Sunday, October 21 , 2018, 6:46 am | Fair 58º

 
 
 
 

Goleta Council Votes to Proceed with Ordinance on Parking for Oversized Vehicles

New regulations will aim to crack down on the storage of such rigs on city streets

Owners of oversized recreational and commercial vehicles in Goleta soon may have to reconsider where they park their vehicles — or risk a citation.

The city is a couple of weeks away from ratifying an ordinance to clamp down on the storage of oversized vehicles on city streets. The ordinance would also apply to visitors to the city with such vehicles.

During Tuesday’s public hearing, the City Council voted 4-1, with Councilman Roger Aceves dissenting, to require people storing oversized vehicles on city streets to acquire a permit.

An “oversized vehicle” in the city is officially one that exceeds 25 feet, which may include trailers, vehicles with trailers, boats, as well as commercial and industrial vehicles. Oversized also means that the vehicle exceeds 82 inches in height or 80 inches in width.

There are certain exceptions to the permit requirement, such as for those who are engaged in the loading or unloading of their vehicles; using them for emergency repairs; and emergency or commuter vehicles.

Tuesday’s decision comes after years of deliberation and consideration of the issue. The city currently allows the parking of such vehicles for a period of 72 hours in one place, after which time the owner or operator of the vehicle is required to move the vehicle.

However, the current rules did little to prevent the proliferation of such vehicles stored on city rights-of-way, a situation that many have complained results in poor visibility around corners, the crowding of cyclists into car traffic and being a general visual nuisance. Other concerns include people seeping and living in the vehicles.

Owners of oversized vehicles may store them on their own property without the requirement of a permit, or on a private storage area created for that purpose. However, the number of vehicles on streets far exceeds the available storage spaces in the city.

On Tuesday night, council members also wrestled with other aspects of the ordinance, such as permit duration and the maximum aggregate number of days a vehicle is allowed to be parked — 36 days over six months.

The council’s move was lauded by many who came to speak, including residents who live near the neighborhoods where the vehicles are most likely to be stored. But some worried that the ordinance was a little unrealistic as well.

“I feel that the ordinance is squeezing me a little bit with having to comply with getting a permit,” said Mark Mcclenathan, a resident who already pays to store his vehicle.

Similarly, Aceves said he felt that the ordinance was not yet ready, as there were many possibilities and situations that had not yet been considered. The permit requirement is citywide, and even applies to people visiting or passing through.

“As a former policeman, I don’t like creating laws for everyone based on the abuse from a few,” Aceves told Noozhawk.

According to city attorney Tim Giles, enforcement will be complaint-based as well as in the form of citations from Santa Barbara County sheriff’s deputies. He acknowledged that in certain situations, the parking of oversized vehicles may not be fully enforced.

The ordinance will return to the City Council for a second reading in two weeks.

Noozhawk contributing writer Sonia Fernandez can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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