August 5, 2021 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Council Extends Preferential Employee Parking Permits:

The City Council has voted to extend the on-street permit parking program for employees in the Pico area.

This program is currently part of a one-year pilot program that was approved by the Council on March 14, 2006 and is set to expire on May 31, 2007.  The pilot program consisted of issuing 20 permits by lottery to businesses located in the 10th Street and Pico Boulevard area.  The Council’s extension supported the City staff recommendation, and also means the businesses that are receiving the permits will continue to receive them.

Prior to the vote at the May 8 meeting, the Council heard from various stakeholders who are affected by the program.  Pico area resident Garrett Melkema explained that he supports the program, but that employees with permits are frequently parked near his home near 10th and Bay streets after the 6 p.m. time limit. He also was concerned that it was blurry as to who is responsible for enforcing the permit rules, the City through the police department, or the employer.

John Lindahl, whose mother owns a building on Pico, also said the City should continue with the program but “issuing guidelines [for the permits] should be adjusted.”  He is opposed to the lottery because in his experience “those commercial buildings without a single parking space [like his mother’s] are in greater need [of parking spaces] and should be exempt from the lottery.”

Councilmembers also heard from the employees of a business at 933 Pico Boulevard who are currently using the permits.  Laurie Gralier told the Council she and the others in her office believe the “pilot program is a good compromise for the needs of the businesses and the needs of the residents.”

Currently, employees using a permit must pay $30 for a three-month period to offset program expenditures.  The City would review this rate structure, according to the City staff report, if the program were expanded. 

The Council also supported having City staff review other areas in the City where such a program might be suitable. City Planning Director Eileen Fogerty told the Council this review would be of areas where on-street parking is “not fully utilized during the day.”  After those areas are identified, City staff would then meet with the community in the area to see if such a program would be feasible.

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