Playa Vista is no longer fair game for people sleeping in their cars, and guidelines won’t preempt existing restrictions elsewhere

By Gary Walker

After being inundated with calls from confused and angry Westside residents, Los Angeles city officials have made changes to a map detailing where people who live in their vehicles will and will not be allowed to park.

The updated map will continue to evolve and does not supersede existing posted parking restrictions for campers and other vehicles, according to a statement issued Monday by Los Angeles City Councilman Mike Bonin.

“I say ‘updated’ and not ‘final’ because it is very important to note that these maps are not at all the final determining factor of where people are allowed to park when sleeping in their vehicles. Rather, posted parking restrictions and the language of the revised law (which prohibits vehicular dwelling within 500 feet of residential areas, schools, daycare centers and parks) is the final, determining factor that says where people are allowed to safely park when living in their vehicles,” reads a statement from Bonin’s office.

Short of advertising where people can sleep in RVs or cars, the maps created by city planners, the LAPD and the city attorney’s office are meant to guide enforcement of the ordinance.

The previous map had suggested that people living in vehicles could park them around the clock in residential and retail areas of Playa Vista, which existing parking restrictions prohibit. It also had RVs parking overnight on Culver Boulevard alongside the Ballona Wetlands, where no parking is allowed.

The updated map would not allow vehicle dwelling in these locations at any time.

One community that didn’t see a lot of changes, however, is Westchester.

The previous and updated maps designate Sepulveda Boulevard between Manchester Avenue and Lincoln Boulevard — the commercial heart of Westchester — as available to vehicle dwellers both day and night. But this doesn’t add up because overnight parking is already prohibited there, said Westchester Town Center Executive Director Don Duckworth.

Sepulveda Westway is also open to parking day and night, and the map shows portions of Sepulveda Eastway cleared for parking either during the day or both day and night.

“If [overnight parking] is allowed on Sepulveda Eastway, we will seek a change,” Duckworth said.

The majority of streets designated for day or night vehicle dwelling are on the neighborhood’s east side, including the horseshoe-shaped group of streets north of Century Boulevard and east of Aviation Boulevard, as well as several light-industrial areas.

“The RV map by itself does not tell the whole story,” said Neighborhood Council of Westchester-Playa President Cyndi Hench. “As the council office indicated, all parking references need to be taken into consideration before reaching any conclusions.”

While much of the Playa del Rey lowlands would be off-limits to vehicle dwellers day or night, the updated map designates a large number of residential streets on the tony Playa del Rey bluffs for daytime parking.

In Venice and Mar Vista, overnight parking would be still be allowed along Rose Avenue west of Lincoln and some commercial portions of Venice Boulevard — that is, if current parking restrictions don’t preempt it.

Lucy Han, a community organizer in the Playa del Rey lowlands, said Bonin’s office has been responsive to the numerous calls from her and her neighbors about the earlier map.

But Han remains concerned about some areas where overnight parking could be permitted, which still includes a few spots along Culver designated for day or night parking.

“We want things to be crystal clear so that there’s no confusion,” Han said. “We want the map to reflect what the streets signs say.”