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Rosendahl: Amend the Proposed Ordinance

Bill Rosendahl

From Councilman Rosendahl:

March 18, 2011

Dear Friends,

As many of you know, my staff and I have been wrestling with the dilemma of people living in their vehicles.We have been striving for a balanced approach – one that helps those who need help, and also moves vehicles with people living in them from residential streets.

Last year, the City began enforcing parking restrictions on oversized vehicles on streets where residents and property owners requested such restrictions.At the same, we have been crafting a program called Roadmap to Housing (formerly known as Vehicles to Homes), which provide services, safe parking, and housing placement for people living in their vehicles.

Roadmap to Housing’s main goal is to find permanent housing for people living in their vehicles.The Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA) has already committed 25 housing vouchers to the program, and the Veterans Administration (VA) has committed to enough vouchers for eligible veterans already canvassed in Council District 11.Because of aggressive enforcement of parking restrictions, People Assisting the Homeless (PATH) may need some legal public parking spaces for program participants to stay while PATH processes vouchers and makes housing arrangements,PATH would manage the spaces and require participants to follow a strict code of conduct and receive social services.

Earlier this month, the City Attorney released a draft ordinance (LAMC 85.11) that would allow PATH to legally operate such a program in designated public parking spaces. While the intent and particulars of that draft ordinance were distorted as part of a public misinformation campaign, many of the public comments generated raised legitimate concerns.

As a result, at next week’s meeting of the Transportation Committee, I intend to ask the City Attorney to amend the proposed ordinance:

–The first draft of the ordinance would have allowed program participants to park on designated street segments. I will ask City Attorney to delete that provision.

–The first draft of the ordinance would have permitted PATH to operate the program in any publicly-owned parking lot with a proper buffer from residences.I will ask the City Attorney to restrict PATH to two lots:the municipally-owned lots at my field offices in Westchester and West LA.

–The first draft of the ordinance calls for a 50-feet buffer between any PATH-supervised parking space and a residence.That buffer will remain in place for the Westchester and West LA lots.

–The first draft of the ordinance would have allowed up to 5 vehicles per PATH-supervised lot.Since my other amendments will reduce overall parking inventory, we are considering what we should raise the number to for the two participating lots.

PATH will use the parking lot spaces, if needed, but will concentrate its program on street case management and helping people access permanent housing. PATH may not need to use all of the spaces in the lots, and may not need to use the lots at all.As long as vouchers are available, PATH officials are confident they can place into housing those people living in vehicles who need and want a home.

Like any important matter of public policy, this ordinance is a work in progress, and there are many more opportunities to be heard.Before this matter goes to the full City Council next month, there are three public meetings:

Venice Neighborhood Council
March 22, 2011 – 6:30 p.m.
Westminster Elementary School Auditorium
1010 Abbot Kinney Blvd,
Venice, CA 90291

Transportation Committee (City Hall)
March 23rd, 2011 – 2 p.m.
200 N Spring Street, #1050
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Transportation Committee (City Hall)
April 13th, 2011 – 2 p.m.
200 N Spring Street, #1050
Los Angeles, CA 90012

We’re almost there, folks! I hope we continue to work together to make this a model the rest of the City will be proud of.

Regards,

BILL ROSENDAHL

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