After having seriously curbed yard sales last year and then laughably putting a positive spin on it in Anaheim Magazine, the Anaheim City Council is zeroing in on another pressing threat to the city's residents: public street car sales.
Long the complaint of NIMBY's in Anaheim proper, the latest hypocrisy in this supposed 'less government, more freedom' town was brought up during this week's lengthy city council meeting.
"On a recent Tuesday afternoon in West Anaheim, we found 43 cars for sale on Ball Road alone," said Planning Director Sheri Vander Dussen during her presentation to council. "Unfortunately, case law prohibits the city from banning the sale of personal vehicles on public streets."
Since that is what they truly want but can't directly get, a zoning code amendment offered a scheme of curtailment buried within its 99 pages.
After the presentation, councilwoman Lucille Kring whined that public street car sales--not trigger-happy cops, limited educational opportunity for students, or depressed economic conditions for residents--were a bane of her existence. Residential complaints to Kring and councilwoman Gail Eastman were cited and as reactionary residents of Anaheim proper, we all know who has their ear. The tandem were also the ones to direct staff to address the issue. Tellingly, the minutes of the Planning Commission noted concerns of home owners about parking congestion, as opposed to those who live in apartment complexes.
It ain't like Bugattis are lining up the streets, either, so, apart from the sellers, we know who the buyers are too! Hell, our very own Mexican-in-Chief came up on his VW bus off such a car sale!
Since putting limited hour parking permits on streets has only served to move these de facto DIY used car lots to other locations, the concocted solution was to target "auto sales agency offices." The idea was to slap these dealers with a costly Conditional Use Permit (CUP) at the very same time that the zoning amendment relaxed such 'impediments,' as they were called, for six other business types as part of Mayor Tom Tait's Regulatory Relief Task Force.
The requirement for these types of dealers (a minority of those actually selling by the planning department's own admission) makes them essentially bound by the same regulation as a conventional lot auto dealer. "Conditions of approval," the staff report read regarding CUPs "can then be added limiting the number of vehicles for sale based on available on-site parking and prohibiting the sale of vehicles on public streets."
Concerns were raised from a property owner who leases to such dealers in his building denying they did anything wrong, but would suffer the consequences nevertheless leaving him with empty office space.
"The problem they are trying to solve is these cars parked on the street on weekends taking up all these spaces," Mayor Tait said. The confusion led to him to seek to continue the discussion at the next council meeting which his weary colleagues readily agreed to do.
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But as the current meeting came to a close, Kring previewed her next potential attack. During council comments, she mentioned motels and the need for a city-wide ordinance discouraging drug dealers and prostitutes--two illicit trades born, in part, out of structural poverty.
But will it also shove working motel families into transience? We'll be watching...
Follow Gabriel San Román on Twitter @dpalabraz