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Friday, January 18 , 2019, 6:21 pm | Fair 58º


Supervisors Vote to Extend Oversized Vehicle Overnight Parking Restrictions in Santa Barbara County

The Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors amending an ordinance this week that will extend the “oversized” vehicle parking ban on county roads.

The overnight parking restriction, between 9 p.m. to 7 a.m., starts Oct. 18 and amends the previous restricted hours from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. 

“The changes that are proposed are well thought out,” Second District Supervisor Janet Wolf said at Tuesday's meeting.

The ordinance defines an oversized vehicle as any motor vehicle, boat or trailer, which meets or exceeds at least one of the following criteria, exclusive of fixtures and accessories: 24 feet long, or 7 feet high, or 8 feet wide, said county traffic engineer Gary Smart.

Smart said the ordinance prohibits overnight parking in the areas of Isla Vista, Vandenberg Village, Butterfly Beach in Montecito and Camino Del Remedio. 

These parking restrictions may include, but are not limited to no parking, time-limited parking, loading only, vehicle height restricted parking, angle parking, handicapped parking, or any combination of restrictions, according to county staff.

The ordinance changes are in response to complaints from residents that the county is not adequately enforcing existing oversize vehicle parking restrictions.

Working with the county Sheriff’s Department and the California Highway Patrol, it was determined that altering the hours could result in better enforcement since “both law enforcement agencies have more resources available” during the new times compared to previous hours, according to county staff.

“This extended hours would help law enforcement with enforcement of the oversized vehicles during the 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. timeframe — they have limited staffing and that extra hour early or afterward they have more staff on the streets,” Smart said. 

County staff didn’t mention the penalty for violating the overnight parking ban.

Smart said county staff also contacted New Beginnings Counseling Center regarding its Safe Parking Program and determined the new enforcement time would not impact the program since the parking lots are open to participants during those hours. 

The Safe Parking Program provides 133 parking places nightly for people living in their cars because they do not have sufficient income to provide for housing.

“Unless more people step forward with parking spots for the Safe Parking Program, it will cause some hardship of people who have no choice but to park in an illegal spot because there’s no such thing as a legal spot that is open,” First District Supervisor Das Williams said. 

“(The Safe Parking Program) provides programmatic expectations for folks who have no choice but to live in their vehicles, but want to find a place that’s legal to do so.”

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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