Shops and visitors along the Venice Beach Boardwalk in Los Angeles. Photo by John Schreiber.
Shops and visitors along the Venice Beach Boardwalk in Los Angeles. Photo by John Schreiber.

The Los Angeles City Council instructed the City Attorney’s office Wednesday to come up with an ordinance that would prohibit people from bringing bulky items, such as mattresses and sofas, into city parks.

The idea was proposed by City Councilmen Mitch O’Farrell, who represents parts of Hollywood, Silver Lake and Atwater Village, and Mike Bonin, who represents the Venice area, where homeless people have been bringing furniture to the beach and, at night, onto the streets near Gold’s Gym.

Under the proposed ordinance, violators would not be prosecuted, but the city would be given the authority to destroy or throw away any item that does not fit into the typical 65-gallon trash bin provided by the city.

City officials said the ordinance would not be a “free pass” for people to start illegally dumping bulky items at city parks in order to avoid landfill fees, since intentionally leaving items at parks would still be considered crime.

On Tuesday, the council also directed attorneys for the city to revise existing codes to make it easier for city officials to remove items left unattended on sidewalks, parks and other public property, such as setting a process for giving notice and temporarily storing the items.

City officials are not allowed to throw away smaller unattended items that appear to be personal belongings.

New ordinances are being proposed as city leaders come under increasing pressure to do something about public encampments. In Venice, property owners recently filed a lawsuit, claiming city officials are endangering public safety by not doing enough to prevent people from living in public parks.

In recent years, the city designated City Hall and Venice Beach as public parks.

City News Service

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