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No Place To Park
updated: Mar 18, 2014, 8:45 AM

By Edhat Subscriber

My neighbors have 14 cars and their house is absolutely filthy on the outside (trash, appliances, etc...). All of us surrounding neighbors have virtually no place to park because it is in a cul-de-sac. Is there anything I can do?

Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 COMMENT 503808 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-18 08:49 AM

Call in any parked over 72 hours or without legal tags etc...


 COMMENT 503812 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-18 08:50 AM

Goleta, West Mesa, or the Eastside?


 COMMENT 503813 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-18 08:52 AM

There is nothing you can do. I have a neighbor who has a dozen people living in his house and on top of that he is a mechanic. My street alway filled with cars. I have called the city numerous time and discussed it with them, and because they're parked on city streets, there's nothing they can do.

One idea would be to call the city housing authority and explain to them that they are illegally hosting too many people in the residence.


 COMMENT 503815 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-18 08:55 AM

Depending on where you live (a city or the unincorporated area) there are code enforcement officers that deal with these types of issues. In SB City its environmental services and at the County its Public Works. It is illegal to store trash in public view unless there is a bulky item pick up scheduled, and even in this case there is a time limit. Also it is illegal to store vehicles that are non-functional in public line of sight.


 COMMENT 503817 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-18 09:01 AM

I know it sounds crazy but have you tried talking to them?


 COMMENT 503818 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-18 09:03 AM

817, that does sound crazy. 14 cars for one house is the very definition of crazy.


 COMMENT 503819 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-18 09:04 AM

Regarding the trash, contact Santa Barbara County Public Health (Environmental Services) and report the trash buildup.


 COMMENT 503822 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-18 09:10 AM

You could move. It sounds a bad situation and one can assume talking to these people could have undesirable results.


 FLICKA agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-18 09:14 AM

They can be made to remove trash. The City (Carp) made a neighbor cut down his front yard weeds and even get rid of non-running cars stored in his back yard.


 COMMENT 503825 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-18 09:15 AM

We are having the same problem here - people who leave their cars parked for days, large work trucks, etc. and worse yet - "holding' spots (parking a big truck so that no one else can park then their friends call and they move the truck to let them park - I witnessed this right in front of my place!) I've called parking enforcement several times and they are very responsive. Generally, there is not much you can do unless (1) they are there a few days (they will get ticketed to move the car) or (2) they are over a certain tonnage then they can only park for 2 hours. And holding spots is illegal/parking broken cars, etc. So just call them they will do what they can! You might also check to see if it's legal to have that many people living in one place and then call the landlord or the housing authority and report them. We should not have to deal with this but unfortunately for reasons I won't say, we do.


 COMMENT 503830 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-18 09:28 AM

Until SB/Goleta starts to require off street parking for new residential builds, this will always be an issue.

Can you imagine the streets of the E Side if there was no over night parking, they would actually be safe to drive.


 COMMENT 503831P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-18 09:28 AM

We had this problem in Goleta. A neighbor had over 13 old Cadillacs parked on all sides of the streets as well as on his lawn. He had been spoken with by neighbors for years; his response was usually issued in 4 letter words. Finally, in a concerted effort, neighbors called the City of Goleta as well as the Sheriff's Dept. relentlessly. The Sheriff's Dept. started ticketing and fining for those vehicles out of registration (as most of them were). Thankfully, a tow truck came and hauled them off the street and the offending neighbor moved the others off himself.

It took being a thorn in the side of paid agencies and cooperation from neighbors, but it did pay off. Best of luck! It's horrible for one person to defile an otherwise lovely neighborhood!


 COMMENT 503841 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-18 10:02 AM

OP here. Thanks. I'm in Goleta, el encanto heights.

813- yea, there are over a dozen living there too. Sounds like we are neighbors.

815- ok, there's a few broken vehicles in their driveway, which is why they don't park in it.

817- yes. I've spoken at length. They don't park in front of my house, but then all the other neighbors do now since it's open.

