Los Angeles newspaper calls for limits on homeless parking along Malibu coast

LOS ANGELES-- The Los Angeles Times editorial board on Wednesday threw its support behind relocating dozens of homeless residents living in RVs indefinitely parked along Malibu’s coastline.

The beach parking spots along the Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu are open to the public, but the paper asked, “Does public access mean someone can stake out a parking spot...overlooking the beach indefinitely?”

At least 81 vehicles were tallied in last month’s homeless count of Malibu up from 61 last year.

While it’s a small percentage of people living in their cars in Los Angeles County, those residing on the highway in Malibu are both taking up coveted parking spots and hurting the environment since some are dumping their septic tanks on the road and into storm drains, the board wrote.

Pacific Coast Highway near Malibu Pier.

Pacific Coast Highway near Malibu Pier. (Google Maps)

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The city of Malibu has proposed restricting overnight parking near Las Tunas Beach and Malibu Pier to deter the homeless from staying there for long periods of time, but promises to take an “empathetic” approach to relocating residents.

“These parking restrictions seem reasonable,” the board wrote. “Homeless people have as much right to access parking along the coast as anyone else. But they don’t have the right to commandeer sought-after parking spots along the coast for weeks or months — any more than other visitors in cars have the right to hog parking spot [or] to pollute the coast.”

The editorial board wrote they are ordinarily “reluctant to see the authorities roust homeless people from where they’re sleeping unless there’s a plan for where they should go,” but decided to support it because of the city’s “comprehensive and empathetic approach.”

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They added they hope the city will find alternate parking for those living along the highway or, preferably, housing.