LA City Council Approves Traci Park Motion to Impose Westside Anti-Camping Law

Ordinance will ban camping at 9 Westside locations including 4 in Venice

By Sam Catanzaro

The Los Angeles City Council voted on Wednesday to impose its anti-camping law at a nine of Westside locations, including Abbot Kinney Memorial Branch Library, Venice Beach Recreation Center and around the Venice A Bridge Home homeless shelter. 

The move was largely made possible with the election of Traci Park as the new 11th District council member. Park said her office “has the beds” for those who will be impacted by the law and promised to meet both their legal and moral obligations by offering services and housing. Her predecessor, Mike Bonin, had opposed the 41.18 ordinance and its expansion claiming that it criminalized homelessness, disconnected people from services, and forced them to move from block to block.

Under the ordinance, originally presented by Park, Council designated the following locations “for enforcement against sitting, lying, sleeping, or storing, using, maintaining, or placing personal property, or otherwise obstructing the public right-of-way, up to the maximum distance and effective for the maximum period of time prescribed, and as further detailed in the Code:

  1. Abbot Kinney Memorial Branch Library- 501 S. Venice Boulevard- Library
  2. Linnie Canal Park- 200 Linnie Canal -Public Park
  3. Venice Beach Recreation Center and Boardwalk- 1800 Ocean Front Walk- Public Park
  4. Bill Rosendahl Del Rey Park- 4601 Alla Road- Public Park
  5. Westchester Recreation Center and Park-7000W.ManchesterAvenue -Public Park
  6. Venice A Bridge Home -100 Sunset Avenue- Designated Facility
  7. Iowa Safe Parking- 11339 Iowa Avenue- Designated Facility
  8. Super 8 Homekey- 9250 Airport- Designated Facility
  9. Extended Stay Homekey- 6531 S. Sepulveda Boulevard -Designated Facility”

In a newsletter announcing the ordinance’s passage Park touched on the controversial nature of the legislation but argued she believed it was the right course of action. 

“I recognize this action is not without controversy, and I understand that not everyone supports the City’s no-camping ordinance. To those who have concerns about this, I hear you. I want to underscore that we will lead with engagement and offers of services and housing before we begin enforcement. As I stated on the Council floor, my team and I will not rest until everyone living on the streets in our District has been offered the opportunity to move indoors,” Park said. “Ultimately, there is nothing compassionate about allowing people to live in unsafe conditions while we wait for long-term solutions. Wednesday’s vote was an important step forward in moving our unhoused population inside, restoring public safety and access for all community members, especially our youth and elderly, and restoring the public’s trust in how local government responds to the homelessness crisis in our City.”

Since taking office she has worked with Mayor Karen Bass on Inside Safe programs which help move residents of encampments inside. During her campaign, Park had also promised to expand the ordinance to apply to high fire-risk areas such as canyons and hillsides, and environmentally sensitive habitat areas such as the Ballona Wetlands. 

Five 41.18 zones were also approved in North Hollywood, represented by Council President Paul Krekorian whose district he claims has sufficient capacity to accommodate anyone impacted by the decision.

The public comment period was dominated by supporters of the anti-camping law with Westside residents expressing concern about the number of encampments around them. The council voted 9-4 in favor with Councilwoman Katy Yaroslavsky joining colleagues Nithya Raman, Marqueece Harris-Dawson and Hugo Soto-Martinez in dissent. Yaroslavsky requested more information on how the city is enforcing this law including reports on its effectiveness across LA, a list of locations where it is being enforced, the cost associated with it and the number of people provided housing through 41.18 enforcement remaining houses.

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