TO: HONORABLE MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL
FROM: CITY ATTORNEY
DATE: JULY 5, 2005
SUBJECT: CONSIDERATION OF AN ORDINANCE THAT WILL PREVENT PEOPLE FROM USING VEHCILES THAT ARE PARKED ON PUBLIC STREETS OR PARKING LOTS AS DWELLING UNITS AND WILL ALLOW THE CITY COUNCIL TO ESTABLISH AN ADMINISTRATIVE FEE TO REIMBURSE THE CITY FOR THE COSTS IT INCURS IN HAVING VEHICLES REMOVED, IMPOUNDED OR STORED
INTRODUCE ORDINANCE NO. ____, AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES ESTABLISHING THE AUTHORITY TO ADOPT A FEE TO REIMBURSE THE CITY FOR THE COSTS INCURRED IN CONNECTION WITH THE REMOVAL, IMPOUNDMENT AND STORAGE OF VEHICLES AND PROHIBITING THE PARKING OF VEHICLES THAT ARE USED AS DWELLINGS ON CITY STREETS AND AMENDING THE RANCHO PALOS VERDES MUNICIPAL CODE
BACKGROUND: At a previous meeting, the City Council directed Staff to prepare an ordinance that will allow the City to recover from registered owners of vehicles the costs that are incurred by the City in connection with having vehicles towed from a location and then impounded or stored. The attached ordinance implements that direction and provides the authority for the City Council to establish an administrative fee to reimburse the City by the adoption of a resolution.
The ordinance also prevents individuals from using vehicles that are parked on City streets or parking lots as dwelling units. The Sheriff’s Department recommended adoption of this section of the Ordinance following a situation that occurred in the City. The Ordinance will allow a Deputy to order a vehicle that is being used as a dwelling to be relocated outside of the City or be towed. Accordingly, this Ordinance will provide an additional tool to the Sheriff’s Department to address these situations.
DISCUSSION: With respect to the Section of the Ordinance that precludes people from using vehicles parked on City streets or parking lots as dwellings, Staff has included a provision that makes it clear that the Ordinance will not apply to anyone who has obtained a temporary guest permit from the Director of Planning, Building and Code Enforcement to park a recreational vehicle on private property for a limited period of time, which is authorized by Section 8.24.060 A 6 e of the Municipal Code.
Turning to the other Section of Ordinance, Section 22850.5 of the California Vehicle Code authorizes cities to charge administrative fees to the registered owners of vehicles that are towed or impounded to offset the costs that are incurred by the city in taking those actions. The attached Ordinance authorizes the City Council to adopt a resolution establishing this type of administrative fee.
If the City Council introduces the Ordinance this evening, on July 19th, the Ordinance will be brought back for second reading. At that same meeting, the City Council will conduct the public hearing regarding the proposed fee that will be established pursuant to the Ordinance. Like other fees that are charged by the City, the City cannot charge a fee that is greater than the cost that the City actually incurs in having a vehicle towed. Essentially, the cost to the City is the charge that is billed to the City by the Sheriff’s Department for the time that a Deputy typically spends in arranging for a vehicle to be towed or impounded.
CONCLUSION: If the City Council concurs with Staff’s recommendation, the City Council should read the attached Ordinance by title only, waive further reading, and introduce the Ordinance.
ALTERNATIVES: The City Council could give Staff additional direction about these issues, which could be incorporated into a revised ordinance, or the City Council could decline to adopt the Ordinance.
Attachment: Draft Ordinance
ORDINANCE NO. ___
AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES ESTABLISHING THE AUTHORITY TO ADOPT A FEE TO REIMBURSE THE CITY FOR THE COSTS INCURRED IN CONNECTION WITH THE REMOVAL, IMPOUNDMENT AND STORAGE OF VEHICLES AND PROHIBITING THE PARKING OF VEHICLES THAT ARE USED AS DWELLINGS ON CITY STREETS AND AMENDING THE RANCHO PALOS VERDES MUNICIPAL CODE
THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES DOES HEREBY ORDAIN AS FOLLOWS:
Section 1. Chapter 10.04 of Title 10 of the Rancho Palos Verdes Municipal Code is hereby amended by adding new Section 10.04.030 thereto to read as follows:
"10.04.030 Parking vehicles that are being used as a dwelling unit for habitation-- prohibited.
No person shall park any type of motorized or non-motorized vehicle that is being occupied or used as a dwelling upon any highway, roadway, parkway, street, public right-of-way or parking lot within the City. This Section shall not apply to vehicles parked on private property for which a temporary guest permit has been issued by the Director of Planning, Building and Code Enforcement pursuant to Section 8.24.060 A 6 e of this Code."
Section 2. Chapter 10.08 of Title 10 of the Rancho Palos Verdes Municipal Code is hereby amended by adding new Section 10.08.030 thereto to read as follows:
"10.08.030 Establishment of fee to reimburse the City for the actual costs incurred by the City in connection with the towing and impounding of vehicles-- authorized.
(a) The City Council, by adoption of a resolution, may establish a fee to reimburse the City for the actual costs incurred by the City in connection with the proper removal or impoundment of any vehicle from a location within the City, pursuant to the provisions of this Chapter or the California Vehicle Code, or the storage of such vehicle. The fee shall be imposed only upon the registered owner of the vehicle that was properly removed, impounded or stored or upon the agent of that owner.
(b) Owners of vehicles that are released from being impounded or stored shall be exempt from the payment of this fee upon submission of verifiable proof that the vehicle was reported stolen at the time when the vehicle was removed or impounded or are otherwise exempt from the payment of administrative fees pursuant to the provisions of Section 22850.5 of the California Vehicle Code.
(c) The fee shall be due and owing to the City at the time of the release of the vehicle and may be collected by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department or by the City Manager’s designee. Towing companies and impound companies that collect fees for towing, impounding or storing vehicles within the City of Rancho Palos Verdes shall collect the fee on behalf of the City at the time of the release of the vehicle and shall remit monthly to the City Manager or the City Manager’s designee said fee for each vehicle that is removed, impounded or stored. The monthly remittance shall be accompanied by an accounting of the accrued fees."
Section 3. The City Council declares that, should any provision, section, paragraph, sentence, or word of this ordinance be rendered or declared invalid by any final action in a court of competent jurisdiction, or by reason of any preemptive legislation, the remaining provisions, sections, paragraphs, sentences and words of this ordinance shall remain in full force and effect.
Section 4. The City Clerk shall cause this Ordinance to be posted in three (3) public places in the City within fifteen (15) days after its passage, in accordance with the provisions of Section 36933 of the Government Code. The City Clerk shall further certify to the adoption and posting of this Ordinance, and shall cause this Ordinance and its certification, together with proof of posting, to be entered in the Book of Ordinances of the Council of this City.
Section 5. This Ordinance shall go into effect and be in full force and effect at 12:01 a.m. on the thirty-first (31st) day after its passage.
PASSED, APPROVED and ADOPTED this _______ day of _______________, 2005.