Crackdown Looming on ‘Occupy’ Movement By Oversized Vehicles that Hog Free Parking

San Diegans are worried about oversized vehicles staying on a street too long

By Gene Cubbison
|  Tuesday, Mar 26, 2013  |  Updated 6:16 AM PDT
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City Councilmember Kevin Faulconer is proposing stricter parking laws for large vehicles in San Diego.

City Councilmember Kevin Faulconer is proposing stricter parking laws for large vehicles in San Diego.

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Complaints about oversized vehicles parked on neighborhood streets for days and nights on end are reaching 'critical mass' at San Diego's city hall.
           
Measures to 'curb' the problem will get a Council hearing this week.
           
The problem is most noticeable west of Interstate 5, especially in the beach communities.

Residents of the affected areas say it poses safety and environmental hazards -- as well as 'quality-of-life' issues.

"The same vehicles are parked on this street every day in the same spot," says Loma Portal resident Marlene Bullock, interviewed Monday while on a walk with her dog along Famosa Boulevard -- a hotbed of curbside parking for big rigs, RVs, campers, motorhomes, commercial trailers, delivery vans and even watercraft.

"They take up a lot of space, so it would be nice if they would move," Bullock added, pointing to a not-atypical offender. "Like that boat, you know?  Why?"

Because it's free parking that's a rarity in a city with attractive communities where paid parking is pricey.
           
So certain streets become dumping grounds for all kinds of oversized vehicles whose owners can avoid $100 tickets and towing fees if they just move the rigs a tenth of a mile every 72 hours.
           
Authorities check out 20,000 cases a year in San Diego, the county's only coastal city besides Imperial Beach that lacks a more restrictive setup.

Said Capt. Bob Stewart, of the San Diego Police Department’s Retired Senior Volunteer Patrol, as he and his partner cited the boat referenced by Bullock: "One of the problems we have is that people over in El Cajon or La Mesa, for example, will bring their vehicle here because they can't park it over there … they’re persistent, and this is just one of those areas where people just drop their vehicles,”
           
And because Famosa Boulevard runs past Correia Middle School and Bill Cleator Park, there are concerns about people who actually live in their vehicles, in violation of state law -- and maybe, parole conditions.

"Certainly if you can't afford to live in a house and you have to live out of your vehicle, something's wrong with that situation altogether,” said Point Loma resident Adam Harrington.  “And we don't want them living in their vehicle here."

City Councilman Kevin Faulconer is suggesting a 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. streetside parking ban for oversized vehicles, with exceptions for residents and their guests who get 72-hour city permits.          

"I think it's an important enforcement tool for the police department; they'll be able to go out and do their job,” Faulconer said in an interview Monday.  “And from a neighborhood standpoint, we're going to insure that we're protecting the quality of life here in San Diego -- just like all the other cities have done that surround the city of San Diego with similar ordinances."

Faulconer's proposal goes before the Council's Land Use & Housing Committee  Wednesday afternoon.
           
As examples of other, similar ordinances in Southern California, he's citing Solana Beach's 24-hour limit curbside and public-lot parking for motorhomes and campers.
           
And, Oceanside's requirement of moving vehicles a half mile after each 72-hour period, then leaving them there in the new spot for 24 hours.

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