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L.A. County bans parking cars marked 'for sale' on some streets

July 5, 2011 |  6:01 pm

Photo: Cars for sale are parked on Avalon Boulevard in South L.A. Credit: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles County supervisors voted Tuesday to prohibit the parking of vehicles marked “for sale” on designated roadways.

A study conducted last year by the California Department of Motor Vehicles in Los Angeles County found that these kinds of unlicensed sales were creating dangerous traffic conditions because motorists would slow down or stop next to the vehicles to examine them. The practice also hurts businesses and residents by reducing available parking, undercutting licensed dealers and facilitating the sale of stolen vehicles with fake paperwork, according to county attorneys. 

An ordinance introduced by Supervisor Gloria Molina last month lists about 1,000 blocks in the county’s unincorporated areas in which the practice will be banned. But Supervisor Don Knabe suggested that sellers would simply move the vehicles to other roads.

“To me, you’re either all in or all out,” he said. “… Either you prohibit it or you don’t.”

County Counsel  Andrea Sheridan Ordin told the board that there is already a county-wide ban on the books but that it has not been enforced for years because similar laws were successfully challenged in court. In one ruling, a Los Angeles city measure was said to violate the vehicle sellers’ constitutional right to free speech by restricting the display of “for sale” signs. Ordin said the county can regulate such practices on its streets but cannot impose a blanket ban.

The amended ordinance approved Tuesday gives the county Department of Public Works authority to post signs prohibiting the parking of vehicles with “for sale” signs on any major or secondary highway where the practice becomes a problem. Violators will be ticketed. If the vehicle is found still displaying a “for sale” sign 24 hours later, it could be impounded.

The ordinance takes effect in 30 days.

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-- Alexandra Zavis

Photo: Cars for sale are parked on Avalon Boulevard in South L.A. Credit: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times

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