City tries new approach to keep RVs away from Echo Park Lake

Photo by Barry Lank


ECHO PARK – Restrictions last year on sleeping in vehicles near parks apparently weren’t enough. The City Council is now considering  a motion to prohibit the overnight parking of large vehicles around Echo Park Lake altogether.

Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell has proposed prohibiting vehicles longer than 22 feet or taller than seven feet from parking along the streets surrounding the lake anytime between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m.

“Our office has received numerous complaints from residents regarding the amount of parking these large vehicles are utilizing around the lake,” said Tony Arranaga, a spokesperson for Councilmember O’Farrell. “Residents are concerned that some of the vehicle owners are ‘storing’ their RVs, large trucks, and haulers here….”

Last year, the city began enforcing  a controversial ordinance  opposed by homeless advocates that prohibited people from sleeping in vehicles overnight in residential zones or within a block of a park or school or day care facility. During the day, people living vehicles must stay at least one block away from parks and schools.

But a recent visit to the lake confirms that large campers are indeed parked there. Arranaga said O’Farrell’s office has received complaints that people are sleeping in their vehicles overnight.

The streets where overnight parking would be restricted include:

  • Bellevue Avenue between Glendale Boulevard and Echo Park Avenue
  • Echo Park Avenue between Park Avenue and Bellevue Avenue
  • Park Avenue between Glendale Boulevard and Echo Park Avenue
  • Glendale Boulevard between Park Avenue and Bellevue Avenue

Similar restrictions have been imposed on the streets around the Silver Lake Reservoir, the Eagle Rock Recreation Center and other locations.

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  1. And what about the rest of the streets / side streets in EP? Won’t the vehicles just move inland?

  2. Will residents along those streets receive permits so that they may park in the restricted areas overnight?

  3. My mistake, I see the restriction is attached to the size of the vehicle, so this should exclude residents who live on the streets.

  4. Linette C. Woron

    So the new rich people of Echo Park don’t want poor people around?? I live in Highland Park, we’ve got homeless and people in their cars and RVs. I own a house too. But I do have some sympathy for people squeezed to death by our economy or life circumstances in general, as long as they are not spilling garbage everywhere. When is this city going to do what Santa Barbara has done and make parking lots or city land available for people in vehicles????

    • Also a Highland Park resident and this is also my thought. Compared to Silver Lake Blvd, though, this is a little more understandable I guess? The neighborhood around Echo Park Lake has more apartment buildings and street parking is way more in demand.

      But, still. City needs to do something beyond pandering to wealthy residents and pushing the RVs out to other neighborhoods.

    • The new rich people mostly have off street parking. I live in Echo Park and have to vie with these RVs for scarce street parking. Agreed that it’s important to have sympathy but the goal should not be to make it as easy as possible to live on the streets in an RV (especially not in one of the densest city neighborhoods). The goal should be to transition people into stable housing and the city has a long way to go on that front. The immediate impact of this will probably be just to push the RVs a block in any other direction away from the park.

    • Highland Park did the exact same thing last year, to a stretch of Fig that had seen many RVs parking on it.

      So did Eagle Rock, by the Eagle Rock Rec Center on Eagle Vista…

      Therefore, I would not cast stones at “new rich people of Echo Park” or anyone else for that matter… this is just a symptom of the never ending homeless crisis in our city. As long as it’s not meaningfully addressed, people who do have homes and want to enjoy their parks and neighborhood without people dumping their raw sewage on the street, this block by block whack-a-mole will continue.

      The city of LA should open a FREE RV parking lot for people who need a place. With sanitary bathrooms and sewage dumping place.

      And offer real housing solutions to the homeless.

  5. Why doesn’t the city do something about developers and trust fund kids buying properties strictly to air B and B them and turn Echo Park into a hipster destination .

  6. The LA city council is very good at creating specific laws to curtail peoples freedom rather than solve the problems. This is good for grabbing headlines which is what they do best. They don’t seem to care about the constructional issues, just make a law, that will solve everything. and of course throw tax payer money settling lawsuits that come years after people affected by these laws sue the city.

  7. “New Rich people from Echo Park” – now that is a ‘rich’ statement.

    I managed to buy a place where I could afford at the time 8 years ago (Echo Park). By no means am I nor the droves of others who moved to Echo Park I know “rich”. If we were really RICH, we wouldn’t be dealing with this problem at all. How many RV’s do you see parked in Beverly Hills or Bell Air? And when it comes to sympathy, sure I’d like everyone to have a nice comfy apartment that only cost $2 a month, but that just Isn’t reality. Big cities cost more and more to live in… just a fact and these are just the casualties of that fact. How about sympathy for the folks who are paying extraordinarily high property taxes on their homes and would like a nice clean park to go to? Seems like those who pay into the system are the last ones to get anything out of it.

