October 7, 2006

RV parking issue spills over to L.B.

RV parking issue spills over to L.B.
Lakewood measure could force oversized vehicles to neighboring districts.
By Karen Robes, Staff writer

Article Launched:10/06/2006 11:03:54 PM PDT Long Beach Press Telegram

LONG BEACH - The recreational vehicle and trailer parking issue in Lakewood has spilled over to neighboring Long Beach.

City Councilwomen Gerrie Schipske and Rae Gabelich will ask City Attorney Bob Shannon Tuesday to draft an ordinance that would address problems that could arise if Lakewood voters ban rigs and motorhomes from city streets.

In August, the Lakewood City Council agreed to place on the Nov. 7 ballot two measures that would limit Lakewood residents from parking their RVs and trailers on city streets without a permit.

Lakewood also approved a series of parking enforcement measures, including a law banning RVs and trailers belonging to out-of-towners unless they have a special temporary permit. That law went into effect in late September.

"The 5th Council District is immediately adjacent to Lakewood, and if in fact those residents do approve removing RV and oversized vehicles, we know people are going to come across Del Amo (Boulevard)... and they can park their vehicles because we have a very loose ordinance regarding oversized vehicles," Schipske said. "I think we need to be proactive and figure out if this is the best thing for our residential areas and see if we can get ahead of the curb instead of react to it."

Currently, Long Beach has a series of ordinances to deal with parking concerns, said City Traffic Engineer Dave Roseman.

The city can restrict vehicles over 6 feet high from parking within 100 feet of an intersection if the restriction is posted. The city can also restrict commercial and non-commercial oversized vehicles on thoroughfares and in residential communities.

There is a petition process that allows neighborhoods to post signs restricting any oversized vehicle exceeding 85 inches high, 80 inches wide or 20 inches long, Roseman said.

If posted, residents have to obtain a permit from the Fire Department for loading and unloading their belongings.

The proposed ordinance could include banning non- Long Beach residents from parking non-motorized or oversized vehicles without a permit and outlawing street parking of limousines in residential areas.

The ordinance would address the parking of vehicles advertised for sale. The proposal also calls for banning the parking of "For Sale" vehicles within 100 feet of any street right-of-way unless a business is selling the vehicles and conforms with the city's zoning requirements and development standards.

Both councilwomen said the parking issue in Lakewood was not the primary reason for the request, but one more to consider amid other ongoing parking concerns in their districts.

Gabelich said there have been problems with cars parked with "For Sale" signs north of Del Amo Boulevard near 55th Street and issues with non-motorized trailers and boats.

"There are motorhomes that park in front of people's homes, hook up with electricity and use it as an extra bedroom," she said.

"I think that, ultimately, if we don't take a look at it, do I think that it could filter over to our neighborhoods? Yes, I do," Gabelich said. "The timing is perfect."

Karen Robes can be reached at karen.robes@presstelegram.com or (562) 499-1303.

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