SAN MARCOS — It has been a longstanding tradition at Cal State San Marcos for students to park their cars in the Barham/Discovery Industrial Park and leave them — for hours, sometimes days at a time.
The city of San Marcos recently took action to end that tradition.
The City Council in July voted to enact new parking rules that limit parking the industrial park, just north of the campus, to two hours, effective 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The vote also includes a ban on parking on Monday between 7 a.m. and 10 a.m. to accommodate street sweeping.
The streets included in the new zone include Industrial Street, East Carmel Street, Trade Street, La Moree Road, Venture Street, Hill Drive, Distribution Street, Production Street and Enterprise Street.
Violations come with a $48 fine.
City officials said they had received complaints from businesses in the industrial area whose customers had trouble finding parking as it was taken early in the day by co-eds.
“By also having 2-hour parking in the Industrial Park more street parking will open up for people looking to visit a business in the area,” said Karl Schwarm, the city’s housing and neighborhood services director.
The City Council during its July discussions expressed concern that the $48 penalty would not be enough of a deterrent, because it is still significantly cheaper than purchasing a university parking pass — $643 for the academic year or $338 for the fall semester.
The Council, as part of its approval, agreed to bring the item back in several months to determine if it needs to raise the citation amount.