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Santa Barbara’s New Oversized Vehicle Committee Discusses Enforcement, Daytime RV Parking Options

Committee discusses available places for RV residents to park during the day, potential date to start enforcing the ban

The Santa Barbara City Council passed an ordinance to ban oversized vehicles from parking on public streets, including RVs. Click to view larger
The Santa Barbara City Council passed an ordinance to ban oversized vehicles from parking on public streets, including RVs.  (Brooke Holland / Noozhawk photo)

City officials are working with community groups to find parking options for residents who live in RVs after the Santa Barbara City Council passed an ordinance banning oversized vehicle street parking.

The ordinance, passed in October, bans on-street parking for oversized vehicles, including RVs. The new rules apply to vehicles that are more than 25 feet long, 80 inches wide or 82 inches high.

Exemptions include commercial vehicles that are actively engaged in the loading or unloading of supplies or goods, in the delivery of merchandise, or other materials at an adjacent business or residence for no longer than 30 minutes.

At the first Oversized Vehicle Off-Street Parking Ad Hoc Stakeholder Committee meeting Wednesday, City Council members Frank Hotchkiss and Cathy Murillo met with Kristine Schwarz, executive director of the New Beginnings Counseling Center, and a representative from the Santa Barbara Police Department also attended. 

City transportation planner Rob Dayton said the city expects to start enforcing the new rules in February, but the committee suggested March 15 as the date to start enforcement — though this date would require the City Council to take action. 

More signage will be installed to outline the new rules, and the city is working with community groups to find alternative parking options for people who live in RVs. 

“We are working to ensure the city identifies the exact date when police officers will start enforcing the ban on oversized vehicles on the curb,” Murillo said. “The signs are going up and some (people) are worried that enforcement is going to start right away.”

Possible daytime parking lots for those living in their vehicles were discussed.

New Beginnings' Safe Parking Program is eyeing 50 lots that RVs and oversized vehicles could use, including state, county, city-owned and businesses' lots.

Two locations have potentially agreed to comply, Schwarz said.

The remaining 12 locations were ineligible and the 36 spots are in the “process of communication.”

“We went grid-by-gird through the entire areas in the city,” Schwarz said. “It’s not an easy process and it takes time. We remain hopeful,” she said.

“What we found out was daytime parking in Santa Barbara is hard,” Community Development Business Manager Sue Gray said. “At daytime, (parking lots) are heavily utilized.” 

The address of the potential parking spots were not available at the meeting.

“The locations are confidential and these are a work in progress,” Gray said. “We are trying to get a few of different locations.”

A handful of RV residents also attended the meeting.

“Let us show we have respect and want to contribute to Santa Barbara,” said one speaker.

A handful of community members, a representative with the Santa Barbara County Parks Division Management Team, representative with state Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) and two representatives with Assembly member Monique Limón (D-Santa Barbara) were present at the meeting.

The next Oversized Vehicle Off-Street Parking Ad Hoc Stakeholder Committee will take place on Jan. 25, and a time and location is pending.

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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