Thanks Flicka. I wonder who best to call in Goleta. Their front yard is filthy. They don't pay for trash so they just have it all out front until they dump it in someone else's trash.


 COMMENT 503843 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-18 10:04 AM

Years and years ago there was a similar pig sty on the Westside near my mom's house. Exasperated neighbors called everyone they could think of, from the police to zoning officials, yet the ungodly mess remained. One day my mom saw in the paper that annual awards were being given out by (I think) Santa Barbara Beautiful, so she filled out the accompanying entry form, giving the address of the offending house, putting it in the category, "Most Creative Landscaping." Within a couple of weeks all the rubbish was gone and the house looked almost habitable. Coincidence? I kinda doubt it.


 COMMENT 503844 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-18 10:10 AM

Hard to say exactly without knowing where you are but look into local laws and ordinances then as previously suggested contact law enforcement and your council member personally, you are a tax payer and a voter as are your neighbors. If they can help secure a street of voters they will help you, it worked for me.


 COMMENT 503845 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-18 10:12 AM

Cars can only be parked on city streets for 72 hours at a time. I'd start calling to report every 3 days.


 COMMENT 503846 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-18 10:12 AM

If you have a house can you park in the garage, and/or your driveway?


 COMMENT 503851 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-18 10:42 AM

Owned a home in El Encanto Heights from 1979 to 1992. Got chased out by all the garage conversions and houses full of non-related adult males. Completely changed the neighborhood. It was nice while it lasted. I would have been completely paid off and beautifully remodeled by now. A certain government policy was directly related to this and I am still mad about it. It's going to happen again too.


 COMMENT 503861 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-18 11:02 AM

You could move... and let me know when your house is up for sale, I might be able to afford it in a neighborhood like yours!


 COMMENT 503874 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-18 11:18 AM

Local laws require adequate parking for all new construction. However the law does not regulate the number of cars after construction is completed. There is no violation if numerous occupants all have cars and the drive them daily. The only parking available is on the street. Law enforcement finds nothing illegal. A personal approach is sometimes an effective alternative. We leave a permanent garbage barrel in front of our house. It is primarily so we can have a safe view of oncoming traffic on the street. The neighbors are adjusting to the parking limitation.


 COMMENT 503875 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-18 11:18 AM

Assuming that they are renters.. Call the Landlord!
Make it his problem. "encourage" him to clean up the mess .. and call the city and encourage them to do the same thing and suggest they fine the owner for not policing his rental.


 COMMENT 503884 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-18 11:42 AM

The City of Goleta has a Code Enforcement Officer
V. K. Johnson. He helped me get some RV's off the street. Phone 805-961-7556


 COMMENT 503905P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-18 12:19 PM

OP, this is a very interesting problem, so please keep all of us EdHatters up-to-date with any developments.

In the mean time, I'd definitely try every possible legal method to get rid of the non-operational vehicles - perhaps the DMV could exercise some pressure?

Are all of these vehicles showing current license stickers? If not, call the P.D.

As far as the trash & filth - that should be easy to mitigate with a few quick phone calls to County Health & the city.

Oh, this is easy to do, so don't back down when they ask for your name & phone number. Too many people put up with way too much from inconsiderate neighbors, but get a case of "tuck tail" when it comes to standing up for their feelings & rights. Hang in there!

Good luck & keep us posted.


 COMMENT 503908P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-18 12:30 PM

Been there, done that. Document, with photos and notes. Call Code Enforcement. Get neighbors on board; at least that they would sign a letter of complaint.
Could take months or more... It was actually worth it. Oh, try fire dept too, if back yard is packed full. Also vector control if you have a rat problem. (we got both involved, and code enforcement of course.) At least you can document their visit; not certain if you can insist on no bait, so that's not such a good idea. Definitely start with parking enforcement and code enforcement.


