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Ventura Council Votes to Ban RV, Trailer Parking on Streets

Legislation: City leaders determine the vehicles are an eyesore and safety hazard. Owners call the decision unfair.


VENTURA — Trailers and recreational vehicles will be kicked from the curb citywide, following a decision Monday by the City Council to restrict daytime parking of the behemoths.

The council was unswayed by the protests of a vocal group of RV and trailer owners, who said they couldn't afford storage yards, or were worried that visitors to their homes would have no place to park.

But the council determined that RV and trailer parking on public streets is an eyesore and a safety hazard, and unanimously voted to ban curbside parking between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, beginning Jan. 1. Until then, the Police Department will issue warnings, not citations.

The council still must confirm its vote at its Oct. 1 meeting.

"The last time I looked, streets are public," Councilman Ray Di Guilio said. "The city has the opportunity and the responsibility to make the appropriate decision when public safety is a factor."

Council members said calls about oversized-vehicle parking are among the most frequent complaints they hear. The Ventura Police Department has received 26 letters and hundreds of phone calls about the issue in the past 18 months, Assistant Police Chief Pat Miller said.

Residents worried that there isn't enough space at private storage companies in Ventura, and that the decision could lead to more restrictions on where they can park their RVs.

"There are backup lists and no spaces" at the storage firms, resident Harold Wright said. "They don't know if there are 200 or 2,000" people affected, he added.

Julie Hagen, who lives in her RV, said she fears that limited parking would make her susceptible to extra ticketing.

"I feel it's infringing on the rights of RV owners," she said. "We need to take some time to look at this."

Council members said the number of complaints that come to their office outweighs the concerns of owners of oversize vehicles.

"In order to be responsive to the numerous complaints that we have had . . . it [is] certainly the right thing to do," Councilman Jim Friedman said.

Ventura currently allows RV owners to park their vehicles on the street for 72 hours before moving at least two-tenths of a mile away. Police said many residents move the vehicle every three days from spot to spot.

The city will join Camarillo in having one of the most restrictive laws on RV parking.

Thousand Oaks has the same 72-hour time limit. Oxnard allows them to be parked only for loading and unloading, and only for 24 hours. Simi Valley allows 72 hours for loading and unloading.

The ban would include any vehicle--including trailers, RVs and boats--longer than 25 feet, exceeding 80 inches in width or taller than 82 inches.

Owners could still park the RVs in their driveways.

Vehicles with handicapped placards would be exempt from the restrictions, and residents would be allowed to load and unload trailers and RVs. Residents could also apply for temporary permits for out-of-town visitors.

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