The Santa Monica City Council approved April 9 a resolution that would establish new parking rates in downtown structures for disabled tenants living in 100 percent affordable housing in the area, particularly where onsite parking is unavailable.
Per City staff’s recommendation, the approved resolution allows disabled residents living in 100 percent affordable housing units within the downtown core to pay the lowest parking rate “generally available to Downtown residents.” That lowest rate is currently $65 per month.
The council established a policy in July 2012 to charge vehicles with disable placards to park in one of the downtown core’s many parking structures.
“This policy was recommended as a means to increase access to parking for those with disabled placards,” City staff stated. “The policy related to charging vehicles with disabled placards has had a significant positive impact on increasing availability of designated spaces for those with disabled placards.”
Those who had disabled placards carried a greater financial burden than those who did not, City staff stated.
“Staff has identified a particular population where the policy of charging those with disabled placards has created an additional financial burden compared to those without disabled placards,” City staff stated. “The City approved a residential building at 1423 Second Street without any onsite parking after the developer, Community Corporation of Santa Monica, paid in lieu fees to the Downtown Parking District. Since the lower-cost Civic Center option is not practical for residents with disabled placards, the only option available to them is $160 per month in the Downtown structures.”
Accordingly, those with disable placards who live in a 100 percent affordable housing unit within the downtown core and cannot obtain an onsite parking space will only have to pay $65 per month at a downtown area parking structure instead of the $160 per month they would otherwise have to pay.
“Considering the various factors discussed above and the narrowly defined criteria, staff does not believe that adoption of the proposed discounted parking rate would have a significant negative effect on the parking supply for vehicles with disabled placards within the Downtown,” City staff stated. “Staff anticipates the recommended action would affect less than a dozen downtown residents.”
The vote was 6 to 1 in favor of the fee change; Council member Bob Holbrook was the sole “no” vote.