 COMMENT 503909 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-18 12:31 PM

A public street is not your property, nor your neighbors, nor anyone else. It is public. Anyone can park a registered vehicle there for up to 72 hours.

Two neighbors park in front of my house, and I can't say a thing about it. On a cul-de-sac, some houses don't have any spaces, so they have to use yours.

Goleta has an overnight size limit. And there are also rules for 'junk'.

You can find neighborhoods with bigger lots, and much more space, with fewer cars. But usually at a cost.


 COMMENT 503917 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-18 12:47 PM

We live in El Encanto Heights too

What about the guy with all the rusted out heaps on Cathedral Oaks? They have been there getting moved to all the convenient parking spaces for about 10 years....

And now a boat too. The anchor was in the street the other day

I guess the owners don't want to have to look at them or get rust stains


 COMMENT 503919P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-18 12:49 PM

You are in the City of Goleta. Greg Nordyke, code compliance officer, neighborhood services and public safety,
961-7556, gnordyke@cityofgoleta.org

We had a similar problem in a couple past Goleta neighborhoods (both before and since cityhood). We *always* start by politely talking to the neighbor, explaining how their actions are hurting us, and asking them if they would please remedy the problem. If/when that doesn't work, other neighbors also talk with them. If/when that doesn't work, only then do you call in law enforcement or code enforcement.

It always boils down to treating others how you'd like to be treated. If they aren't aware of the problem they're creating, or that they aren't in step with neighborhood expectations, and if they aren't approached courteously, there is zero chance of them voluntarily complying. If you have tried the neighborly and polite route and it hasn't worked, only then is it fair to conclude they are jerks and call in enforcement. Otherwise, you aren't being a good neighbor. My 2ยข.


 COMMENT 503924 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-18 01:11 PM

Funny, I was just watching "Hoarders"recently and a whole town was up in arms about a man who had filled the house, the 3 bedroom guest house, the 5 car garage, and the entire yard front and back with trash including old papers and cars. They sued, but he won. Then one man volunteered to help the eccentric to clean up. Realizing he could not do it alone, that man invited other townspeople to come help, and they did. The eccentric was much friendlier once he realized people cared, and he gradually was willing to let go of more and more of the trash. Nice. ANyway--not much you can do about the cars if they are registered and they move every other day or so, but the fire dept or the city may help you force them to clean up the outdoors.


 COMMENT 503949 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-18 01:52 PM

Find out who the landlord is (assuming this is a rental) and make the situation HIS/HER problem! If they are noisy, call the landlord just after you call the police. If there is a car parked over 72 hours, call the parking/police and then call th landlord. If there is trash in the street, call the landlord.

Oh, and if other neighbors will call all of the above at about the same time---even better!


 COMMENT 503964 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-18 02:33 PM

Yes, sounds like a call to the Health Dept is also warranted. They don't like crap and clutter, draws rodents and thus disease.


 COMMENT 504026 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-18 08:25 PM

Simple solution to this problem (which I also have in my neighborhood) is a Permit Parking Program. The biggest issue is to get the neighborhood ON BOARD. We tried in Oak Park and no one wanted to participate. It was a no brainer, as far as I was concerned-but I guess I think too much.


 COMMENT 504044P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-18 11:37 PM

This brings back memories. I used to live on a cult de sac with the most inconsiderate neighbors. Taxi (broken) cabs all over the place. They owned the house, and in a very nice neighborhood. We found that our complaints to Officials and really anyone and everyone who would listen fell on deaf ears. Seemed the actual surrounding neighbors were afraid of what the bad neighbors could do to their homes, property and animals. Sadly it took ten years before the bank foreclosed on it and we once again had peace and tranquility and beauty AND parking!!!!!! When they left they trashed the home inside and out and the bank put little effort on sprucing it up before it sold. It went through three owners before another inconsiderate family moved in with all of their toys. Why is it that no one knows how to be a real neighbor any more?


