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Overnight Parking of RVs, Oversized Vehicles Banned in Isla Vista

To the delight of Isla Vista residents, Santa Barbara County supervisors told overnight parkers of RVs and other oversized vehicles to hit the road after they passed an ordinance Tuesday that would deter such activity, and even allow those vehicles to be towed away.

The Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors passed the ordinance unanimously, to the applause of a dozen or so long-term Isla Vista residents who showed up Tuesday to spoke in favor of the vote.

Earlier this summer, the board adopted an oversized vehicle ordinance, and the penalty for the violation is $50 plus administrative fees.  

The municipal code defines an oversized vehicle as any motor vehicle, boat or trailer that meets or exceed at least one of the criteria of being 24 feet long, 7 feet tall or 8 feet wide.

With the affirmative vote, the ordinance now allows for the vehicles to be towed if they are found in violation.

According to the ordinance, oversized vehicles will not be allowed to park between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. on public streets in Isla Vista.

Signs warning people of the parking ordinance will be installed within 120 days of Tuesday’s vote, and the ban will take effect. 

Area residents had asked supervisors to consider the move, saying that more of these vehicles have been showing up in Isla Vista neighborhoods after the cities of Santa Barbara and Goleta passed their own bans. 

Eleven speakers showed up at the meeting, most of them residents of Isla Vista for decades, who supported the ordinance changes.

Bonnie Murdoch said that the streets were crowded enough without large vehicles parked overnight.

“There’s barely enough parking overnight for our residents,” she said.

Others expressed concern about witnessing people dumping waste, noise from generators and vehicles parking near playgrounds that often have young children in the area.

David Hubbard, a 24-year-old resident of Isla Vista, said he was “so pleased” the board members were taking the issue on and commended them for their interest.

“The board has paid a lot of attention to Isla Vista lately,” he said, adding that the community it seeing the result.

Third District Supervisor Doreen Farr, whose district includes Isla Vista, said that it’s been a cat-and-mouse game between law enforcement and people living in the oversized vehicles, some who would be told to move and would only move their vehicles an inch or two to meet the bare minimums of the request.

With this year's opening of the Pescadero Lofts, a $10.3 million supportive housing project that supports 32 formerly homeless people, Farr said felt the county was doing more to help the homeless in that area.

She and her staff will also continue to explore locations for a safe parking programs, where vehicles could be parked overnight safely and without being in violation.

Though the ordinance would not change RV parking availability during the day around playgrounds, Farr encouraged the residents to talk with the new community resources deputy in Isla Vista.

“The rules are only as good as the enforcement, but I think this has been a longstanding concern,” she said of the vehicles.

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper 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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