Town Council Waiting on County for Proposed Parking Ordinance

Altadena Town Council chair Gino Sund said that owners of large nuisance vehicles are finding ways around the overnight parking restrictions, so the council sent a proposal to the county to include retail areas in the prohibited overnight parking rule

By Justin Chapman, Altadena Patch, 5/23/2011

A year ago the Altadena Town Council submitted a proposal to the county to update Altadena's parking ordinance. The council is still waiting for the elected County government to vote on the changes.
There's a problem with the existing parking ordinance that prohibits any commercial vehicle weighing more than 10,000 pounds from parking between the hours of 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., Sund told Patch in a phone interview. It only pertains to residential areas, not business and retail areas, of Altadena.
"So they would park overnight around areas like Woodbury and Lincoln," said Sund. "They would find a place that wasn't prohibited by this ordinance."
Sund said the problem was immediately obvious, and last May the Town Council sent a proposal to the county to extend the new rules to commercial areas.
According to the county's Department of Public Works Public Information Officer, Bob Spencer, county counsel has finished reviewing the council's proposal and just returned it to Public Works, where it must go through a couple additional administrative processes before it can be presented to the Board of Supervisors for discussion and a vote.
"It's slowly making its way through the system," said Spencer. "But there is no definitive date as of yet when it will appear on the supervisors' agenda."
The slow pace of the county is not the only problem with parking in Altadena, according to Sund.
He said that Pasadena has very strict parking rules, which causes more people to park in Altadena. The new ordinance for Altadena, Sund said, was drafted after public hearings were held and submitted to the county counsel. He's not sure when it will be on the supervisors' agenda, but expects it to pass because there are other unincorporated towns that already have the same ordinance.
Over the years there have been a lot of complaints from the community about safety hazards regarding large vehicles that sit around for a long time in one place. There have also been concerns expressed that Altadenans don't want their town to be like Pasadena, with its stringent parking restrictions. However, Sund said this additional parking ordinance will affect only those who park their large vehicles overnight and for long periods of time.
"It's virtually not going to affect most Altadenans," said Sund. "We're just trying to get rid of these nuisance large vehicles."
The ordinance aims to prohibit overnight parking in retail areas as well for large vehicles and to allow the Sheriff's Department to write tickets to prevent Pasadenans from parking overnight in Altadena.
"It doesn't affect cars, RVs, trucks; it affects large vehicles, or a large truck with a boat on the back," said Sund. "So it's to stop that kind of thing. If you own an RV, you can get a free permit at the Sheriff's station to allow you to park your RV in front of your houses. That's the intent. It's not an absolute abolition of parking overnight, it's to stop people from parking these big vehicles overnight all year long and outside Pasadena people parking in Altadena."
According to Title 15 of the county code (15.64.075), a nonconforming vehicle "refers to any trailer or vehicle if any part of such trailer or vehicle, together with all fixtures, accessories or property affixed thereto (other than single post radio antennas), measures more than eight feet in width, seven and one-half feet in height, or 20 feet in length."
Unincorporated communities in the county such as Marina del Rey, Ladera Heights, and Park Windsor Hills already have similar ordinances in place. The proposal that the town council submitted to the county is currently being reviewed, but it's anyone's guess when it will appear on the county Board of Supervisors' agenda. It has been a year since the town council submitted its recommended additions to the existing parking ordinance and still no one knows when the supervisors will vote on it.
"Sometimes you have to do something," said Sund. "Otherwise people will take advantage of Altadena's loose parking rules."