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Santa Barbara to Form Oversized-Vehicle Committee Following Decision to Ban On-Street Parking

City Council committee will consider finding more off-street overnight parking spaces for people who live in RVs

A RV parks near the Castillo and Sola streets intersection Monday afternoon. Click to view larger
A RV parks near the Castillo and Sola streets intersection Monday afternoon.  (Brooke Holland / Noozhawk photo)

Santa Barbara City Council will meet Tuesday to discuss the formation of an ad hoc group, in wake of an ordinance to ban all on-street oversized vehicle parking.

City council is expected to appoint two council members to serve on the committee and Executive Director of New Beginnings Counseling Center Kristine Schwarz at its meeting.

The committee’s duties include locating new overnight spaces for oversized vehicles through the services of New Beginnings Counseling Center’s Safe Parking Program and a collaboration with the nonprofit to expand the program to include monitoring of the daytime spaces.

There are no anticipated expenses related to forming the committee but suggestions from members may include requests for funding to provide additional RV parking options.

Community Development Business Manager Sue Gray has been assigned to lead the committee. 

Additional city staff allocated to run the committee include City Attorney Ariel Calonne, Waterfront Director Scott Riedman, Santa Barbara Police Department Lt. Dan McGrew and Public Works Principal Transportation Manager Rob Dayton.

Public noticing of all meetings will be provided and subject to the Brown Act.

On Oct. 18, City Council members unanimously decided to ban oversized vehicle parking on city streets, with some exceptions.

Ordinance regulations apply to vehicles more than 25 feet long, 80 inches wide or 82 inches high.

The city enacted the ban based on noise, sanitary and safety hazards due to blocked sight lines as well as other inconveniences posed by RVs, according to the ordinance. 

Signs must be posted referencing the ordinance to implement these parking restrictions.

Exemptions listed in the ordinance include: buses; vehicles where people or goods are actively engaged in unloading adjacent to a residence or business; vehicles making emergency repairs; state, federal or local government vehicles as well as public utility and emergency vehicles.

People displaying valid disabled parking placard are also exempt from the ban. 

Council members have taken additional actions to provide safe off-street parking opportunities to individuals living in vehicles, according to the ordinance.

The city requires New Beginnings Counseling Center to administer its Safe Overnight RV Parking Program, which provides more than 115 off-street parking spots for people living in vehicles.

Since 2007, the city has contributed more than $440,000 to the program.

Noozhawk staff writer Brooke Holland 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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