SLO City Council endorses parking permit fees
July 6, 2011
Despite mounting frustrations over the issuance of residential parking permits, the San Luis Obispo City Council introduced an ordinance amendment Tuesday to establish fees for the permits.
The council voted 4-0 (Mayor Jan Marx abstained because her home is in a permit zone) to charge residents $10 annually for permits, much in part due to a projected $15,000 shortfall in this year’s operating budget for the parking permit program.
If the ordinance amendment passes final adoption at the July 19 council meeting, residents of households in the eight permit zones will be allowed to purchase a maximum of two passes.
San Luis Obispo Parking Services Manager Robert Horch said 1,512 permits will be up for sale. However, Horch estimates a total of 2,832 parking spaces in the permit districts, leaving at least 1,320 spots vacant.
Though the council voted unanimously for the authorization of fees, there was hardly a consensus over whether or not the residential parking permit program should continue to exist.
Council member Dan Carpenter voted for the fees in opposition to residents subsidizing neighbor parking. However, Carpenter said he opposes the permit issuance altogether.
“I’m not a fan of these parking districts,” Carpenter said. “It just pushes the problem to another neighborhood, and I’ve heard it from so many people who have experienced that, and it is really not an ethical thing to do.”
While some speakers during public comment supported the fees and the continuation of permit issuance, the majority did not. A myriad of complaints addressed issues ranging from the frequent production of fraudulent permits to the citation of hospice care providers for parking in the districts.
Some residents, such as Yvonne Printup, live in the permit zones and want them removed.
“The whole neighborhood has suffered,” Printup said. “We have to play musical cars when we take the trash out.”