Oversized Vehicle Ordinance in Works

By: 
Kirt Ramirez
Oversized vehicle parked on Redondo Avenue.

An ordinance to ban RVs and other oversized vehicles from being parked on residential streets is being worked on.

Long Beach councilmembers passed a motion to address oversized vehicles June 13, spearheaded by Third District Councilwoman Suzie Price. As a result, the city attorney will amend current municipal code section 10.24.078 to “prohibit parking of oversized and recreational vehicles on city rights-of-way within residential neighborhoods.”

A free permit available online would need to be printed out and placed on the dash board for an oversized vehicle to be legal on a residential street. It would allow for 72-hour parking and 20 permits for the year. Extensions would be granted on a case by case basis with exceptions and details yet to be ironed out.

The ordinance deals with residential streets, not commercial corridors.

The California Coastal Commission must review and certify the ordinance before the city council approves it.

“The council provided direction to staff to finalize a ban of RVs in the city. Public works, in coordination with the city attorney’s office is working to finalize the implementation plan and ordinance,” explained Public Works Director Craig Beck through email. “That will likely return to council for final action in September/October. Once that action is taken, enforcement would happen through the parking team.”

Beck added, “Residents will still be able to utilize their driveway. One of the items still being discussed relates to an element of the planning code related to how vehicles can be stored on private property. I believe the current code requires them to be behind a gate. Staff is still working on if that is what will be recommended to council or if there will be more latitude.”

Meanwhile, vehicles that exceed 85 inches high, 80 inches wide, or 22 feet long would be considered oversized under the law, a change from the current 20-foot-long rule. Typical oversized vehicles include RVs, boats and trailers with equipment on or attached to them. The vehicle shall be measured together with the trailer, according to the rules.

Oversized vehicles parked on public streets can reduce parking spaces for others, add visual blight to neighborhoods, raise sanitation concerns and block visibility.

City staff looked at 10 regional cities and will use positive aspects of their RV rules in the Long Beach ordinance.

Parking prohibition signs will be posted in city entrances at a cost of $18,000 and mailers notifying residents of the new policy will be included with utility bill mailings. In addition, the updated rules will appear on the city website and via social media.

The enforcement process would be complaint-based and additional staff would not be hired to give tickets.

The current Long Beach Municipal Code and California Vehicles Code can be confusing and appear contradictory, city officials pointed out at the June council meeting. A new ordinance would be streamlined and consistent.

“I know that the council offices have received many complaints but us as staff have received those as well,” Long Beach Traffic Engineer Eric Widstrand told the city council. “Many times we’re asked to go out and enforce codes that are confusing and conflicting and it makes it challenging on the enforcement side. One of the things we are asking for this evening is to really update the municipal code to make sure that it is clear on what is being proposed.”

Price said her constituents want the RVs addressed.

“Our office has received over the last year or so hundreds of emails in support of adopting a citywide consistent approach to handling RVs, because when the police do get called out, it’s incredibly confusing what ordinance is in what place on what street,” Price said during the meeting.

Price added that her chief of staff Jack Cunningham made phone calls to ask about RV storage availability.

“We know that there is RV availability in very short distance from the City of Long Beach. Carson has lots of availability right now. So we called and confirmed it today, $130 a month,” she said June 13.

Price said concerned Third District residents can contact her office for more information and receive a list of storage places.

kirt@beachcomber.news

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