City Explores Beachfront Parking Permits and Meters

Published Nov. 21, 2012 by Imperial Beach Patch.

Public forums will be held Nov. 28 and Dec. 1 to consider parking permits and parking meters along streets near the beach, the City of Imperial Beach Public Safety Department announced this week.

Installing parking meters as a way to generate revenue for the city was considered by City Council and city staff during talks held earlier this year. The forums are being held to tap the public’s opinions on the matter, said Dean Roberts, a Management Analyst for the Public Safety Department who

is heading up the effort at the request of City Manager Gary Brown.

“We’re not planning to do it. We’re exploring it. That’s really all we’re doing,” he said. “And we’re not settled on anything. We’re looking at the options to see what can be done.”

Installing meters and requiring permits will allow the city to better enforce parking restrictions, and in turn will help increase turnover for local businesses, Roberts said. The idea has already been discussed with the Imperial Beach Chamber of Commerce, Business Improvement District and Seacoasters, and now it’s time to talk to residents, he said.

If current plans are approved, permits would be required to park on residential streets from Dahila Avenue to Imperial Beach Boulevard as well as a portion of Silver Strand Boulevard and residential streets from Citrus to Calla avenues.

See PDF maps attached to this story for more details.
Residents in these areas may not be asked to pay for permits but would be asked to pay a processing fee, Roberts said.

“We haven’t done the research yet to know the amount. It’s not going to be some huge amount. It’s not going to be a money making amount. It’s just going to be an administrative fee to cover those costs,” he said.

Instead of two-hour parking that currently exists for a few commercial areas on Seacoast Drive, the waterfront would have a mix of 20-minute, one hour and two-hour parking.

Similar changes would take place on Palm Avenue from Seacoast Drive to 3rd Street and for a portion of Silver Strand Boulevard and 2nd and 3rdĀ streets.

Parking meters may be in all beachfront areas going back to 4th or 5th streets, but “we kind of know we would want them in the commercial zone” along Seacoast Drive.

Seacoast Drive south of Imperial Beach Boulevard and eastbound Imperial Beach Boulevard would go from few current parking restrictions to four- hour parking spaces.

Following meetings with residents and gathering public input, a presentation will be made in early 2013 to City Council, who will give city staff direction and decide what happens next.

“This is all so theoretical that in the end it’s going to come down to what direction we get from City Council, which is going to be, I’m sure, heavily influenced by the reaction of the people in both the business community and the residents,” he said.

Permits and parking meters are being explored now, Roberts said, after the idea was raised during a city workshop, but it’s “not even remotely driven by what can we do to get citizens of Imperial Beach to pay more.”

“There was no point at which someone thought ‘Hey! This would be a way to get everyone here to pay more,'” he said. “It could be just as possible that if you’re a citizen of Imperial Beach you could park down there and not pay, but you’d have to still comply with the parking limits, the time limits.”

Research has not yet been conducted to find out how much implementing permits and parking meters along the waterfront would cost, how much meters would charge or how much new parking requirements could generate in revenue, Roberts said.

“That doesn’t mean when we go to council we might not have them. We’re just not at that phase of the evaluation,” Roberts said.

Money raised from permits and meters will likely go toward hiring a dedicated meter maid to write tickets and enforce parking restrictions, Roberts said.

Residents who are unable to attend public forums are encouraged to send an email to ibpsafety@cityofib.org or mail a letter to 825 Imperial Beach Blvd.

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