SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - A Santa Barbara non-profit agency is working against the clock to help people living in oversized and recreational vehicles before a citywide parking ban takes effect.
New Beginnings Counseling Center operates the Safe Parking program which provides the vehicular homeless with safe overnight parking spaces, and help transitioning back into traditional housing.
The agency is desperately searching for business property owners, and church organizations with off-street parking for men, women, seniors and families who will soon need a place to park their vehicles during the day.
Last November, the city council unanimously adopted an ordinance that limits the size of vehicles that park on all city streets.
Residents complained that RVs and oversized vehicles parking in their neighborhoods caused safety hazards and noise concerns.
The new parking regulations will apply to vehicles that are more than 25 feet long, 80 inches wide or 82 inches high.
The Safe Parking Program is looking for at least 40 daytime spaces, similar to 129 overnight spaces in 23 lots which the program currently manages in Santa Barbara and Goleta.
Since the program's inception in 2004, there have been no major incidents or damage to any of the lots. Lot owners are not liable.
The city created an ad hoc committee to address the needs of those displaced by the ordinance. The committee will meet on March 14, and parking spaces need to be secured by that time.
The parking ban is set to go into effect in April.
Lot owners interested in providing spaces for the program are asked to contact New Beginnings at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 805-845-8492.