Thursday, October 18 , 2018, 1:45 pm | Fair 79º


Goleta Council Stalls on Proposed Ordinance for Parking of Oversized Vehicles

After deliberation and public input, city leaders vote to send the plan back to the Ordinance Committee for further review

Just shy of ratifying a newly proposed ordinance to restrict the parking of oversized recreational and commercial vehicles on Goleta’s streets, the City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to send the ordinance back for further review and revision.

The decision came after about two hours of input from the public and deliberation on the dais over the controversial issue.

“I think we’ve gone backwards two years,” Councilman Michael Bennett said.

The issue of parking oversized vehicles on Goleta’s streets dates back to even before the city incorporated, with people parking recreational and commercial vehicles, boats and trailers on city rights of way. The situation contributes to poor visibility on the road, interruption of bike lanes, visual impacts and, in some cases, concerns about transients.

The city has received many complaints throughout the years, Bennett said, and it would be better to put forward an ordinance that could be adjusted than not to put anything forward at all.

Currently, the city’s ordinance allows for a 72-hour maximum duration of parking for those vehicles, with owners and operators required to move their vehicles after three days.

As defined by the California Vehicle Code, an “oversized” vehicle is one that exceeds 25 feet in length, 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.

The proposed ordinance would require permits for such vehicles parked on commercial or residential streets in the city, with a maximum aggregate number of days a vehicle would be allowed to be parked set at 36 days over six months. The proposed fine for noncompliance is $79.50 and the proposed permit fee is $20. The permit could be obtained online.

Exceptions would be made for certain situations, including the loading, unloading and cleaning of such vehicles. Vehicles stored on private property are exempt from permit requirements and not subject to citations, but they are not allowed to be stored on the property owner’s front yard.

While supported by those in the community who have seen their neighborhoods taken over by the proliferation of oversized vehicles, at this, the second review of the ordinance, which was approved 4-1 a couple of weeks ago, the council majority found themselves dealing with more questions than they could answer, including enforcement during festivals that could bring in such vehicles, permit requirements for those who already store their vehicles, differentiation between commercial and private vehicles, enforcement difficulties, and other items that were deemed as inaccuracies and inconsistencies.

Ultimately, the council remanded the item back to the Ordinance Committee for fine tuning.

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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