Councilwoman Traci Park responds to residents' concerns about RV parking in Venice

Councilwoman Traci Park is responding to concerns from Venice residents about RV parking on several streets.

"I have seen the impacts this is having all across the community on the west side, and I am trying to give voice to some of those concerns and frustrations by moving forward with these various resolutions related to RV parking. It is one small step. It is one tiny piece of a much larger puzzle that needs to come together to holistically address this issue," said Park.

Park was referring to a recently-approved resolution from the Los Angeles City Council, prohibiting RVs from being parked along various streets in Venice between the hours of 2 a.m. to 6 a.m., citing public safety issues. The parking ban includes but is not limited to vehicles that are six feet or more in height. 

The city's Department of Transportation will post signs giving notice of "tow away, no parking" restrictions for oversized vehicles.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Venice residents frustrated with RV camp in neighborhood

However, Venice has already been through this process with several other streets, and there are no enforcement efforts, according to residents.

Park said there are "complications" related to enforcement efforts that need to be addressed first.

"We have issues currently with pending litigation, and the fact that the City allowed LA municipal code section 8502 [to end] without replacing or amending it [8502 expired in 2020 and restricted the use of vehicles as dwellings on residential streets between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. or any time near a school, park, preschool or daycare]. We've got issues related to staffing and capacity to do enforcement as well as towing storage. That sounds like a lot of excuses and I understand that and I am tired of excuses and delays. My frustration level is through the roof, but unless we build out the infrastructure and the resources that we need, enforcement is going to continue to be an issue," said Park.

Park said she does not have a timeline for when enforcement efforts will return.

"I can't give a precise timeline and I know how frustrating that is, and I wish I could be more specific about it. What I can tell you is that the city is making investments and taking efforts," she said.

Park then listed some of the efforts she said the city is working on.

"We just recently passed a set of citywide protocols that will help us roll out a citywide approach to dealing with vehicular homelessness. We have requested back information on the funding source. We're looking for about $150 million to scale these interventions citywide. We are also in my office working very closely with the Mayor's team, with our city departments and our nonprofit service providers to implement strategies on the west side to get at this," said Park.

Park said there is also a lack of shelter beds.

"The hard reality that we are facing right now is that all of our interim housing on the west side is full. We don't have a lot of motel rooms. They're very expensive. There are a lot of challenges with getting new units online and available but at the end of the day, if we are going to actually make progress bringing folks out of these unsafe environments and getting them indoors and connected to the services they need and on a pathway to recovery and stability, we must as a community come together and offer these solutions up," said Park.  

Many residents have concerns, including Mark Ryavec, a Venice resident and the President of the Venice Stakeholders Association, a nonprofit organization. Ryavec previously ran against former District 11 Councilmember Mike Bonin in 2017.

"The residents here are really starved for parking and it's being taken up by a lot of vans and campers and RVs. There's no enforcement of the no oversized vehicles overnight ordinance and the result is that there's been a growing population and a growing intrusion upon quality of life," said Ryavec.

Ryavec said he wants to see more progress in the neighborhoods.

"The question to our new City Attorney [Hydee Feldstein Soto] and to Ms. Park, our new council member is what's the timeline? What's the critical path? What do you need to do to return to enforcement to free up parking and return the neighborhood to the residents," asked Ryavec.

Ryavec said he was a big supporter of Park becoming elected.

"I was a big supporter of Traci Park, and we're just not seeing any initiative out of that office, and I'm really frustrated. Traci, you've got to do better here. You ran on this issue among other issues and if your current staff can't make this happen then you need to get the staff that's got the ability to move this agenda," said Ryavec.

Ryavec said another concern is the fact that the man nicknamed the "Van lord" who illegally rents RVs to people on the streets, has returned to Venice. Ryavec said residents have seen and taken photos of him in action.

"He owns more than half a dozen vans and before the pandemic, he was renting them out at $300 a night and for a while it seemed he went away or relocated. He's now back around the post office," said Ryavec.

Park said her office is well aware of the "Van Lord" as well.  

"It is something I am actively working on. I have very serious concerns about these vehicles that cannot pass basic operability, safety, fire or environmental standards being leased out as dwelling units. That is something I am working on with our city attorney's office to address through the legislative process but we don't allow landlords to lease out dwelling units that are uninhabitable, and dangerous. Any other landlord in the City of Los Angeles would have to comply with the regulatory requirements and legal requirements and yet we have an entire microeconomy of illegal rentals that are frankly putting people's lives in danger and I think we're all tired of it," she said.

Park said there are departments for residents to contact if they have concerns moving forward.

"If there are environmental issues such as illegal dumping, that should be reported either through the MyLA311 app or to the Sanitation Department. If there is criminal behavior, that should be reported to the LAPD. If there are other issues, they are certainly welcome to reach out to my office. We are in the process of identifying all of the encampment locations in the district and prioritizing the limited resources we have to address those," said Park.

The recently approved RV resolution includes several road segments where the Department of Transportation will enforce the restriction, which includes both sides of the following streets:

  • Main Street between Rose Avenue and Sunset Avenue
  • Superior Avenue between Venice Boulevard and Victoria Avenue
  • Indiana Avenue between 5th Avenue and 4th Avenue
  • Main Street between Windward Avenue and Westminster Avenue
  • Barbara Avenue between Centinela Avenue and Frances Avenue
  • Wasatch Avenue between Matteson Avenue and Washington Place
  • Clark Avenue between Mildred Avenue and Olive Avenue
  • Victoria Avenue between Penmar Avenue and Lincoln Boulevard