Thursday, November 20, 2008

Dealing the RVs Parked on our streets.

As the numbers of RVs grow, the concern of the residents grow. It's a quality of life issue for the homeowners and renters of the neighborhood and a HEALTH HAZARD for all of us.

A motion By Councilman Bill Rosendahl
Councilmember, 11th District
Los Angeles, California

As a result of the current economic crisis, families and individuals are falling upon hard times
and are too often faced with stark and unpleasant choices, Many people have lost their jobs,
their homes, and their support network. Many people cling to stability by their fingernails, living
in their vehicles as they try to get back on their feet, or as a last-ditch effort to avoid sleeping on
the streets.

Current city law, however, effectively criminalizes living in one's vehicle on a publicly owned
street. L.A.M.e. Section 85.02 states: "No person shall use a vehicle parked or standing upon
any City street or upon any parking lot owned by the City of Los Angeles or under control of the
Los Angeles County Department of Beaches and Harbors as living quarters either overnight,
day-by-day, or otherwise," (Title and Section Amended by Ord. No.158,219, Eff. 9/19/83.)

In an effort to balance the quality of life of residents with social justice, other cities have crafted
more nuanced ordinances, still forbidding camping in vehicles on city streets, but creating
special zones where people can sleep safely in their vehicles, They have done so without
impacting the quality of life in residential neighborhoods, Communities practicing such a
balanced approach include Eugene, Oregon, and the County of Santa Barbara.

As the economy worsens and more and more people face poverty or homelessness, the time has
come for the City of Los Angeles to pursue such a balanced approach. The current ordinance
should be amended, creating a process that allows each councilmember to designate zones in his
or her district where people can sleep in their vehicles. These zones could include municipal
properties, parking lots of churches or community-based organizations, industrial areas, and
other areas that would have minimal impact on residential communities.

I THEREFORE MOVE that the City Council request that the City Attorney, in collaboration
with the Chief Legislative Analyst, draft an amendment to LAMC Section 85,02, modeled after
the Santa Barbara and Eugene initiatives, creating a provision for councilmembers to designate
discrete and distinct areas of their council districts where people would be allowed to park and
sleep overnight.

I FURTHER MOVE that the Chief Legislative Analyst explore funding opportunities that would
allow such specially designated areas to be matched with staffing, security, and social services,
as is done in Santa Barbara County.

PRESENTID BY, Bill Rosendahl
Councilmember, 11th District
Los Angeles, California

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