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COUNCIL MOVES CLOSER TO BANNING CURB-SIDE RV STORAGE.

Byline: Joseph Giordono Staff Writer

SIMI VALLEY - Abandoning a plan to put the issue to a public vote in November, the City Council took a major step toward banning the storage of oversize vehicles, trailers and RVs on city streets.

The council agreed Monday to a draft ordinance that would limit on-street parking to a 72-hour loading and unloading period and creating a visitors parking pass system. The ordinance must go through two public readings - the first will be next week - but council members said it will likely be passed within the month.

``This is an ordinance that works,'' Councilman Steve Sojka said. ``We decided that if we could get something that everyone could agree upon, we could act without having to put the issue on the ballot.''

Some RV and trailer owners, however, say the ordinance is unfair.

``Where else am I supposed to put the RV? When I bought my house, nothing was said about limiting my parking or storage, so this seems like an after-the-fact limitation imposed by the city,'' said George Griffin, who stores an RV and a boat trailer on the street.

Council members said that public safety and aesthetic concerns outweighed the desires of RV owners.

``We do not want to lower the hammer, and RV and recreational toy owners are exactly the kind of residents we want in the city,'' Sojka said. ``We listened to our constituents and we will work over the phase- in period to try and make it a smooth transition.''

If approved, there would be a six month phase-in period.

Under the proposed ordinance, parking prohibitions would affect vehicles more than 19 feet in length, 8 feet in height or 7 feet in width. Commercial vehicles, trailers and fifth-wheel trailers are included in the definition.

The prohibition would apply to the entire city - not just residential neighborhoods - and will be enforced 24 hours a day. Residents would be allowed six visitor permits per year, which would allow for parking up to 10 days at a time.

Instead of waiting for a complaint call before acting, city officials said that enforcement would be on a proactive basis.

Council members said sending the issue to the Neighborhood Councils for discussion helped make their decision easier. The councils are made up of residents who meet regularly to discuss city issues.

``I was really pleased that the process worked out so thoughtfully this time and was very pleased with the amount of public input,'' Councilman Glen Becerra said.

``We trust in the residents and trust them to lead us in the directions they would like us to go.''

Council discussion also centered on residents' storage options once the parking restrictions go into effect. According to a city report, 98 percent of 2,412 spaces in 12 area storage facilities are occupied.

But council members said they have already been approached by several business people interested in creating more RV storage spaces.

``To me, more competition will be good and probably even drive the storage prices down,'' Sojka said.

``We are not going to leave RV owners without a viable option.''
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Jun 7, 2000
Words:517
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