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Impounding Possible For Cars Sold On Streets

county_sealLos Angeles County residents who like to sell cars by parking them on the street with a simple sign in the window could soon face having the car impounded with additional parking violation fees added.

At tomorrow’s board meeting Los Angeles County Supervisors are expected to vote on an ordinance to restrict vehicles parked on county roads for the sole purpose of selling them, including streets in Valencia, Castaic and Acton.

California courts have been supportive of actions by cities and counties to “reasonably regulate” the time, place, and manner in which its public streets are used for the sale of vehicles.

 


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The County says they’ve experienced a proliferation of used vehicles being parked or left idle on public streets for the purpose of advertising or displaying vehicles for sale, resulting in a negative impact on the county’s residents and businesses.

Tony Bell, Communications Deputy for Fifth District Supervisor says the public may believe these are just regular people trying to sell their cars, but many are really private businesses.

"These are folks making a living using the public streets as a used car lot," Bell said.

They not only provide unfair competition they take up the parking spaces of local businesses and the consumers who want to patronize the retailers, Bell explained.

If passed, the ordinance would amend Title 15 - Vehicles and Traffic of the Los Angeles County Code, stating that “No person shall park or leave standing any motor vehicle with a sign or placard on such vehicle at any of the locations listed below which makes it appear that the primary purpose for parking such vehicle at that location is to advertise to the public or the private sale of such vehicle.”

Besides the commercial aspect of the impromptu car lots, there is the blot on the landscape.

"Blight has certainly played into the quality of life issue," Bell said.

The new ordinance would take effect 30 days after passage.

The following local streets would be affected, subjecting vehicles to removal, impoundment and possible additional parking violation fees:

The Old Road (Valencia):

  • Both sides of The Old Road between Red Oak Court and Magic Mountain Parkway.

Castaic Road (Castaic):

  • Both sides of Castaic Road between its northerly terminus and Ridge Route Road.

Parker Road (Castaic):

  • Both sides of Parker Road between Sloan Canyon Road and Ridge Route Road.

Ridge Route Road (Castaic):

  • Both sides of Ridge Route Road between Lake Hughes Road and Parker Road.

Sloan Canyon Road (Castaic):

  • Both sides of Sloan Canyon Road between Quail Valley Road and The Old Road.

Sierra Highway (Acton):

  • North side of Sierra Highway between Red Rover Mine Road and Clanfield Street.

Crown Valley Road (Acton):

  • Both sides of Crown Valley Road between Sierra Highway and Sourdough Road.

In August 2010, The California Department of Motor Vehicles conducted a survey of its eight DMV Investigation Offices throughout Los Angeles County to document the issues its investigators were seeing in the field with vehicles parked for sale or for advertising purposes.

The DMV Survey found that the unrestricted parking of vehicles for commercial purposes causes passing motorists to slow down or stop to obtain information on the signage on the parked vehicles, causes motorists to illegally "double park" next to such vehicles and get out of their cars to examine the vehicles thereby blocking traffic, and encourages jaywalking across streets for prospective buyers to inspect the vehicles, thereby creating dangerous traffic conditions for other motorists and pedestrians alike in the County.