As more and more campers, vans and RVs began parking almost bumper-to-bumper along stretches of Pacific Coast Highway, in what seemed like permanent encampments, residents were getting upset. The vehicles not only blocked views and took up free visitor parking, but posed a public health hazard when it came to trash and septic dumps.
After nearly two years of trying, the City of Malibu finally received approval from Caltrans and the California Coastal Commission to ban overnight parking along specific areas of Corral and Zuma beaches that had become the biggest problem. The campaign to ban the parking was started by two public safety commissioners: Chris Frost and Doug Stewart.
As soon as the approvals were received, the “No Parking” signs went up on PCH at Corral on Wednesday and at Zuma on Thursday. Nightly enforcement efforts by the LA County Sheriff’s Department and Volunteers on Patrol (VOPs) began at midnight Thursday night, followed by additional enforcement beginning at midnight on Friday.
Stewart was involved in those enforcement efforts, and wrote his own account, which he shared with The Malibu Times:
“Everyone is probably noticing that the RVs and vans that have been ‘homesteading’ at Corral and Zuma Beach have amazingly disappeared ... I was fortunate as a member of the public safety commission to be on a ride-along on Saturday morning to see our new ‘No Parking’ signs being enforced along Corral and Zuma, as well as strict enforcement of the parking rules on Las Tunas, Westward and other places in Malibu. Parking citations and 72-hour red tagging non-moving violators were in full force,” the commissioner wrote.
“It’s been a long journey since the Malibu Public Safety Commission requested these new parking restrictions early in 2019. We could not have done it without the support and assistance of our public works department, planning commission, planning department, city council and the leadership of the city manager,” he continued.
Stewart wrote that the new “No Parking” regulations for Malibu were modeled after LA’s success in getting a similar measure approved to regulate parking along PCH just east of Mastro’s Ocean Club. The first such approval for Malibu was received in early 2020 for the Las Tunas beach area. “With that success, we then moved to a request for Corral and Zuma,” Stewart wrote.
Since the enforcement efforts began, some of the vehicles have just moved to other areas on PCH that don’t have “No Parking” signs.
Even so, many residents expressed gratitude for the city’s effort.
“This is such a relief! I was so gratified to see only three RV-type vehicles instead of 25 yesterday on my way to Thousand Oaks!” one wrote on social media. “Flippin’ yay! Thanks for all your hard work. It is excellent to see the ocean again on the public beaches.”
However, as one person put it, this is going to be a game of “whack-a-mole” until even more areas of PCH are made off-limits for overnight parking.