Venice RV Plan Unveiled for “Street Campers”

A city councilman proposed Wednesday that RV dwellers be allowed to park overnight at designated lots in Venice -- but only if they participate in a pilot program that seeks to provide them with housing.
Currently, the municipal code states that no one ``shall use a vehicle parked or standing upon any city street or upon any parking lot owned by the city of Los Angeles or under control of the Los Angeles County Department of Beaches and Harbors as living quarter either overnight, day-by-day, or otherwise.''
Councilman Bill Rosendahl, who represents Venice and chairs the council's Transportation Committee, wants to grant exemptions to participants of his ``Vehicles to Homes'' program.
He instructed lawyers within the City Attorney's Office to draw up a proposed ordinance that includes the following text: ``notwithstanding any provisions of the (municipal code), participants enrolled in the `Vehicles to Homes Roadmap to Housing' program overseen by Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority and managed by PATH are permitted to sleep legally in certain specific assigned public spaces during certain limited hours only for the duration of their enrollment in the program.''
He added the ordinance should set a cap on the number of RVs per lot, and create a buffer zone between parking spaces and residences.
A draft will be submitted to the committee, which will decide whether to endorse it to the full council.
During today's committee meeting -- Rosendahl was the only member present; the other four were attending a closed-door sesion on the city's budget -- a member of the audience stood up and demanded that police stop arresting the homeless in Venice.
``This is segregation!'' he yelled. ``You are facilitating segregation in Venice, the rich and the poor.''
Police officers escorted the man, a regular attendee at the committee's meetings, out of the room in handcuffs.
Tensions boiled over in Venice last fall when a neighborhood activist said she saw RV dwellers dumping raw sewage into the street and complained that city officials took too long to clean up the mess.
The council eventually approved an emergency ordinance banning oversized vehicles -- 22 feet long and/or 7 feet high -- from parking between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. between Lincoln Boulevard and Ocean Front Walk and between Santa Monica and Marina del Rey.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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