Santa Monica : Limits Sought on Sleeping in Vehicles

The City Council on Tuesday asked the city attorney to draft an ordinance that would prohibit people from sleeping in vehicles in residential areas. If adopted, the ordinance would give the police power to issue citations to offenders.

The police could also ask people to drive to commercial or industrial areas where sleeping in vehicles is permitted.

City Atty. Robert M. Myers said it is not now against the law for people to sleep in vehicles in residential areas. He said police can ask people to move, but have little recourse if the sleepers refuse.

Councilman James P. Conn also asked the staff to prepare a list of streets where sleeping would be allowed if the ordinance is adopted.

"If we prohibit people from sleeping in residential areas and in areas where parking is restricted from 3 to 5 a.m., what's left?" Conn said.

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