Venice Voters Favor Overnight Parking Restrictions


VENICE, Calif. -- In an advisory election, Venice residents voted to allow neighborhoods to restrict overnight parking, according to the Venice Neighborhood Council.

Residents voted Saturday on two VNC initiatives recommending what to do about transients and others who have been living out of vehicles parked on city streets.

Initiative A, which recommended that neighborhoods not have the power to create so-called Overnight Parking Districts that limit overnight parking to local residents, lost by a vote of 634-868 with 9 abstentions.

Initiative B, which recommended that local residents be granted the right to establish OPDs, won by a vote of 891-608 with 13 abstentions.

More than 1,500 people voted, and some stood in line for as long as an hour at the one polling place, which was the Venice Public Library.

"The number of people voting in this election is a tribute to the grassroots groups that got out the vote for their respective initiatives, and to the interest Venice residents had in the outcome," said VNC President Mike Newhouse.

The OPDs that are in effect in many areas of Los Angeles and Santa Monica were created because residents were having a hard time finding street parking because of a shortage of driveways and garages, and because a growing number of homeless people are living in vehicles parked on the streets.

Under OPDs, only local residents would be allowed to park in front of their homes, and they would have to pay $15 a year for a parking permit, said Measure B organizer Mark Ryavec. An OPD could not be set up without the approval of two-thirds the residents of a neighborhood, he added.

Opponents said banning the homeless from overnight parking on city streets would be unfair and inhumane because they have few other options.

But Ryavec said that of 500 blocks in Venice, only 40 have sought OPDs.

The vote was advisory, and the Los Angeles City Council would have to approve such parking restrictions.

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