Legality of Private Valet Services for Local La Jolla House Parties Questioned at Board Meeting

December 21, 2021

Complaints and concerns about the legality of valet parking in residential areas were raised during a La Jolla Traffic & Transportation Board meeting last week.

A La Jolla resident, Diane Kane, said she lives in a neighborhood that has the only viable parking in a quarter-mile area around Hillside Drive, according to the La Jolla Light.

However, a home near Kane’s in the Hillside area has been hosting parties that raise donations for charitable causes. The parties draw a large number of people, and the hosts reportedly use a valet service that parks guests’ cars in Kane’s neighborhood.

A few weeks ago, for example, Kane said that vehicles were parked near the party home “in clearly marked red zones.” She added that “there was nothing legal about any of that parking,” and that the entire street was blocked.

Another resident said that similar parking issues have been a problem for a “number of years.”

The valet parking services could also be a liability issue if emergency vehicles can’t access a road, the Light reported.

San Diego city parking supervisor Erin Longen said that private residents can’t hire valet parking services without the correct permits. Reportedly, the San Diego Police Department has issued a ticket to at least one valet service in the area before.

Valet parking requires a passenger loading zone, which don’t appear in residential areas, said Brian Earley, the Chairman of the Traffic & Transportation Board.

Despite the illegality of the alleged valet parking, city officials said that there has to be visual proof of the incidents to cite homeowners.

The Office of City Council Joe LaCava, whose district represents La Jolla, encouraged private citizens to call the police if they see valet parking violations, since code enforcement officers can’t accept evidence from private citizens.

About the author: Mike Peterson is a freelance journalist and writer based in North San Diego County. He’s written and worked for a number of local media outlets, including the San Diego Union-Tribune, the North Coast Current, and the Oceanside Blade.

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