Wednesday, March 20, 2019

3.19.19 Meeting Summary

As mentioned previously, there was one substantive item on the agenda last night.  A quick summary:

The council heard many residents discuss the current proposed permit parking program near Regency Gate.  Most were generally in favor but wanted time to make modifications to certain aspects so as to better align with the overall goals of the program.  Because any action that implements a pilot program would take time to execute, and the first step being going out to bid for the actual work, the Council decided to start that process. 

The Council directed staff to prepare and send out for bid the work necessary to erect the required signage for the permit parking program.  In addition, staff will gather more robust information around the related costs for all other known aspects of the program so when we later evaluate the plan details we will have a better idea of actual costs rather than rely solely on internal estimates.

While the project is going out to bid (a process that will likely take at least 2 months or more), the ad hoc committee and residents will have time to discuss and align on more specific program details.

More detailed thoughts below:

Police Chief Warren and City Engineer Alman did the legwork on drafting the proposal that was presented.  There were two options outlined, differing only in the geographic area covered by the proposed plan:

The key facts of the plan presented as follows:
  • Pilot program for 12 months
  • Parking restrictions in force only on weekends and federal holidays, from 8am to 5pm.
  • Any resident that lives within the permit zone would be eligible to participate
  • Up to two (2) Resident permits available per household. Permits only issued for vehicles registered to the resident at the resident address
  • Up to two (2) Guest permits available per household
  • Special event permits available four (4) times per year and would include up to ten (10) guest permits
  • The cost of the first Resident permit would be $75. The cost of any additional resident permits would be $55.
  • Any vehicle cited in violation of the program would be fined $45.
There were also various options presented to issue non resident permits, or temporary one day permits, however after discussion these did not seem like something we wanted to pursue.

I’ve spoken to many many residents at length on this matter and I don’t take this kind of action lightly. Given it’s new activity for the city, it’s especially important to tread carefully. I want to focus on the idea that this is a pilot. We have the ability to move forward to gain additional information, find out if it is effective, and make changes based on that analysis. This proposal is in effect only on weekends between 8-5pm. Nothing will restrict evening gatherings on the weekends, or gatherings at any time during the week.

Overall I’d like the least intrusive way to accomplish the goals of the program. Those goals are to alleviate the surge parking that occurs in front of people’s house effectively crowding out all other available parking. Based on discussion and public comment, there are a few tweaks that I think we can make that would make the program more workable for everyone:
  • Reduce or eliminate the fees after some requisite period of time should the pilot program be adopted on a permanent basis. The fees should gradually cover the costs of the program and with more data we'll understand that timeline better.
  • Base the number of Residential permits allowable on the number of registered vehicles. Have the requirement be that the vehicle is registered to the resident, even if the vehicle is registered to another location like a business address.
  • Increase the number of guest passes available. This allows the occasional larger gathering without a lot of increased hassle. I suggested that number be increased to eight (8).
  • By increasing the number of guest passes, we eliminate the need for special event tracking and passes so that portion can be scratched.

There was some resistance to the idea that we could be issuing more guest passes than the overall number of spaces available on the street. I verified with city staff including the City Attorney that this is allowable. In talking with the residents, this also isn't a significant concern. It would rarely happen that all the residents would be having an event at the same time, and even if that were to happen, they would be no worse off than they are now.

So while city staff moves forward with getting estimates and bids on the required work, the ad hoc committee and the residents will gather to come up with some modifications that would be more workable to the residents. At that point the matter will come back to the Council for a vote.