The first of many signs banning vehicles for sale along a busy street recently went up, addressing a neighborhood nuisance long ago dubbed the Rancho Bernardo “Mile of Cars.”
Starting September 5, those who leave parked cars with “for sale” signs along portions of Rancho Bernardo Road can be fined as much as $100 a day. The car can be impounded if it's found to be in violation again within 30 days.
“The road has essentially become a used-car lot,” said Erica Mendelson, a spokeswoman for San Diego city councilman Carl DeMaio, whose District 5 includes Rancho Bernardo. “[The new ban] is going to improve blight.”
Over 20 cars are parked daily over a half-mile stretch, especially on weekends. They take up parking spaces for residents and attract window shoppers, added Mendelson. The ban took over six years to implement and was initiated by residents who worked through the RB Community Council, RB Planning Board, and previous District 5 councilman Brian Maienschein.
Years ago, San Diego police would ticket cars for sale on public streets, but this was deemed unconstitutional, said SDPD captain Mary Cornicelli of the police department’s traffic division. RB was the first community to install the signage under a new citywide ordinance to ban vehicles for sale on 23 public streets throughout San Diego. The law, passed by the city council in June, took effect July 25; a grace period to place signs and educate the public has been in effect since.
The cost of the project, which includes updating the city’s traffic-ticket system, will cost $59,200 for 347 signs to be installed around San Diego. The city council okayed a previous version of the ordinance, which was missing penalty language, in December 2008.