. Sun Valley Area Neighborhood Council

Sun Valley Area Neighborhood Council

Do you know about Assembly Bill 516?
If passed, it will restrict the
towing of vehicles in the City of LA

LATEST STATUS: This bill is now "HELD UNDER SUBMISSION" from the State Senate Appropriations Committee as of Aug. 30, 2019. The definition is: "An action taken by a committee when a bill is heard in committee and there is an indication that the author and the committee members want to work on or discuss the bill further, but there is no motion for the bill to progress out of committee. This does not preclude the bill from being set for another hearing."

At the June 11th City Council Board Meeting, the councilmembers passed Resolution 19-0002-S50 that opposed AB-516. AB-516 has already passed the Assembly and is now on to the State Senate.This is the version in summary of the changes that were made in State Senate on July 2, 2019. It has been approved in the Senate Public Safety Committee..

AB516 (Summary): Existing law authorizes a peace officer, as defined, or a regularly employed and salaried employee, who is engaged in directing traffic or enforcing parking laws and regulations, of a city, county, or jurisdiction of a state agency in which a vehicle is located, to remove a vehicle located within the territorial limits in which the officer or employee may act, under designated circumstances, including, but not limited to, when a vehicle is found upon a highway or public land or removed pursuant to the Vehicle Code, and has been issued 5 or more notices of parking violations to which the owner or person in control of the vehicle has not responded within a designated time period. Under existing law, a vehicle that has been removed and impounded under those circumstances that is not released may be subject to a lien sale to compensate for the costs of towage and for caring for and keeping safe the vehicle.

Existing law authorizes a peace officer and specified public employees, as an alternative to removal of a vehicle, to immobilize the vehicle with a device designed and manufactured for that purpose, if, among other circumstances, the vehicle is found upon a highway or public lands by the peace officer or employee and it is known to have been issued 5 or more notices of parking violations that are delinquent because the owner or person in control of the vehicle has not responded to the appropriate agency within a designated time period.

This bill would delete the authority of a peace officer or public employee, as appropriate, to remove or immobilize a vehicle under those circumstances. The bill would also modify the authority to remove a vehicle parked or left standing for 72 or more consecutive hours in violation of a local ordinance by requiring the vehicle to remain parked or left standing for 10 5 or more business days after a notice is affixed to the vehicle specifying the date and time after which the vehicle may be removed. The bill would also require the notice to include specified information. The bill would repeal the related authority to conduct a lien sale to cover towing and storage expenses. The bill would make various conforming and technical changes.

By requiring local authorities to provide specified information on parking notices, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.

This bill would provide that, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to the statutory provisions noted above.


Vote: Majority, Appropriation: No, Fiscal Committee: Yes, Local Program: NO YES

So, instead of deleting the authority of peace officers to be able to EVER tow vehicles, this revision states that after 72 hours, the police affix a notification on the vehicle stating it will be towed in 5 days (an earlier change made it 10 days). However, the part of the pending law still states that the tow yards cannot have a lien sale if the car is not claimed, and cars cannot be towed with 5 or more parking violations. Read the CA State Senate Transportation Analysis.

Please be aware, LA City has a program in place to allow the homeless to serve community time to pay off any parking or impound fees. SVANC voted to OPPOSE AB-516 and to submit a CIS to the LA City Council to support their Resolution that opposes AB-516:

SVANC supports Council File #19-0002-S50 OPPOSING AB-516 which removes the authority of law enforcement or public employees from towing vehicles not in compliance with current CA registration laws, having accumulated over 5 parking citations, or ignoring the 72-hour parking restriction. This will have a severe and negative impact to Sun Valley.

Driving is a privilege. Citations are issued when the vehicle owner/driver ignores the law. Registrations and license fees are paid to ensure our roads and streets are safe as well as the vehicles traveling on them. Though it is a valid point that people without financial reserves can ill afford the tow and impound fees, the answer is not to legislate that no one will be subject to the parking & car registration laws. This is incredible legislative overreach, not taking into account the unique city and community conditions existing across the state, particularly in the City of Los Angeles. For LA, the ramifications of AB-516 are:
  • Parking of RVs and other vehicles used as primary housing will not need to move and street cleaning of the trash and human waste that has collected around those areas will not be possible.
  • Vans used as advertising will proliferate, as they will be allowed free parking and not need to be operational. This will expand an existing business model to the detriment of our communities.
  • It will be impossible to tell what vehicles are abandoned. No one will need to pay towing to a salvage-yard as they can be abandoned on the street. Auto salvage-yards will expand their business onto our streets.
We support the LAPD by not supporting AB-516. It removes the ability of law enforcement to deal effectively with issues of quality of life, public safety, nuisance, blight and other unintended consequences.

MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD!

If you are interested in making your voice heard on this important piece of legislation, you can take the following action: Write your State Senator. (If you do not know who that is, go here: http://neighborhoodinfo.lacity.org/ ) It has been recommended that the best way to let your senator know your thoughts is to go to their website and fill in the form on their contact page. The two State Senators who represent Sun Valley are:

If the State Senate passes AB-516, since the bill was amended, it will return to the Assembly to be revoted. Please contact your Assemblymember Luz Rivas and let her know your thoughts.

Also, you can easily get an account on the California Legislature Position Letter Portal. Just Create an Account, and after you confirm, you will be able to send a letter or post your comments to the Legislature about AB 516.

If you have friends in other parts of the state, please make this pending legislation known to them and encourage them to write their state senator as well as making their community aware of it. If you know any journalists, drop them an email expressing your concern.