Limits to street parking for recreational vehicles revisited

A proposed ordinance that would restrict parking of recreational vehicles in La Jolla and throughout the city of San Diego is back on the table after a contentious debate shelved the proposal for a year.

The city’s Parking Advisory Board will discuss the proposed Oversized Non-Motorized and Recreational Vehicle Ordinance at its April 20 meeting. The proposed ordinance was introduced in early 2005 by City Council President Scott Peters and former City Councilman Michael Zucchet. In April 2005, it came before the City Council’s Land Use and Housing Committee. Recreational vehicle owners packed the meeting, calling the ordinance too restrictive, and the committee did not take action. It instead asked the city manager to revise the proposal.

The ordinance, as proposed in April 2005, would have prohibited parking oversized vehicles and non-motorized vehicles, such as boat trailers, on any street for a period of longer than four hours. It would have prohibited parking oversized and non-motorized vehicles on any street for any period of time between the hours of 2 and 6 a.m. of any day, as well as prohibiting parking any of the vehicles within 50 feet of an intersection.

Peters and Zucchet introduced the ordinance based on concerns about aesthetics and safety. Recreational vehicles can block views and clutter neighborhood streets, as well as creating dangerous blind intersections by obstructing drivers’ vision, they argued.

Opponents of the proposed ordinance, mostly recreational vehicle owners, argued that the ordinance would have made it nearly impossible to own such a vehicle in the city. They said that storage facilities for recreational vehicles in the city are limited and expensive, which Peters and Zucchet disputed. They also complained that it would be nearly impossible to prepare a recreational vehicle for a trip if they could not park it in front of their homes the night before.

The opposition to the proposal was so overwhelming the Land Use and Housing Committee sent it back for revision.

Many La Jolla residents, particularly those on the coast, believe some form of the ordinance is still necessary. Laura Williams, a resident of the 700 block of Coast Boulevard, came to the April meeting of the La Jolla Community Planning Commission to ask for help with the recreational vehicles that are constantly stationed on the street in front of her home.

“It’s turning to another Campland,” Williams said.

Mary Ellen Forbes, a resident of the 400 block of Coast Boulevard, said some recreational vehicle owners have made her block their permanent home.

“The past several years, our street has been inundated with huge RV parking,” she said. “There’s one person who has been a permanent resident on my street for 27 years now.”

Peters said he hoped the parking advisory board meeting on April 20 would be the beginning of the end of the problems the residents of Coast Boulevard have been having.

“Hopefully this will be the start of drafting an ordinance that can improve parking and problems, especially along the coastline,” Peters said.

The board will hear a revised version of the original proposal. The new proposal would have no time limit for oversized and non-motorized vehicles from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. It would prohibit parking the vehicles on the street from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., but would allow residents and