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Cracking down on illegal no-parking signs in Malibu

November 10, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
A controversy brews in one of California's most popular coastal communities: Malibu residents are posting homemade "no parking" signs to keep visitors away from their seaside homes. The trouble is that many of those signs are illegal.

Malibu boasts 27 miles of shoreline, but when it comes to parking spots in the city, well, those aren't nearly as abundant.

So as a result, people who live along Malibu's most popular beaches sometimes take matters into their own hands by posting "no parking" signs near their homes.

But the problem is that some of those signs are illegal.

"Rogue parking signs is not a Malibu issue, it's a state of California issue," said Pat Veesart, an enforcement supervisor with the California Coastal Commission, the agency in charge of making sure we all have access to California's public beaches. "It's a problem that we deal with up and down the coast."

Veesart spends much of his time verifying that signs are legitimate.

"I deal with them as they come to my attention, or where I can see they're obviously causing a problem," said Veesart.

Some of the signs look so official that people get tickets parking near them -- even though the signs should not have been there in the first place.

"Numerous people have told me that they've been ticketed parking by the county sheriff's here, by parking in front of signs that were placed illegally," said Veesart.

Malibu city officials say they are cracking down on illegal no-parking signs, issuing citations to residents who post their own signs.

"You cannot say, 'Well, I just don't want people parking in front of my house because I want to leave it for my visitors, or for myself,'" said Malibu Pro Tem Laura Rosenthal.

Rosenthal says the city tries to balance the needs of its 13,000 residents against the needs of the 15 million people who visit every year.

"We just want to make sure that every sign that's out there is legitimate," said Rosenthal.

And while the city and state work to remove the rogue signs, Veesart says that like weeds, they often pop right back up.


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