized vehicle is allowed 24 permits maximum annually, and there are no fees for the permit. In 2002, Tabor added, the unincorporated area of La Crescenta was included in the county’s parking restrictions.

Tabor said that in La Cañada Flintridge, parking enforcement is handled as part of the contract with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, whereas the other cities and county have separate parking enforcement divisions.

Staff recommended posting appropriate signage at all city entrances and specific locations that outline the parking restrictions for oversized vehicles.

“The permit situation seems reasonable,” Davitt said. “You also don’t want to limit people coming back from a trip and parking the RV in front of the house.”

Councilman Jon Curtis agreed with Davitt, adding that with the sheriff’s department, only habitual offenders are targeted.

Mayor Terry Walker said she liked that Los Angeles has 24-hour permits and a maximum that are allowed per year.

“It’s getting the people using our streets as a personal storage unit with their vehicles,” she said of the current practice. “I do think signage is important and it needs to be on our website.”

Council clarifies sign-posting policy

At the same July 3 meeting, the council approved several items on the consent calendar. One was a resolution repealing a prior approval and establishing a prohibition of posting signs, banners or other advertisements at Memorial Park.

In 2004, the council passed a resolution that banned the posting of signs at Memorial Park and established the Caltrans overpass parking lot across the street from the park as the designation for the community to post event announcements. The prohibition of posting at the park was due to potential damage it could cause to the fence and visibility issues. Last week’s approval separated the current policies between the park and overpass parking lot, where the park signage posting is still prohibited, and the parking lot sign posting clarifies who is eligible to apply and who can be granted a permit.

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