After Brief Lapse, L.A.’s Ban on Car Dwelling is Back

The Los Angeles City Council has extended a ban on overnight vehicle camping amid an outcry from concerned residents.

A ban on vehicle camping in residential neighborhoods quietly lapsed last month, meaning cops could no longer cite people catching z’s in their cars outside peoples’ homes. Police Chief Michel Moore had directed his officers to lay off car dwellers. That set off a firestorm.

Mark Ryavec, president of the Venice Stakeholders Association, told City News Service he was worried pedophiles and criminals could take advantage.

“This is very dangerous because the objective of this is to keep all kinds of vehicles off and away from schools and parks, where kids play, and off residents' front curbs,'' he said. “That evaporated on July 1, and the police have no authority to cite or move anybody even though they may have status as a sex offender ... or a felony conviction."

The ordinance’s expiration coincided with an explosion in homelessness across the city. The latest figures show a 16% increase in Los Angeles.

But on Tuesday, the ban was extended for another six months. The meeting was extremely contentious, City News Service reports, with some attendees shouting “shame on you!” at Council members. Opponents of the ban say it places undue hardship on people who are already down on their luck, placing exorbitant fines on those who are forced to live in their cars because they cannot afford housing.