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Do-It-Yourself Curb Painting Legal, City Says

So you operate a shop, one with lots of in-and-out business, and you’re sick and tired of people who park in front of your little emporium and don’t return for hours.

Can you just up and buy a can of green paint and create a do-it-yourself 24-minute parking space?

The answer is a qualified yes. Sometimes. Depending on what city you live in. And depending on whether it’s the officially approved curb-green traffic paint. And if the neighbors don’t object.

In other words, not just any yahoo with a spray can of lime green Day-Glo can do it: You must be a legitimate yahoo who’s filled out all the right forms.

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The question arose after some downtown Ventura merchants, looking at months of parking hassles spurred by construction, wanted to take a hands-on approach to the problem.

One of them was the proprietor of Olde Town Jewelry & Loan on Chestnut Street.

So Pawnshop Rick (his chosen moniker) “went into City Hall and said I need one 24-minute spot in front of my store. In an hour, someone from traffic engineering was here. But you have to do all the right paperwork.”

“I explained to them that if my customers are gonna be carrying in or carrying out a TV, they need to park close by.”

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The city agreed and on Tuesday afternoon, Rick was busy creating his 20-foot-long curbside masterpiece with green paint and white stencils.

Ventura transportation engineer Nazir Lalani said the city often will grant a “Curb Painting Permit” to entrepreneurs who apply at City Hall and fill out the appropriate requests showing a legitimate need for short-term parking directly in front of a business.

“It’s not a new policy,” Lalani said. “In the past year we’ve granted about 20 permits. We found out Santa Barbara has a similar paint-your-own policy, and it saves city employees many hours of work when people are allowed to do their own. They have to paint and maintain the curb.”

Lalani said the city doesn’t allow individuals to paint curbs with red “no parking” paint, yellow “commercial unloading,” white “passenger loading” or blue “handicapped” paint.

“But I’ve had residents try to paint over the city’s red curbs with their own green paint,” he said. The scofflaws didn’t get away with it.


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