SMPD warning drivers about city's 72-hour parking rule - KSBY.com | San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Area News

SMPD warning drivers about city's 72-hour parking rule

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After receiving several complaints, Santa Maria police are reminding drivers about the city's 72-hour parking rule.

Resident Ana Marin says the parking issues in her neighborhood are constant.

“They are always parked right there. They don’t move them,” she said. 

Marin says some vehicles are left parked for more than three days, sometimes even blocking part of her driveway.

“I can’t get in the house because they are right here parking and I don’t know whose car it is so I can’t go and tell them to move,” she said.

Neighbor Larry Mendoza says most of the vehicles parked along Sunset Avenue don't belong to anyone who lives there.

“They just park here and it’s always harder to find parking around here,” he said.

The Santa Maria Police Department issued 14 parking warnings along Sunset Avenue on Friday.

“In a lot of the areas, businesses call us because people park there and then the customers cannot park on the street," said Sergeant Eligio Lara. "A lot of the times, it's (a) residential area, they are calling us because they want to use that parking.”

Sgt. Lara says you can’t leave your car parked on the street for more than 72 consecutive hours within city limits.

Those who are given a warning must move their vehicle or they’ll be cited and the vehicle towed.

“We have some people that do not move the vehicles or they start moving the vehicle back and forth and those are the ones that we actually focus on and try to see how we can fix the problem because, again, we want a long-term solution when we are out there,”  Lara said.

It’s not clear why people are leaving their cars parked in these neighborhoods but Sgt. Lara says they receive 5-10 complaint calls every day.

Officials also say the 72-hour parking regulation is in place to improve the appearance of the city, as abandoned cars can make a neighborhood look unwelcoming.

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