Automotive

Rich L.A. Residents Angry Over High-End Cars Taking Over Already Limited Street Parking


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Screenshot: NBC 4 Los Angeles

It’s a little hard to feel for people that have money in certain situations. Especially if those situations can be changed with money or opportunity that others don’t have. So when something like NBC Los Angeles reporting on one of L.A.’s most expensive neighborhoods complaining about high-end cars being parked on their streets, it may seem like a… nonissue.

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Silver Lake is one of the most exclusive and expensive neighborhoods in L.A. Depending on where you look, the median home price there ranges from $1.4 to $1.6 million. It has also been ranked as one of the most gentrified areas in the city. So it’s safe to say that there are some well-off people living here. None of this though excuses a local business making douchebag moves. NBC Los Angeles investigative I-Team found that one local high-end repair shop parks its customer’s cars on the street for blocks around. The team went to investigate after being tipped off by a local resident.

Using hidden cameras, NBC’s I- Team observed workers from Hi-Tec Automotive parking customers Ferraris, Porsche, Maserati’s, etc on streets for miles around:

After receiving Behrend’s email, the I-Team decided to watch his Silver Lake neighborhood, starting before dawn. And under the cover of darkness, we spotted workers from Hi-Tech Automotive—a shop that repairs high-end cars—starting to park customers’ fancy vehicles in street spots meant for residents and monopolizing all the meters on some blocks.

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The I-Team’s undercover cameras were also watching during street cleaning, and noticed that parking enforcement officers ticketed every car parked in a street cleaning zone, except for those fancy cars parked by Hi Tech Automotive. Officers drove right by the Ferraris and Porsches without issuing citations.

While the city has warned Hi-Tech Automotive about the parking issue before, something that is illegal under the city’s municipal code, records obtained by NBC L.A. show the city hasn’t actually done anything about it for years. Nothing but formal orders to comply have gone out for over 20 years with the most recent being in 2017. But nothing gets done about it.

The shops owner was contacted about the issue but gave the same excuse he’s been giving the city since 2019:

I know that it’s illegal,” Hi Tech’s owner Koko Bakchajian told the I-Team. “I’ve apologized to them [the residents] a million times and we are working on it,” Bakchajian said.

Hi Tech’s owner says he’s looking for a nearby storage lot to put his customers’ cars while waiting to work on them. But Bakchajian told the City Attorney’s office that same thing in 2019.

And when the city and the department of building and safety were contacted about why no department has enforced the parking issue with the shop, the typical bureaucratic answer was given

“We will ensure that this matter is resolved successfully.”

Yea, ok.

Silver Lake isn’t the only neighborhood that’s having this problem. Neighborhoods across the city have reported the same thing. L.A. city attorney Mike Feuer promised a crackdown, but it really appears as if nothing will be done about the issue. It’s strange that one would think in a neighborhood like that, issues would be solved as soon as someone complained. But maybe rich people complaining about other rich people’s things cancel each other out.

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