Planning Commission weighs in on coastal parking

OCEANSIDE — The Planning Commission did not see eye to eye with the City Council direction on coastal parking.

Council directed city staff to come up with a coastal parking plan that would eliminate tandem parking and lifts from fulfilling parking requirements, and add a requirement of guest parking spaces. Councilmen Jerry Kern and Jack Feller voted against direction to staff.

The response from planning commissioners this Monday was that it would be impossible for homeowners to accommodate parking if tandem parking, lifts and other creative solutions were nixed. Commissioners also questioned whether guest parking should be included.

“Placing limitations on solutions to parking is not wise at all,” Commissioner Dennis Martinek said. “We’ve got to be flexible.”

Commissioner Claudia Troisi said the city needs to covey a consistent message on its development and parking standards. She pointed out mixed-use increased density and additional parking do not go hand and hand.

Council’s direction in December was sparked by development requests for several high occupancy dwellings along the beachfront that proposed 10 or more bedrooms.

Councilwoman Esther Sanchez said updated parking regulations are needed to preserve the character of the beach neighborhood.

Council asked city staff to look into the 1992 zoning ordinance that was never certified by the California Coastal Commission.

The ordinance calls for no tandem parking, guest parking requirements, and parking needs decided by dwelling square footage.

On Monday city Senior Planner Russ Cunningham said it would be a more focused and quicker approach to address current parking needs instead of pursuing certification of the decade old ordinance.

Cunningham said planning staff would like to conduct a survey on the need for a guest-parking requirement.

He also suggested looking into whether to define parking requirements by dwelling square footage or bedroom count, and recommended bedroom count would represent a more accurate parking need.

Cunningham promised to get back to the Commission with more information, including how neighboring cities are addressing coastal parking.

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