Gatto's bills on dog parks, broken parking meters signed into law

Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Silver Lake) saw two of his bills – one allowing drivers to park at broken meters, and another making it easier for cities to build dog parks - signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday.

AB 265, which was based on an idea from Glendale City Councilmember Laura Friedman, reduces the liability cities bear when building dog parks.

Friedman said that by protecting municipalities from litigants, the bill makes it easier for more dog parks to be built.

“When Glendale was considering opening a dog park, one of the biggest concerns was protecting the City from liability,” Friedman said in a statement. 

Gatto said the new law will have the most impact on smaller cities that cannot afford to self-insure dog parks.

“Dog parks help build safer and stronger communities by providing a public space for neighbors to interact while training and socializing their dogs,” Gatto said in a statement.  “We should not allow liability concerns to be a barrier to creating these open spaces.”

AB 61, which prevents local governments from passing laws to ticket motorists who park at broken meters, also received Brown’s signature.

“Forcing a motorist to drive around aimlessly in search of a parking spot is not healthy for the driver or for the environment,” Gatto said in a statement.  “And it’s just wrong to force a driver into an expensive lot when perfectly good spots are available on the street.”

This bill was signed soon after the Los Angeles City Council voted to remove its own ordinance for ticketing motorists who park at broken meters.

Glendale does not have such an ordinance, however, and Burbank does not operate parking meters.

The changes imposed by these new laws go into effect on Jan. 1, 2014.

-- Daniel Siegal,

Follow on Google+ and on Twitter: @Daniel_Siegal.

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