Set to take effect Monday, the map guiding where people living in vehicles can spend the night violates the rules used to create it
By Gary Walker
Less than a week before the LAPD begins enforcing new city rules about where people who sleep in RVs and cars can and cannot legally park overnight, a map outlining permissions and restriction on the Westside is so riddled with apparent errors that some neighborhoods could be in for big surprises.
According to the map developed by several city departments, starting Monday it will be legal for vehicle dwellers to park overnight in residential areas throughout much of Playa Vista and even in the heart of the Runway at Playa Vista retail and residential complex.
In Playa del Rey, people could park and sleep overnight along Culver Boulevard between the Inn at Playa del Rey and the Jefferson Boulevard fork — a stretch of unlighted roadway through the Ballona Wetlands that is currently off-limits for parking.
In Venice, where overnight RV parking has been so widespread that many residential streets already prohibit the practice, the new restrictions would make most residential areas off limits but would green-light overnight parking along Rose Avenue between Lincoln Boulevard and 4th Street.
Los Angeles City Councilman Mike Bonin, who represents these neighborhoods, has called on the city’s Planning Department, the LAPD and the L.A. City Attorney’s office to work with his staff to make changes with haste.
The new city ordinance taking effect on Feb. 6 is supposed to keep people sleeping overnight in their cars from doing so in residential areas and near schools, day care centers and parks.
“Maps and rules to the contrary need to be fixed — and will be fixed,” Bonin said Tuesday, though he did not specify when such fixes would occur.
“The map needs to be corrected immediately to address this problem, which could result in people living in their vehicles in front of people’s homes in Playa Vista, Del Rey and Venice — contrary to the intent of the ordinance, which was to identify areas away from residential neighborhoods and schools, where vehicular living could be allowed,” Bonin wrote in a Jan. 25 letter to the aforementioned city departments.
In some cases, wrote Bonin, streets that would be given the OK for overnight parking are currently streets that prohibit overnight parking.
Among Westside neighborhoods, Playa Vista would probably be impacted most by the new map, with nearly half of the planned community opened up for overnight parking.
“The maps do not reflect the required distances from the public parks within Playa Vista and also are based on the underlying zoning rather than the actual residential uses,” reads a statement by Marc Huffman, vice president of development for Playa Vista master developers Brookfield Residential. “Brookfield Residential and [master HOA] Playa Vista Parks and Landscape Corp. are working with the council office to address the situation.”
City leaders had pledged to consult with neighborhood councils in their respective districts for feedback on the vehicular living map. But that never happened, said Venice Neighborhood Council President Ira Koslow.
“We were supposed to give input on the map. But when it comes from the top down, this is what happens,” Koslow said. “This points out a general problem with city government sometimes: they say they want feedback, but then they don’t ask us. We’re the locals. We have a better understanding of our neighborhoods.”