The New Law Against Vehicle Dwelling

After years of being in limbo following civil rights litigation, the City of LA is making another attempt at regulating vehicle dwelling with the passage of LAMC 85.02 in January 2017. This ordinance is by its terms temporary and expires on July 1 2018, unless extended.

Under the law, vehicle dwelling is prohibited at all times within 500 feet of licensed schools, pre-schools, daycare facilities and parks. Vehicle dwelling is allowed anyplace other than near schools, pre-schools, daycare facilities and parks during daytime hours (6am-9pm) and during nighttime hours in non-residentially-zoned areas that are not otherwise prohibited by parking signage.

Street signage prohibiting parking overrides LAMC 85.02.

LAMC 85.02 is not a parking prohibition. It is a dwelling prohibition. This is an important distinction when it comes to enforcement. LADOT enforces parking violations. LAPD enforces violations of 85.02, and they need evidence of dwelling, which is difficult to prove short of a jug of waste on the sidewalk or somebody answering the door in their pajamas.

Many RV dwellers are organized on social media and know that they shouldn’t even answer the door. Needless to say, enforcement of 85.02 has been problematic to date.¬†Another enforcement difficulty is that punishment is merely an infraction, not a crime.

The biggest problem we’ve seen in and around Kentwood with vehicle dwelling has been on Manchester Blvd. A group of Kentwood neighbors was successful in getting restrictive parking signage put up between Sepulveda and Emerson, with additional signs promised “soon” for Emerson to Georgetown.

Signs that don’t allow overnight parking are very effective in getting rid of the RV’s altogether because most RV dwellers don’t want to move their vehicles. They will instead look for someplace where they can park and stay. Also, proof of dwelling is not required to ticket and/or tow with restricted parking signage.

While we wait for the additional restricted parking signs, keep in mind the following:

  • Vehicles must comply with all posted parking restrictions at all times
  • All vehicles driven or parked on a California street, road or highway must be registered with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and insured
  • Any vehicle that has been parked on a city street or highway for 72 hours or more can be reported as an abandoned vehicle
  • Parking in alleys is illegal at all times
  • Vehicles without an engine, wheels, or some other part necessary for safely driving the vehicle are subject to immediate impounding

To report violations, use the City’s 311 app, call 3-1-1 or email

For more information on LAMC 85.02, including a link LAPD Pacific Division’s most recent 85.02 allowable parking map, visit the City’s website.

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