The poster-sized sign printed on vinyl looks like an eye chart from an optometrist’s office. In increasingly smaller letters it reads, “Visualize being towed.” Another one reads, “No Parking-No Kidding”.
Jeannie Richardson has produced 15 different signs, some elegant and some funny. All are created to be fun, colorful and carry a pointed message, and will not be easily confused with official city signage.
Prompted by the observation that Laguna now lacks an “off season” and citing parking problems in every neighborhood, the South Laguna resident devised the eye-catching signs as an alternative to the boring hardware store variety, which she says people ignore anyway.
“I’ve thought about this for many years and have finally executed my idea and I think it’s perfect for the residents of Laguna Beach,” she said, noting that the signs provided a creative outlet to counter her workaday life. For 27 years, she’s managed accounts receivable for the street wear clothing brand Stussy, based in Irvine.
Richardson lives on a private street, which is not subject to many standard parking regulations or enforcement. Some beachgoers thoughtfully ask permission to leave their vehicle in front of her house, but others block her mailbox and front gate, making it impossible to get in or out.
She is not alone in her frustration or lack of recourse. In all, there are 69 private streets in South Laguna and another 94 in the rest of the town, according to the police department.
Jim Beres, the department’s civilian services supervisor, says that “generally the city does not issue parking citations on private streets since most parking regulations of the California Vehicle Code and the Laguna Beach Municipal Code do not apply to private streets.” However if a sidewalk, driveway or roadway is blocked by a parked car, the police department can tow it.
The signs cost $25 and may be purchased directly from Richardson ([email protected]) They are printed in Irvine and custom orders are possible.
Richardson plans to sell them at the Dana Point farmer’s market and online at Etsy and Shopify. Future signs may include “private street” and “leave no trace,” a U.S. Forest Service concept that is increasingly necessary on all public lands, but one equally well-suited to tourist-invaded neighborhoods.