City expected to post `No Oversize Vehicle' parking signs in Venice

The city is expected to post "No Oversize Vehicle" signs in Venice neighborhoods near the beach to discourage people from living in converted school buses and recreational vehicles parked along residential streets, it was reported today.

Posting the signs, which still must be approved by the City Council, would resolve a lawsuit that Venice activist Mark Ryavec filed against the California Coastal Commission aimed at forcing the state panel to decide whether it had jurisdiction over parking issues near the beach.

The Coastal Commission tried to bow out of the long-running dispute, saying it was being asked to rule on a social issue rather than one of coastal access.

Dozens of recreational vehicles, vans, school buses and other vehicles converted into homes typically line the residential streets just off the beach, irking people who live in adjacent houses and apartments.

If the signs are ineffective at reducing the number of people living in vehicles, residents would be allowed to seek having parking restricted to people with permits.

The proposed settlement, the Los Angeles Times reported, would offer a test of the city's new oversize vehicle ordinance by prohibiting vehicles taller than 7 feet from parking on the street from 2 a.m. to 6 a.m.

"We are open to trying the new ordinance to see if it solves the problem," Ryavec told the newspaper. "In some areas it might work better than others. None of us really want to have to get permits and pay for them, if the oversize vehicle ordinance works."

Some streets off Rose Avenue, such as Fourth and Fifth avenues, are usually so narrowed by oversize vehicles parked on both sides that traffic can pass in only one direction in spots.

Los Angeles City Councilman Bill Rosendahl, who represents Venice, is trying to develop a program under which people with no other place to sleep but their vehicles could stay in designated lots overnight.