City Council Meeting: June 23, 2009

Agenda Item: 11-A

To:                   Mayor and City Council

From:              Eileen Fogarty, Director, Planning and Community Development

Subject:          Amendment of Preferential Parking Zone K

 

Recommended Action

Staff recommends that City Council: 

1.      Amend Zone K to change the restrictions on five blocks to: “No vehicle shall be parked adjacent to any curb in Preferential Parking Zone K for more than two hours between the hours of 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. daily, and no vehicle shall be parked between the hours of 6 p.m. and 2 a.m. daily, except by permit.”  The five affected blocks are:

 

·        14th, 15th and 16th Streets between Wilshire Boulevard and California Avenue (three blocks), and

·        California Avenue between 14th and 16th Streets (two blocks).

 

The current restrictions on these blocks are: “No vehicle shall be parked adjacent to any curb in Preferential Parking Zone K for more than two hours between the hours of 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday, except by permit.”

2.      Approve the attached Resolution amending Preferential Parking Zone K and amending Resolution 9344 CCS (Resolution of the City Council of the City of Santa Monica Re-Establishing Various Preferential Parking Zones) by replacing Exhibit A.

 

Executive Summary

Residents of four blocks in the WilMont neighborhood have petitioned for stricter preferential parking restrictions due to recent changes along Wilshire Boulevard, including the opening of a popular sports bar and the renovation of the Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center and Orthopaedic Hospital.  Patrons of the sports bar park in the residential neighborhood and residents report that late-night disturbances are frequent, while employees and visitors of the hospital and other area businesses park on the residential streets during the day. Staff is recommending the above restrictions as determined by the residents of the area at a community meeting and a subsequent survey.  Ordering new signage will cost an estimated $750.

 

 

 

Background

This area is located just north of Wilshire Boulevard and is zoned R2 (Low Density Multiple Family Residential).  Most of the buildings are older and were not designed with today’s auto-dependent lifestyle in mind, leaving many residents reliant on on-street parking.  Competing with residents for on-street parking are the patrons and employees of the commercial businesses along Wilshire Boulevard, which include a sports bar, retail stores, and the Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center and Orthopaedic Hospital.  Lincoln Middle School is located directly north of this area.  In addition to parking issues, residents contend that the patrons of the sports bar, The Parlor, are loud at all hours of the night and behave inappropriately as they walk to and from their vehicles. 

 

The current preferential parking regulations for this area, which were most recently amended by Council in 2003, state: “Two hour parking between the hours of 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday, except by permit.”  The surrounding blocks in this neighborhood have a variety of preferential parking restrictions, ranging from the aforementioned regulations to the more stringent regulations on the 1200 block of 14th Street: “No parking 9 a.m. to 2 a.m. Monday-Saturday and No parking 3 p.m. to 2 a.m. Sundays, except by permit.”  The blocks to the north, between Idaho and California Avenues are unrestricted between Lincoln Boulevard and 15th Street.

 

Discussion

Residents of four blocks in Zone K have submitted qualifying petitions to change their existing regulations:

·        1100 block of 15th St. between Wilshire Bl. and California Ave. (April 2008)

·        1100 block of 16th St. between Wilshire Bl. and California Ave. (May 2008)

·        1400 block of California Ave. between 14th and 15th Streets                  (April 2008)

·        1500 block of California Ave. between 15th and 16th Streets                  (March 2008)

 

At this time, no petitions have been submitted to implement preferential parking restrictions on the 1100 block of 14th Street between Wilshire Boulevard and California Avenue.  Nevertheless, it is recommended that the preapproved hours for this block be changed to match the petitioning blocks, to spare this block the pressure of being bookended by zones with overnight restrictions.

 

Current Situation

The following map shows the current preferential parking restrictions in the neighborhood.

 

Current Preferential Parking in Neighborhood

A list of the preferential parking restrictions on adjacent streets is included as Attachment B. 

 

Parking occupancy counts were conducted in the summer of 2008.  The counts were conducted in the evening, as this time was specifically identified by residents as being the worst for parking, due in large part to the popularity of the sports bar.  The counts indicate that on-street parking in the study area is difficult to find in the evening.  Average occupancies for the area range between 75 and 96 percent.  Peak occupancies of over 100% were observed on the 1100 block of 16th Street, meaning that vehicles were illegally parking at red curbs or blocking driveways.  Full study results are included as Attachment C.

