City regulates valet parkers, keeps broken meter rule

The City Council took a couple of steps Wednesday to clarify the rules of engagement in the Los Angeles parking wars. First the bad news: the council admitted it is hooked on the extra revenue, about $5 million a year, the city has received in tickets given to drivers who park at broken meters. That became a violation in 2010 — before then you could park at a non-functioning meter so long as you didn't stay past the posted limit. On Wednesday, the City Council voted 12-1 to keep it a ticket-worthy violation. If you get out of the car, and the meter won't take your cash or credit card, you have to get back in and move the car. Mayoral candidate Jan Perry was the only council member to vote no. A new state law would have changed the policy if the council had not acted.

Nobody voted no on a new set of regulations for valet parkers that passed Wednesday. The law will phase in across the city, starting in Hollywood, the LA Times says.

The new rules, subject to a second vote by the council, would require a valet operator in Los Angeles to obtain a permit, carry liability insurance, provide proof of off-street spaces for parking cars and ensure that valet workers had valid California driver's licenses. The ordinance would prohibit operators from using public street parking without permission and from blocking traffic.

The Los Angeles city attorney's office spent three years researching and crafting the regulations, which Councilman Eric Garcetti said were aimed at eliminating rogue operators. Portions of the measure were modeled on longtime regulations in West Hollywood, Santa Monica and Beverly Hills.

"Finally, the law is on the side of the driver," Garcetti said after the 13-0 vote.

Photo: LA Observed

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