LOCAL LAWS ’93 : In a busy and offbeat 1993, local lawmakers enacted regulations covering everything from garage sales to knives to toilets. Chatting on a car phone became a little costlier in several Southland cities. And so did scrawling graffiti on public property. : Los Angeles County

Compiled by Times staff writers Emily Adams, Randal Archibold, G. Jeanette Avent, Ken Ellingwood, Nancy Hill-Holtzman, Cecilia Rasmussen and Richard Winton

Curfew--The county’s curfew ordinance was amended to empower police to arrest anyone for being on the streets after dark when a curfew is declared. It removes a provision from the original ordinance that allowed authorities to arrest curfew violators only if they threatened to imperil lives or property or hinder police and fire crews.

Ethics--The Board of Supervisors strengthened laws regulating lobbyists by adding new reporting requirements and civil penalties. Lobbyists can be fined $2,100 for failure to comply with the law. Also, lobbyists are prohibited from giving presents with a value of more than $50 to public officials.

Garage sales--After hearing complaints of noise and traffic, the board limited the number of garage sales a household can have to two a year. First- and second-time offenses will be punishable by a fine similar to that for a parking ticket. Frequent offenses are considered misdemeanors punishable by up to a $1,000 fine.

Graffiti--Merchants must place spray-paint cans and large marking pens behind counters or in locked shelves where they are not accessible to minors. Violators will be subject to a $500 fine or a six-month jail sentence.


City of Los Angeles

Benefits--City employees who live with domestic partners, both heterosexual and gay, for at least a year can obtain medical and dental coverage for them and any dependent children.

Cellular phones--To help the city out of its budget mess, a levy was applied to cellular telephone users. The 10% tax is the same one applied to regular telephones.

Curfew--The council expanded the power of police to arrest curfew violators. Now, violating a curfew order is a misdemeanor under any condition, punishable by a $1,000 fine and six months in jail.


Foreign trips--After a furor over foreign travel by commissioners, trips by Los Angeles city officials will receive closer scrutiny. Foreign trips involving more than one city commissioner must be approved by the council and all travel that is paid for by the city will have to be justified in detailed reports.

Knives--Hoping to reduce injuries and deaths among youngsters, the council made it illegal to sell knives, blades or other stabbing weapons to anyone younger than 18. Any merchant violating the law will be charged with a misdemeanor that carries a sentence of up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine. Gifts from parents, such as Boy Scout pocket knives and blades used to perform certain jobs, are exempt.

Smoking--Smoking is prohibited in all enclosed restaurants. Bars are exempt from the law, even if they are located inside eateries. Smokers can be fined from $50 to $250, while restaurant owners who defy the law face up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Street vendors--Under a two-year pilot program, sidewalk vending is made legal within eight special zones to be determined by community advisory councils.

Surcharges--Developers and architects will have to pay 8.5% more to get their projects through the city Planning Department. The increase will apply to all fees levied by the department. A conditional-use permit that previously cost $2,810, for example, will be $3,049. Also, the city’s Department of Building and Safety and Bureau of Engineering increased their fees by 1.5%.

Graffiti--The city attorney, for the first time, is empowered to seek civil penalties of up to $1,000 from taggers for every incident of graffiti for which the city incurs cleanup costs. The civil penalties are in addition to criminal penalties of up to $50,000 and one year in jail that can already be imposed on taggers.

Toilets--The builders of new auditoriums, theaters and convention halls must provide women with twice the number of toilets they provide for men, under an amendment to the plumbing code.



Park--Access to Wilderness Park is restricted on weekends because of concerns about crime and overcrowding by non-residents. Visitors must reserve space for weekend use. Non-residents must pay $15 a day; Arcadia residents do not have to pay a fee.

Artesia, Bellflower,

Hawaiian Gardens

Loitering--Several cities in Southeast Los Angeles County passed anti-loitering ordinances. The new laws make it illegal for anyone with drug-related convictions to be in an area known for drug activity, to be within six feet of a vehicle registered to a known drug offender or to loiter on property suspected of harboring drugs.

Beverly Hills

Panhandling--Aggressive panhandling, public drinking and many forms of sitting, sleeping and lying in public places were outlawed. It is also illegal to leave baggage or other personal property in public areas.


Graffiti--Minors are prohibited from possessing any tools that could be used to mark graffiti. Prohibited tools include aerosol spray paint, felt-tipped markers, paint sticks, glass cutters and etching tools.


La Verne

Smoking--Despite the verbal protest of Councilman Charles Strong, a cigar smoker, smoking is banned at City Hall.

Long Beach

Smoking--The City Council passed a tough anti-smoking ordinance, only to be stymied by a petition drive funded by tobacco interests. Voters will be asked in April to vote on a measure that would prohibit smoking in restaurants and most other public places.


Anti-gang tax--The utility users tax was increased 2% to pay for a law enforcement program that targets the city’s 25 most troublesome gang members. The tax, costing the average family an additional $3 per month, is expected to raise about $1 million annually. The money pays for seven additional sheriff’s deputies. Officials say the program is working: The first 25 troublemakers have all have left town or gone to jail, and deputies are working through a new list.


Smoking--The council prohibited smoking in all enclosed workplaces and restaurants. The ban will not affect bars in restaurants until October.

Redondo Beach

Graffiti--Minors are prohibited from possessing any tools that could be used to mark graffiti. Prohibited tools include aerosol spray paint, felt-tipped markers, paint sticks, glass cutters and etching tools.

Santa Monica

Parks--The City Council passed a law that would have effectively ended feeding programs for the homeless in parks by requiring reservations for large groups and limiting availability. The ACLU filed a lawsuit, and faced with an adverse preliminary ruling by a federal judge, city officials agreed in principle to repeal the law. But they promised to come back with a new plan for managing the parks.

San Gabriel Valley

Cellular phones--Pasadena, Alhambra, South Pasadena and Arcadia voted to apply utility user taxes to the bills of cellular telephone users.

Graffiti--Sierra Madre, Alhambra, Monrovia, Duarte, San Gabriel and Diamond Bar require property owners to remove graffiti within seven days of receiving a city notice or pay a $100 fine. The ordinances penalize parents of children caught doing graffiti up to $10,000 for damages. Merchants are forbidden to sell graffiti tools to minors.

South Pasadena

Outdoor dining--Restaurants with sidewalk dining are required to obtain permits, carry $1 million of liability insurance and pay the city 25 cents per square foot each month for use of the sidewalk.

West Hollywood

Cat licenses--West Hollywood became the fourth city in Los Angeles County to require cat owners to license their pets. The move was aimed at helping to recover lost animals, encourage spaying and neutering and reduce the number of stray cats destroyed each year. License fees are $5 for altered cats and $10 for unaltered cats.

Smoking--Despite protests from restaurant owners, the city followed Los Angeles in banning smoking in restaurants, except bars and outdoor eating areas.