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Westside : Parking Ticket Crusade

August 09, 1995

West Hollywood residents have learned to be careful about where they park their cars. Now one man is taking the city to task for what he considers overly aggressive parking enforcement.

David Brooks, 34, recently completed an independent study of the city's ticketing practices, relying on municipal documents, interviews and a street survey of 300 residents.

Among his findings: West Hollywood issues about 200,000 parking tickets per year, almost twice as many per resident as in Santa Monica.

The city also issues far more tickets for seemingly minor violations--such as failure to curb wheels on hillsides--than do such communities as Beverly Hills and Culver City, Brooks says.

"They just ticket everyone they can, and that made me mad," said Brooks, an entrepreneur. City officials "say it's for the safety and protection of the city, but I thought that was a disingenuous response."

City Manager Paul Brotzman says that Brooks' numbers are accurate but adds that comparing West Hollywood to neighboring communities is misleading.

"The population density of West Hollywood is about three times that of Beverly Hills," said Brotzman, who estimates that the city writes about $5.4 million worth of parking tickets a year. "So there's that many more people parking in that much less space."

Now Brooks says he almost wishes he had never gotten involved in the issue. Last week, he found a $38 ticket on his Toyota even though he contends the car was legally parked. He plans to contest the ticket.

"I think [that ticket] was deliberate, even though I can't prove it," Brooks said.

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