City Council set to put brakes on proliferation of oversize vehicles
Jul 03, 2014 | 1153 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Local reaction to the oversize-vehicle ordinance (OVO), which is to take effect citywide in August, has been positive, with the general consensus being it will rid streets of unwanted vehicles while preserving quality of life.

“This gives people a clear way of complying with the ordinance while getting oversize vehicles off the streets,” said Mayor Kevin Falconer, noting the ordinance is affordable for citizens who will be able to get temporary permits for recreational vehicles online.

“The oversize vehicle ordinance really addresses safety and quality-of-life issues,” said District 2 City Councilman Ed Harris. “We already have a great deal of density in our beach communities and that density only increases during summer months.”

Harris said oversize vehicles parked on city streets for weeks at a time is a problem.

“Visibility is reduced for drivers, and access to driveways and alleys is often compromised,” he said. “Parking is already a challenge for folks coming down to the beach just for a day.”

District 1 City Councilwoman Sherri Lightner agreed.

“This could provide some relief for parking-impacted beach communities and other non-coastal neighborhoods that have pervasive problems with oversize vehicles,” Lightner said, adding the biggest complaints her office hears from local residents is that vehicles are too big for neighborhoods, causing public safety, quality-of-life and environmental problems.

The City Council adopted the revised Neighborhood Parking Protection Ordinance June 17, said city public information officer Bill Harris.

He said the ordinance bans overnight parking of “oversize vehicles, non-motorized vehicles and recreational vehicles.”

Oversize vehicles are defined as any vehicle, including any attached trailers, vehicles or loads thereon, that exceeds 27 feet in length and 7 feet in height.”

The new ordinance also allows owners of recreational vehicles to obtain a permit allowing overnight parking within one 24-hour period.

Harris said the permit process is limited to individuals offering proof of residency in advance of purchasing the permit. Permit applicants — once confirmed by city staff — may purchase up to three consecutive permits (72 hours). Applicants may purchase up to 72 days of permits per year.

Recreational vehicles are defined in the city’s vehicle code as “any camp trailer, camper, trailer coach, or house car, any boat, dune buggy, all-terrain vehicle or other motorized or towed vehicle designed, maintained or used primarily for recreational purposes.”

The new OVO ordinance also includes the opportunity for the city treasurer to implement an automated permit system. That system will “go live” via the city treasurer’s website on July 8, allowing users to provide appropriate proof of residency. Permits will become available for purchase on Aug. 1.

The city will adhere to a grace period for citations of permit violations between Aug. 1 and Aug. 16. All citations issued after the grace period will include a first notification with no associated fines. Subsequent violations will result in a $100 fine to vehicle owners.

Joe LaCava, president of the La Jolla Community Planning Association (LJCPA) and chairman of the San Diego Community Planners Committee, an umbrella organization of the city’s 40-plus planning groups, hailed the OVO as a major step forward.

“The oversize-vehicle ordinance, or more correctly, the Neighborhood Parking Protection Ordinance, is a long-overdue change to parking regulations that will protect residential streets, as well as streets in our commercial and recreation areas,” LaCava said. “The ordinance prevents blocking sightlines for cars, pedestrians and bicyclists by requiring oversize vehicles to be set back at least 50 feet from street intersections.”

LaCava said the new ordinance “prevents streets from becoming de facto storage zones by prohibiting on-street parking of oversize vehicles between 2 and 6 a.m.”

LaCava said the city recognized the need for residents to load/unload their recreational vehicles and is providing an easy-to-use online permitting and a very modest $1.25/day fee.

“The city has wisely provided for a two-year sunset date so the ordinance is revisited to ensure it is working for all San Diegans,” he said.

Pacific Beach Planning Group chairman Brian Curry said he looks forward to seeing the new ordinance in place.

“The Pacific Beach Planning Group has strongly supported the OVO from the start and we are looking forward to its implementation and enforcement,” he said. “It is long overdue.”

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