The Los Angeles City Council gave final approval Tuesday to an ordinance barring people from living in cars near homes, parks, schools and daycare facilities.
Under the ordinance, which must be signed by the mayor before taking effect, parking for habitation purposes will be prohibited from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. along residential streets with both single- and multi-family homes.
The restriction will apply all day for any street that is within a block or 500 feet of a school, park or daycare center.
The ordinance will theoretically still allow people to live out of their vehicles in commercial and industrial zones. Those who violate the ordinance will receive citations requiring them to pay penalties ranging from $25 to $75.
The ordinance will end after about 18 months. City officials said they need that amount of time at most to come up with an alternative homeless parking plan, such as one modeled after a Santa Barbara “safe parking” initiative that allows the homeless to camp their cars in parking lots.
The ban will replace an existing one that was in effect citywide, but was deemed unconstitutional.
Several attorneys and advocates for the homeless have warned that the new ban could still run afoul of the rights of the homeless, raising concerns that the ordinance will be a financial hardship on homeless people and, in effect, make homelessness a crime.
Some council members have been critical of the ordinance. Joe Buscaino and Nury Martinez have said they represent communities with more industrial and commercial zones than other areas, so the ordinance would likely drive disproportionately more homeless people to their districts.
—City News Service
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