SLO City Council votes to double parking rates, increase fines

June 8, 2022


The San Luis Obispo City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to double downtown parking rates, effective July 2023.

With plans to build a fourth parking structure, the city had saved approximately $13.9 million from parking fees and expected to save more, but COVID restrictions led to fewer people parking downtown. As a result, the city fell $4 million short in expected parking revenue.

In turn, city staff proposed downtown parking rate increases. Following council approval Tuesday night, the following parking rate increases will take effect in July 2023:

  • Two-hour street parking in the main downtown core will increase from $2 an hour to $4 per hour.
  • Ten-hour street parking in the outer downtown area will increase from $1.50 an hour to $3 per hour.
  • Parking structure rates will increase from $1.50 an hour or $6 maximum daily to $3 per hour or a maximum rate of $12.

Staff had also proposed eliminating the city’s first-hour-free component to parking structure rates, effective July 1, 2022. But, the council voted to delay eliminating the first-hour-free component until July 1, 2023 and to allocate $700,000 from an investment fund to compensate for the revenue the city would have gained by implementing the change next month.

Additionally, the council voted in favor of the following increases in parking and standing fines:

  • Non-paid or expired parking tickets to increase from $40 to $45.
  • Standing, stopping, or parking within intersection tickets to increase from $40 to $60.
  • Standing, stopping, or parking on the roadside of a vehicle stopped, parked, or standing at the curb tickets to increase from $33 to $60.

Many downtown business owners are already struggling in the wake of the pandemic, soaring inflation and rising crime. Business owners have expressed concern the rising parking rates will create further barriers to customers wanting to visit the downtown.

City officials have said they are aware raising rates will be a challenge for many, but they are necessary in order to fund improvements or repairs to existing parking infrastructure.

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Why not just replace these so-called “City Officials”?

Municipal greed at its finest. The Measure G-20 sales tax hike was sold to the public with a promise to fund a number of public projects, including the new downtown parking garage. A downtown parking program that had been working for downtown merchants, employees, and shoppers has morphed into a program to harm those very people. Look at the number of downtown vacancies to see how this action will be received. A classic bait-and-switch by a Council that is uniformly tone deaf.

Bye Bye downtown SLO. The RIP plaque they erect should have the names of our brave council persons on it, just like when they build a new building. Will anybody run against these crazy gals?

Kick people when they are down. $100 to fill the tank and street parking and fines more expensive than Manhattan plus a bum on every corner – probably best to never go downtown. I am sure the business owners are thrilled with these decisions.

Quite tone deaf, I fear, what with high inflation and soaring gas prices.

I thought the passage of the permanent half cent sales tax increase was supposed to provide a permanent funding source for various bond expenses. Guess I was wrong! And I guess the Covid relief money the city received was not used to make up lost revenue.

The city is technically insolvent (meaning its liabilities exceed its assets) and is on the state’s “watch list” due to its massive ($160 million+) unfunded pension liabilities. The council is spending money like a drunken sailor on shore leave. Maybe it’s time to replace a few of them with people who understand basic economics. And any staff who think the ship is going in the right direction and continue to steer it this way should go, too!

Follow this business practice: If you have an insurance claim, you deal with the insurance adjuster company. If you have a pension, you get your final payment amount form the independent financial

company that holds your account for the company you work for and if government wants the best income for their enterprise funds, they contract out to an independent company. These companies specializes in comparative analysis so that the local citizenry gets treated just like those in cities elsewhere. This business practice is known as the “condom buffer”, for the safe management of other people’s money. If there is a pension discrepancy, there is a lengthy, complicated process to have the corrections made for the benefit of the aged, disadvantaged senior. If the parking fee seems high, just challenge their math. It’s all legal, only requiring a condom buffer and the time that most beneficiaries don’t have.

It doesn’t surprise me that it passed the city council does not care,no pulse,cold blooded group of individuals that will have no one to blame but themselves when parking rates push owners to start looking for retail space outside the city core.

May they take their businesses to the north county, or the south county. A much better group of appreciative customers who are loyal and much more friendly.