March 15, 2007

Parking: can we use citations to "re-educate"?

I almost fell out of my chair when I read the budget for the motorhome "re-education" campaign. Oh my GOD! $140,545 to put fliers on all the motor homes in Lakewood? Cant we use the same people that Dominoes Pizza and the real estate agents use to litter our doorstep with ads? Are they cheaper? Hey voters if you missed the election and the 35 newspaper stories on the motorhome parking issue in Lakewood were sorry but you're going to get a ticket. You deserve to get one for pure stupidity or living under a rock. Has the City Council lost all touch with reality?

The better part of the story (if believable) is that the city is currently spending $337,949 on parking enforcement? (And this does not include the do nothings at the Sheriff's dept. as they are too busy crime fighting to do parking). The only parking enforcement I have seen is on the few streets posted for no parking on sweeping days (like mine) I see the new white Honda Civic$ drive down the street and waive at the good people who slept in and did not get up time to move the car as the sweeper rolls by. No ticket! How nice! Great enforcement! On top of all that we are paying $337,949 for that service!! Here is a stupid question I am sure the city will not want to answer: Just what did the city collect in paid parking citations for the last 5 years? Something tells me its way south of $337,949. Also Lakewood somehow prides itself on the fact that it is a "complaint driven" parking citation system, meaning someone has to call the city to get a cite issued. That being the case $337,949 is even more outrageous. Good thing y'all just re-elected the two councilmen likely responsible for this long standing parking mess, now made even uglier by the waste of funds. We may need the fireworks companies to chip in here. LOL

Education effort will drive home new rules for RVs
By Karen Robes, Staff writer
Article Launched: 03/14/2007 10:26:27 PM PDT

The Lakewood City Council has approved a plan to educate residents about the new laws, set to take effect July 1, restricting street parking for RVs and trailers in the city. (Scott Smeltzer / Press-Telegram)

LAKEWOOD - There's something city officials want recreational vehicle and trailer owners to know, and they're planning to convey it in letters and on notices hung on RVs.

After July 1, Lakewood RV and trailer owners will face daily fines for parking on city streets without a permit.

The City Council earlier this week approved plans to educate residents, handle complaints and provide the staff and resources to enforce the new RV and trailer laws voters approved last November.

The city's annual operating budget for parking enforcement will be $478,494 - a $140,545 increase over last year.

The extra $140,545 includes the wages of the additional parking control officers, their uniforms and vehicle maintenance costs, said city spokesman Don Waldie.

There also are "one-time-only costs" of about $147,940, which includes public information costs ($20,056), the purchase of four new vehicles ($112,000), and additional equipment ($15,884).

Officials hope to get the more than 6,000 RV and trailers to voluntarily comply with the new rules and help lessen residents' requests for service.

"We're going to make every effort we can to make sure people are aware," Mayor Larry Van Nostran said. "We want to make it easier for people to abide by what the laws are going to be."

The new bans are among several efforts to quell concerns about the increasing number of RVs and trailers parked for long periods on city streets. For more than 30 years, the council has tried to balance the needs of RV and trailer owners and those who view the rigs and motorhomes as eyesores and traffic hazards.

The new laws require owners to obtain a maximum three-day permit to park on the street. Residents can get up to 16 permits annually but there must be at least a three-day gap between permits. The permits, which are free, can be downloaded online at


Beginning in April, the city will distribute hangers and mail letters to all RV and trailer owners registered with the Department of Motor Vehicles.

The city will add 140 hours of enforcement time per week with two full-time and two part-time parking control officers.

The city will also have customer service liaisons and a part-time relief worker to handle resident service requests.

From July 1 through July 15, there will be a two-week warning period for offenders. After that, violators are subject to a daily $40 fine. A vehicle can be towed if five citations have been left unpaid, the grace period of 21 days has elapsed and notice to the DMV has been sent.

Karen Robes can be reached at or (562) 499-1303.

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