Local reaction to the Oversize Vehicle Ordinance, which is to take effect citywide in August, has been positive, with the general consensus being that it will rid streets of unwanted vehicles while preserving quality of life. Meanwhile, one La Jolla official hailed the measure as preventing streets from “becoming de facto storage zones.”
“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,” noted 2nd District Councilman Ed Harris. “We already have a great deal of density in our beach communities, and that density only increases during summer months.”
Harris added having oversize vehicles parked on city streets for weeks at a time “creates problems.”
“Visibility is reduced for drivers, and access to driveways and alleys is often compromised,” he said, adding, “Parking is already a challenge for folks coming down to the beach just for a day.”
City Council President pro tem Sherri Lightner agreed.
“This could provide some relief for parking-impacted beach communities and other noncoastal neighborhoods that have pervasive problems with oversize vehicles,” Lightner said, adding the biggest complaints her Council District 1 office hears is that the vehicles are too big for neighborhoods, causing public safety, quality of life and environmental problems.
Joe LaCava, president of La Jolla Community Planning Association (LJCPA) and chair of San Diego Community Planners Committee, an umbrella organization of the city’s 40-plus planning groups, hailed the 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 sight lines for cars, pedestrians and bicyclists by requiring oversized vehicles to be set back at least 50 feet from street intersections.”
LaCava added the new ordinance “prevents streets from becoming de facto storage zones by prohibiting on-street parking of oversized vehicles between 2 and 6 a.m.”
LaCava said the city recognized the need for residents to load and unload their recreational vehicles and is providing easy-to-use online permitting and a modest $1.25-per-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.
City Council adopted the revised Neighborhood Parking Protection Ordinance on June 17, city public information officer Bill Harris said. Harris added the new ordinance bans overnight parking of “oversized vehicles, nonmotorized 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 (RVs) 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 Vehicle Code as “any camp trailer, camper, trailer coach or house car” or “any boat, dune buggy, all-terrain vehicle (ATV) or other motorized or towed vehicle designed, maintained or used primarily for recreational purposes.”
The new 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 citation 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.