If you operate a facility in Santa Monica, Calif., and happen to have a van for transporting residents, be on the lookout for some cranky new law enforcement practices. A recent article in the Santa Monica Daily Press tells of a Sunrise Senior Living van that has been ticketed eight times for parking on the street overnight—where it has been located every night for the last eight years without penalty.
According to the newspaper report, the city’s rules declare that cars over 5 feet tall, 8 feet wide and 20 feet long are not allowed to be parked on public streets between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m.
The ruling itself technically is not new; it’s composed of two ordinances from the late ’70s “that relatively few people knew about, a flaw that was fixed by the City Council in April,” the Santa Monica Daily Press reported. You can then imagine the Sunrise facility’s surprise when $64 parking tickets started wafting in its van’s windshield this past November.
Although this seems to be a quirky and light-hearted story, there are business and resident safety consequences associated with Santa Monica’s decision to ticket the van out of sight. The van is now parked four miles away at a separate Sunrise location, far and away from the prime parking space that “prevented elderly and disabled from walking several yards out of their way to load the bus,” the newspaper reported. Because that parking space is now filled with cars during the day, residents must walk to an adjacent driveway to load the van, and that’s after it has been retrieved from the sister location.
“[Residents] pay a lot of money to have this service provided to them,” the facility’s activities coordinator said. Indeed, around $6,000 a month in living fees. And thanks to Santa Monica’s city council, that much cash can’t even afford these residents curbside service.