    • I second Jenntreefire. I moved to Echo Park 9 years ago when rent was cheap because people were still getting shot. I’m the furthest thing from rich (don’t even have health insurance) and I don’t want our beautiful park to function as Skid Row 2.0.

    • Hey congrats! You bought a house during the recession. You had money, and you made a wise investment. Maybe you had help from your family or maybe you saved up for a down payment. Anyway, good job. Now you’re whining about your property taxes. Even though you’re paying 2010 property taxes on a home that’s worth twice what you paid back then (thanks prop 13!). Meanwhile, the rest of us are paying double rent or fighting like dogs to keep our RSO places. The people in those RVs can’t afford rent. But your property taxes are too high! And why can’t Echo Park be like Beverly Hills, anyway??

      You don’t solve this problem by sweeping them out of your neighborhood.

      • I’m not complaining about paying high taxes; I knew for what exactly I was signing up. I do feel it is a reasonable exchange to receive services for those high taxes – of which includes a clean park.

        By the way, lets not paint all of these folks with the same -hard luck case brush. Many of the RVs are occupied with folks that would rather play handball against the side of said RV or sell “good vibes” or worse – in the case of the big purple RV. FREE LOADERS. It’s a fine job if you can sustain it, I just don’t (and many agree) feel they are entitled to do it in a park.

        If the city would like to purchase a plot of land where people who can only afford to live in an RV can freely live out their lives, I’m cool with that. But, I seriously doubt you’d find the crew currently living around EP Lake living in that lot.

        • Sounds like these folks just need to pick themselves up by their bootstraps, huh?

          • Frankly, I don’t care what they do. I don’t feel like it’s fair for everyone else to subsidize their behavior.

            Let me ask you this, What if I decided to sell my home and use that money to buy one of those super fancy motor homes with the tricked out bedrooms that slide out and a roof-top deck with a Jacuzzi. Then I parked it next to Echo Park Lake – because I like the views – and heck, no more property taxes right? SCORE! How fast do you think I would be kicked out or better yet Do you think THAT would be fair for me to do?

          • lol go for it

          • They need to put down the meth pipes and get jobs. Quit making excuses for these losers.

        • Jenn tree, so you totally had help from your parents when you bought a house 8 years ago didn’t you….

      • No, Kermmitt. You solve them by bitching about your rent on a local news message board. Keep fighting the good fight and stay safe out there. The homeless of LA are counting on you.

    • Prop 13 means you’re paying far less in property taxes than you ought to be paying, so no use crying about that one. The reason even richer areas like BH don’t have this “issue” is because they’ve been mega-rich for decades and created their own city to have direct control over things like their ability to keep out the Undesirable classes, whoever they may be. They’ve had a lot longer to continually enforce that kind of thing across the board.

  8. Answer is simple. Make all residential parking in Echo Park permit parking only with exceptions for business districts. Instant money for the city and discourages long term parking from RVs.

  9. Those campers and rv’s ringing recently renovated echo park lake are $300/week airbn’b rentals.

  10. Would strictly enforcing the 72 hour rule solve any of this or are these folks meticulous about moving their RVs?

  11. Finally!! I find this to be soooo annoying! especially when I go see family play sports at the park we would have to park blocks away because each rv was taking up 3 spots. Thanks this would be extremely helpful in the future.

  12. Startinng to dislike the color purple

    That Purple RV is no now parked right in front of my place

    • New in EP, renting.

      Lol. Sorry…just had to laugh about this one.

      • New in EP, renting.

        Its a tough situation, indeed. I’ve been around the globe and, while I must acknowledge the success LA has had in keeping a descent downtown compared to many other DTs at big cities… It really has a lot to work on with the issue of homelessness! I have never seen such a situation.
        I can’t say the RVs are such a dilemma as the way these vehicles are kept, and how long they stay at spots.
        I have children and its really disturbing to have brought them back to the USA to offer them a long lost “american dream” I was once taught to have, finding myself looking through picture books to show them what ‘clean spots’ or ‘pretty homes and streets’ look like and truly embarrassed about the way people don’t care about what is available. Those RVs all rusted, broken down, full of spray paint or looking like junk yards don’t help. Neither does the physical state of who are in them. For example, once walking the sidewalk with my children, heading towards the playground, an RV owner was climbing up with his pants falling and his xxx showing. And on his way down, throwing junk on the street!

        Let’s face it, no matter what we write here, we are not going to change the world with our comments on what each has or how much, or from where, each pays what we pay. But we CAN leave the voice to at least keep what we have WELL, in tip-top condition. And to no obstruct public property for long, move around, explore new areas, and respect!…yes?

        No matter what, please keep hoping for the best…remember what EP used to be (I’ve heard it was bad), and have pacience…it’ll get even better!

  13. What am I gonna do when I get my house on wheels?

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