Owners of RVs and oversized vehicles will have a tougher time parking in Manhattan Beach thanks to new restrictions, but the rules are not as strict as those passed by several neighboring beach communities.
Despite opposition from homeless advocates and some RV owners, the Manhattan Beach City Council unanimously approved a law Tuesday that prohibits RV and oversized vehicle parking next to schools, community centers and parks, according to Manhattan Beach Mayor Pro Tem Wayne Powell.
Visibility was the council’s biggest concern, Powell said.
“Kids tend to dart out without being able to see oncoming traffic,” Powell said. “We’ve had a couple near misses where children have almost been run over.”
Police will start enforcing the new parking rules in February.
The new law is a compromise reached between city leaders and at least two-dozen RV owners who urged city leaders not to pass some of the more restrictive proposals that were being considered, and that had already passed in other cities including neighboring Redondo Beach.
Parking enforcement officers in Redondo Beach began enforcing a new RV parking rule in June that prohibits oversized vehicles not registered within the city limits from parking in any public area between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m.
RV owners who are residents of Redondo Beach can park their oversized vehicles on the street during those hours, according to city law, so long as they pay $20 to $30 for an overnight permit Tuesday through Friday.
The changes come after several cities said they received complaints about oversized vehicles taking up parking spaces, blocking traffic visibility and creating visual blight.
But RV owners who do not want to pay for a permit to park their vehicles and some RV dwellers protested the new regulations.
Tensions between RV owners and other residents have been running high in LA's beach communities. A meeting in Venice earlier this year became especially heated.
“This is segregation,” yelled one audience member at a committee meeting held in Venice Beach in January. “You are facilitating segregation in Venice, the rich and the poor.”
Venice Beach decided on an ordinance that allows RV dwellers to park overnight at designated lots in Venice, but only if they participated in a pilot program that seeks to provide them with housing.
Hermosa Beach, Torrance, Rancho Palos Verdes, Hawthorne, Culver City and Santa Monica are among 30 LA County cities that have passed RV parking restrictions.
The restrictions range from prohibiting parking of oversized vehicles next to schools to more wide-ranging limits including a complete prohibition on parking without a permit.
Manhattan Beach also passed an ordinance that prohibits detached trailers from being parked anywhere, at any time within city limits.
Police are also planning to more strictly enforce an existing state law that says any vehicle cannot be parked in the same spot for more than 72 hours, including oversized vehicles and RVs.
“In six months, we’re going to come back and review how things are working," Powell said. "If it’s still a perceived problem, we’ll have to do something about it.”