 

Public Outreach

Residents, businesses and others in the area were invited to a community meeting on September 25, 2008.  Twenty people attended and spoke about:

·        the difficulties they have finding parking, especially since the creation of the drop-off and pick-up zones along the north side of California Avenue at Lincoln Middle School, which prohibit parking from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday;

·        their fear that new preferential parking restrictions on some blocks will simply move the parking problem to neighboring streets;

·        Wilshire Boulevard patrons and employees, especially hospital employees and bar goers parking on these streets; and

·        the inconsiderate and unsafe behavior of bar patrons.

 

Residents also raised concerns that the valet operator for The Parlor uses their streets to park customers’ vehicles.  The valet operation has been referred to the appropriate City staff for follow up.

 

Some residents were concerned that changes to the zone will make it harder for parents to park near Lincoln Middle School when there are events.  Currently, John Adams Middle School is located in an area with strict preferential parking restrictions.  Whenever the school has an event, the administration requests that the Santa Monica Police Department suspend enforcement for a specified duration.  A similar arrangement could easily be made for Lincoln Middle School.  Additionally, a representative for the hospital indicated that it would be possible to allow parents to use their parking structure located on 15th Street and Arizona Avenue whenever Lincoln Middle School has events.  Staff has provided the Assistant Principal with contact information for the hospital and informed him of their offer.

 

Complete comments are included as Attachment D.

 

Survey

No consensus was reached at the community meeting regarding the specific hours or days that restrictions should be in effect.  Subsequently, staff sent a survey to residents to determine the best restrictions for this neighborhood.  A response rate of just over 12% was achieved.  Residents were presented with three options that restricted parking at night to residents only, while allowing for two hour parking during the day without a permit.  The only difference between these three options was the hours of the daytime and evening restrictions.  Additional options included “No parking anytime, except by permit,” “Unsure,” and “Opposed to changing regulations.”  A copy of the survey is included as Attachment E. 


The following table summarizes the survey results:

 

 

Weekdays

Saturdays*

Sundays

2 hr daytime, No parking nighttime

44%

38%

36%

No parking anytime

26%

32%

30%

Opposed to changing regulations

26%

27%

29%

Unsure

4%

4%

5%

                                                                                             *Does not equal 100% due to rounding.

 

The survey results indicate that a plurality of the respondents favor allowing two hour parking during the day and restricting parking to residents only at night.  Staff is recommending the most popular of the three variations on this theme presented to residents: Two hour parking from 9 a.m to 6 p.m. and no parking 6 p.m. to 2 a.m., except by permit. 

 

Over a quarter of the respondents were opposed to changing the current regulations on these blocks.  The majority of these respondents do not live on the blocks in question and are likely concerned about the parking problem being pushed to their streets.  Staff is confident that the extra parking capacity in the area afforded by the unregulated curb along Lincoln Middle School will continue to prevent this situation, especially in the evenings when the school is closed.  Creating a preferential parking zone along the frontage of Lincoln Middle School in the evenings is not recommended because residents from nearby blocks rely on this parking, especially in the evenings.  If this area were to become a preferential parking zone, it is conceivable that the remaining blocks in this neighborhood would be forced to petition in order to regain the ability to park there.

 

See Attachment F for full survey results.

 

Alternatives

The Council could choose not to modify this zone and the current restrictions of “two hour parking 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday, except by permit” would be retained.  They could also choose different hours and types of restrictions than are recommended in this report.

 

Environmental Analysis

The proposed project has been determined to be categorically exempt from the provisions of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), pursuant to Article 19, Section 15301 (c) which was recently amended to define Class 1 exempt projects in the following way: "Class 1 consists of the operation, repair, maintenance, permitting, leasing, licensing, or minor alteration of existing public or private structures, facilities, mechanical equipment, or topographical features, involving little or no expansion of use beyond that existing at the time of the lead agency’s determination. . ." This exemption lists as an example of "existing facilities:" "(c) Existing highways and streets, sidewalks, gutters, bicycle and pedestrian trails, and similar facilities." Preferential parking zones involve only the issuance of permits for the use of an existing public street and include negligible or no expansion of this existing use. 

 

Financial Impacts & Budget Actions

No change in revenue is anticipated as residents on affected blocks are already eligible to purchase permits. Ordering new signage will cost an estimated $750, which is available in account 544010 (Special Department Supplies).

 

Prepared by: Jason Kligier, Transportation Planning Assistant

 

Approved:

 

Forwarded to Council:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eileen Fogarty

Director, Planning and Community Development

 

P. Lamont Ewell

City Manager

 

 

 

Attachments:              A         Resolution Establishing Preferential Parking, Exhibit A – Preferential Parking Zones

                                    B         Current Preferential Parking Restrictions on Adjacent Streets

C         Parking Occupancy Study Results

D         Comments from Community Meeting

E         Preferential Parking Survey

F          Survey Results