published on July 31, 2019 - 12:32 PM
Written by Associated Press

(AP) — Los Angeles has restored regulations barring people from sleeping at night in vehicles on residential streets or living anytime in vehicles within a block of parks, schools, preschools or daycare facilities.

A recent count found more than 9,500 people live in vehicles throughout the city, and safe parking sites currently have room for fewer than 200 vehicles each night, according to the city’s Homeless Services Authority.

The City Council unanimously approved regulations Tuesday that expired at the beginning of July. Democratic Mayor Eric Garcetti is expected to sign the measure extending the rules to January, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Opponents cite inadequate housing, shelters and so-called safe parking sites for the homeless, while advocates cite a host of problems stemming from people living in vehicles, especially big RVs, in residential areas.

“It has been a nightmare in Venice with people living in cars (and RVs) leaving trash and creating unsanitary conditions on our streets and sidewalks as well as taking away much needed parking,” Carol Katona wrote in a letter to the council.

A federal court struck down a city-wide ban on living in vehicles in Los Angeles several years ago, leading to the new limits intended to keep vehicles out of neighborhoods but allowing them in commercial or industrial areas. The city has since imposed additional restrictions on a street-by-street basis

The concern is widespread throughout the state. A recent report in San Francisco found a growing number of homeless people are living out of vehicles, contributing to a 17% increase in homelessness there in the last two years. San Francisco identified nearly 600 passenger vehicles, RVs or vans that appeared to be inhabited.

Earlier this year, San Diego enacted new limits after complaints of beach communities being crowded with people living in vehicles after a federal judge struck down a previous ordinance as too vague.

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