Coastal parking workshop airs a mix of concerns

Coastal parking workshop airs a mix of concerns
Russ Cunningham, city senior planner, shares survey and staff site study results. The workshop collected additional input on coastal parking. Photo by Promise Yee

OCEANSIDE — Community comments at the Coastal Zone Parking Standards Workshop touched on a range of concerns in addition to parking on April 23.

Parking in the south coastal area is being looked at by direction from City Council following the review of several development projects that requested adding bedrooms to vacation rental properties, and likely increasing the need for parking.

Roughly half of the workshop attendees were residents and business owners from the coastal area being considered for regulation changes, and the other half were from outside that area. The same was found of the 300 people to date who responded to the city online coastal parking survey, which also looks at parking west of Interstate 5, from the south end of Oceanside to Wisconsin Street.

Those north of the study area said they don’t have parking issues yet, but expect they will once additional hotels are built on sites where there are now parking lots.

Survey responses collected so far showed support for lifts and tandem parking.

There was 80 percent agreement to require condominiums and hotels to have more parking. A minimum of two parking spaces is currently required per dwelling unit.

Responders also favored adding more public parking lots to the area.

Site studies by city planning staff found remote control opened garages are more often used for parking vehicles than garages that need to be manually opened and padlocked.

Staff also observed alleyway garages are seldom used to park cars, and are sometimes blocked by occupants’ trash containers.

Comments shared at the meeting ranged from thoughts on traffic flow on Coast Highway, to discussion about different types of lift parking.

Russ Cunningham, city senior planner, said staff would consolidate survey responses collected through April 30, and from that night’s meeting feedback. Next steps may include holding one more workshop before presenting information to the Planning Commission and City Council.

The two city bodies have had polar views on some items, including lift and tandem parking, which the commission has supported and City Council has questioned.

City 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 in December 2014.

In February planning commissioners said it would be impossible for homeowners to accommodate parking without tandem parking, lifts and other creative solutions. Commissioners also questioned whether guest parking should be a requirement.

The survey and workshop were set to gather community feedback.

Cunningham said all community responses, including those off topic to the survey, would be logged and passed on to use in city planning efforts. The city is also working on Coast Highway improvements, and coming up with cohesive regulations that now differ between city zones.

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