 COMMENT 504056 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-19 08:41 AM

044P - the answer to your question is that unfortunately some people put themselves first and don't treat their neighbors as they would want to be treated. But, I would say this is the exception and not the norm, as I'm guessing the rest of your neighbors are respectful?


 COMMENT 504059 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-19 08:45 AM

To me, a good family man would rather spend the money for insuring and registering half a dozen rusted unused cars on his family instead

A good family man would be concerned about the safety of neighbors and how his cars block the view of traffic or require them to carry groceries an extra distance or cross a busy hwy

A good family man would be concerned that rusted out cars are a safety hazard


 COMMENT 504065 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-19 09:00 AM

The cost of housing rose astronomically in the 1990's resulting in people doubling up and tripling up in homes designed and built for one family, not three or four. Despite the rhetoric of the "new wave" transportation planners that took over planning departments and began spouting the dogma they learned in college, most people will not WALK, BIKE or ride the BUS. They will continue to drive, thus homes serving 3 or 4 families will have 3 or 4 times the number of cars. In a Santa Barbara case the Courts ruled you could not pass laws limiting occupancy to related family members. Governments can require permit parking on the street and an ordinance limiting homes to 2 permits for each house might be an effective solution so that any unpermitted cars parked on street, overnight or for more than 24 hours could be ticketed.


 COMMENT 504066P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-19 09:00 AM

One of the many reasons we hesitate to look for a single-family house in Goleta and move out of our condo...getting a neighbor situation like that. Though our association rules can be annoyingly strict...it keeps our home clean and our parking available. I have a friend who lives in EEH...the "house" next door has its own dumpster...it looks like it has been converted into an apartment complex that has the outward appearance of being a house.


 COMMENT 504072 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-19 09:10 AM



 FLICKA agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-19 09:13 AM

A "good family man" would also want to be a good neighbor; no one should think leaving trash in the front yard is actually acceptable, or thoughtful of the neighbors. My brother bought a new home in the El Encanto tract in 1959, I think it cost $17,000.


 COMMENT 504082 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-19 09:19 AM

There have been two cars parked on Foothill in Mission Canyon for six weeks and have not been moved. My neighbor has called the CHP three times to have them ticketed or towed with zero response from the CHP. If the CHP is incapable of monitoring the road, perhaps the county should take it over like the city did on Cliff Drive.


 COMMENT 504085 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-19 09:23 AM

The City of Goleta has been pretty responsive when we call about parking issues - the compliance officer will start the process....Flicka isright, get your neighbors who are bothered by it together and call call call...


 COMMENT 504117 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-19 09:55 AM

@REX: Awesome.

@OP: Your neighborhood sounds awful. Move. If you can't sell, lease. There are so many quiet, spacious, non-suburban areas to reside in SB County. Pick one.


 COMMENT 504172 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-19 11:28 AM

If other neighbors agree with you, together you could initiate a "public nuisance" lawsuit. Each neighbor could claim damages up to $5,000. This tactic worked for some friends of mine who faced a similar situation.


 COMMENT 504205 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-19 12:24 PM

If they have 14 people living there, they probably have "improved" the house with non-permitted construction. Reporting them to the permits people at the City can result in them having to tear out the work, resulting in fewer people living there.

My house was chopped up into rooms for 12 people and when they had to tear out the illegal stuff the owner couldn't pay the mortgage.

Went into foreclosure and I bought it for 200K less than the previous owner after the market fell. Found crack pipes and syringes in the bathroom and gutters.....


 COMMENT 504242 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-19 01:59 PM

If you think your neighbor is running an illegal business or maybe renting out rooms for cash, I always thought it would be a good idea to bring the IRS into it. Send them a letter with a list of the people living there and maybe their license plate numbers and ask them to check to see if he is reporting significant rental income on his taxes.

That's how they brought down Al Capone- income tax evasion.


 CORKY agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-19 02:44 PM

Sounds like a nightmare! I suspect people that are that clueless/thoughtless, would not respond well to a neighborly talk.


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