Buena Clinton Parking Ban to Be Tested : Garden Grove Officials Hope Action Will Reduce Drug Traffic

Times Staff Writer

In a move that property owners and city officials hope will make it tougher to sell drugs in Buena Clinton, the Garden Grove City Council voted unanimously Monday to ban all on-street parking in the area on a three-month trial basis.

The ban was requested last year by the Village Grove Property Owners Assn., which represents landlords who own a majority of the apartments in Buena Clinton, a 39-acre neighborhood in the southeast corner of the city plagued by poverty, crime and narcotics traffic.

According to a Police Department spokesman, there have been more than 800 drug-related arrests in Buena Clinton since extra police officers were assigned there full time in January, 1984.

"It is a harsh move but I think a harsh move is needed to solve some of the problems in the area," Councilman Ray Littrell said.

Car Sales Targeted

Edward Kuo, a spokesman for the landlords, said the parking ban would curtail the actions of heroin dealers who park and sell the drug from their cars. In addition to cutting into narcotics sales, the ban would also help eliminate other crime in the area, including burglary and prostitution, Assistant City Manager George Tindall said.

Removing parked cars would also make it easier for drivers to spot children who might dart into traffic, Tindall said, noting that about 600 children live in Buena Clinton.

"Those kids often play in the street," he said. "Although we haven't had any serious traffic accidents involving children, this will be a preventive measure."

Earlier, the city staff had drawn up the plan and forwarded it to the Traffic Commission, where it was approved on a 5-0 vote. The City Council directed staff to come up with a feasible procedure to put the ban into place and finally approved it Monday.

All property owners and tenants will be given advance warning before the ban is implemented, probably by the end of the month, officials said. Buena Clinton tenants will be sent a flyer printed in English, Spanish and Vietnamese that explains the parking restrictions.

Notices in English

Property owners will receive notices in English with the same information. However, owners will also be instructed to clean up their parking areas to ensure that all designated parking stalls are available for use within 30 days. Many of Buena Clinton's off-street parking areas are unusable because of vandalism, potholes and other damage, officials said.

Owners will also be required to install adequate lighting facilities in parking areas, officials said.

After preliminary notices have been sent out, the council is expected to enact a resolution approving enforcement of the ban and calling for a $27 citation and tow-away if a vehicle is left in the same spot more than 72 hours.

The resolution is expected to indicate that the ban will last 90 days, after which the council will review the program and decide whether to continue it.

City workers will begin installing no-parking signs on Westminster Avenue and Keel, Sunswept, Buena and Clinton streets after the notices are mailed.

Officials said questions about the parking ban should be directed to the Police Department at (714) 638-6611.

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