Freeloaders have been enjoying multi-million dollar views for too long. One of the last vestiges of true American freedom is at stake. Huge vehicles and trailers are blocking traffic and clogging up San Diego's street arteries. Recreational vehicle and boat owners are being unfairly targeted by the City Council.
Just how a proposed ordinance on the parking of oversized, recreational and non-motorized vehicles is being received by La Jollans depends largely on the opinion - and the vested interests - of the individual.
The regulations were proposed by City Council members Scott Peters and Muchael Zucchet, who cited vehicle safety, community safety and neighborhood aesthetics as reasons for their action. The issue was discussed at an April 20 meeting of the council's Committee on Land Use and Housing, during which the draft legislation was debated by a host of concerned citizens groups including representatives of recreational vehicle owners and San Diego planning groups.
The proposed ordinance aims to:
- Prohibit recreational vehicles and other oversized vehicles and unhitched trailers from parking on public streets, park roads and parking lots for a period longer than four hours;
- Prohibit such vehicles from parking on public streets, park roads and parking lots between the hours of 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. every day;
- Prohibit such vehicles from parking within 50 feet of any intersection; and
- Prohibit the placement of stationary storage containers on public streets, park roads and parking lots at any time.
Alongside these new laws will be increased enforcement of the laws regarding oversized vehicles.
Residents would be able to apply for temporary 48-hour permits to park recreational vehicles - for example, for visiting guests - to park outside their home. No more than six permits would be issued per residence each calendar year.
Julio Fuentes, a senior traffic engineer with the city, said the ordinance grew out of a multitude of complaints received citywide, including several from La Jolla.
One such complainant was Ted Gurnee, who lives on Neptune Street. He has been fighting an ongoing battle against recreational vehicle owners who park in front of his multi-million dollar oceanfront residence and, he says, obscure his view as well as blocking off the street.
"Our issues in La Jolla, or at least on Neptune, are the motorhomes that are abusing the privilege of the streets as if it were their private land," said Gurnee, "and park for days and weeks. The existing law is not suitable to stop them."