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San Marcos OKs parking permit program for Rosemont Neighborhood

SAN MARCOS — A neighborhood just west of Cal State San Marcos is getting relief from years of parking woes caused by the nearby university by way of a parking permit program the City Council approved this week.

The City Council voted 4-1 to approve the one-year pilot permit parking program for the Rosemont neighborhood, which is west of Twin Oaks Valley Road at Village Drive, located south of the university.

Residents through the years have complained that students from CSUSM and visitors of adjacent apartment complexes park their cars on their neighborhood streets and leave them there for long periods of time and overnight, leaving few spaces for the residents.

Under the city pilot program, neighbors who live in the community will be able to get a parking permit for two cars in the household. The city will enforce the permit area between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. A handful of passes for guests will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Residents won’t have to pay for the permits during the pilot year, but following the end of the pilot the permits will cost $78 per vehicle and $10 per guest pass. Development Services Director Dahvia Lynch told the council that the fee is to recover the costs for additional enforcement needed for the program to work.

The city will have to hire a part-time parking enforcement officer to enforce the parking requirements, costing the city around $21,000 a year, Lynch said. Since the program restricts the use of public streets, the public should not have to subsidize it, she added.

Mayor Jim Desmond voted against the pilot because he felt the city should start charging residents during the period.

“If you are trying to figure out what the behavior is you should make the cost effective now,” Desmond said. “Because when you start charging the behavior is going to change.”

Four Rosemont residents urged the city to move forward with the program and asked that the permanent program be enforced around the clock.

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