The West Hollywood City Council tonight will be asked to consider implementing major changes in the city’s parking policies that include rolling back parking meter enforcement from midnight to 8 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and making street parking free on Sundays in most areas of the city.
The proposal, initiated by Councilmember Lauren Meister with the support of Councilmember John D’Amico, would create a subcommittee to study the following ideas:
— Reduce some and increase other parking fines. Fines for violations such as parking too long in a metered spot or parking one’s car outside the lines that mark a parking space would be reduced from $53 to $36. Fines would be increased for more egregious parking violations such as parking in a bicycle lane, parking in an intersection or crosswalk or parking in a peak traffic hour zone, when parking is barred to improve traffic flow. The bike lane parking fine would increase from $56 to $83. The fine for parking in an intersection or crosswalk would increase from the current $66 to $118. The fine for parking in a peak hour traffic zone would increase from $63 to $157. Fines for parking in a residential parking district without the correct permit would be increased from $58 to $69.
— Fine a driver $36 if he remains in a metered space for more than two hours after receiving an initial parking ticket.
— Consider establishing a parking credits district in the Center City area after the automated parking garage behind City Hall is finished. Currently the city has such a district on its Westside where new or expanding businesses can meet parking requirements by purchasing “credits” that are determined by a study of the actual availability of parking in an area.
The proposal would immediately implement a fine of $157 on a driver who leaves an animal unattended in a car when the temperature is 70 degrees or more. It also would authorize fines for parking on uphill streets only with a slope or grade of at least 7.5 percent. Such fines currently are levied on drivers parking on street with a grade of six percent or more who do not turn their wheels appropriately to reduce the chance their cars will roll away from the curb.
The proposal would effectively void an ordinance passed by the Council in 2013 that extended enforcement of parking meters in the city’s busiest business districts by four hours until midnight on Mondays through Saturdays and to 8 p.m. on Sundays. Those extended hours applied to Santa Monica Boulevard from La Cienega west to Doheny and to Melrose Avenue east of La Cienega.
Meister’s proposal would leave in place the current meter hours of 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. Mondays through Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sundays on Sunset Boulevard and some of its side streets. The proposal also calls for parking meters to continue to be enforced from 8 a.m. to midnight Mondays through Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m on Sundays in that part of WeHo bordered on the south by Beverly Boulevard, on the north by Melrose Avenue, on the east by La Cienega Boulevard and on the west by Doheny Drive. That area includes a substantial part of the city’s Design District businesses
Other changes proposed by Meister include improving parking regulation signage and developing a mobile app for paying parking fees and finding parking lots.
The proposal also addresses the concerns of some residents that developers of new housing don’t include enough parking in their projects. It asks that the city’s Community Development Department present recommendations to the Planning Commission for possible changes in the number of parking spaces required for each housing unit in a new development.
Meister’s proposal is likely to appeal to many residents, who frequently complain about the lack of parking and the cost of parking in West Hollywood. However it may find some resistance in the business community. The West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce has asked that consideration of Meister’s proposal be delayed until it can get more input from its members and from city employees who administer the parking programs. The implementation of parking meter enforcement from 8 p.m. to midnight was designed to encourage turnover in parking meter spaces to make it easier people to find parking to shop or dine out in West Hollywood. West Hollywood’s quarterly sales tax reports for last year showed large growth in revenue from restaurants and entertainment businesses, which could be attributed, at least in part, to the decision to extend parking meter hours (and thus parking turnover). Before the meter hours were extended, employees of some local bars and restaurants were able to park free on busy streets during their work hours rather than use nearby garages or parking lots.
Another concern is the impact of the change in parking fines and meter hours on the revenue they generate, which is used to cover the cost of administering the parking program. Also, $1 million of the $13.4 million budgeted as revenue from parking meter fees and fines is used to fund a “security ambassador” program that puts bike-riding security officers in highly trafficked areas such as Santa Monica Boulevard during busy times of the day and night. If the reduction is substantial, the city will have to reduce that public safety program or divert money from other programs covered by its general fund budget.
Meister contends that the extension of parking meter hours also has sparked a major increase in multiple-day parking passes, which residents can use to allow guests to park in their neighborhoods, making it more difficult for residents to find parking on their own streets.
“The City of West Hollywood has a strong and prosperous business community including a vibrant nightlife component that has attracted generations of people to enjoy all our city has to offer, ” the proposal says. “Along with that has come a reputation as a place that has little available parking and a penchant for handing out overly expensive parking tickets for minor infractions by the tens of thousands. The effort outlined in this staff report is focused on changing the perception of West Hollywood as a place that balances its budget on the backs of our residents and nighttime visitors and realigns our values with the people that come to enjoy our city.”
Because Sundays, during the day, are a great opportunity for people to visit West Hollywood, have brunch, walk around, do some shopping. I know for a fact that the two-hour limit gives some of my friends a reason to go elsewhere.
Here is another idea that would help West Hollywood businesses. How about a farmer’s market at West Hollywood park, like they have in Hollywood? I think there’s already one on Melrose on Sundays, but could the city support a second one?
Disco Dan, why do you want free parking on Sundays? Do you really need to save $1.50 when doing your errands? Or are you a business owner hoping that some non-customers will park in front of your place ALL DAY for free?
Parking shouldn’t be free. Get used to it.
I’m concerned that if you have a bad hair cut and you sit in the passenger seat waiting for the driver to return that you might be mistaken for a poodle.
#Cruelty to passengers who look like dogs!
This ordinance and it’s author needs to be “blown dry.”
Roll those meter hours BACK ! And let’s have, as we once did, free parking on Sundays.
You must all be under the impression that the parking enforcement is actually trying to enforce the rules and regulations, rather than generate revenue for the city. I can say that as a former employee of the third party company hired to handle the city’s parking enforcement. 1. DO NOT GIVE this company any more discretion to allow them to cite owners who leave their pets in their vehicle. The tactics of this company are to hound both residents and visitors. You could go inside to pick up a take out order for not even 5 minutes and they’ll be… Read more »
Although I did have problems with Serco and the manager my last contact via phone with him was very cordial. I have although observed cars on my street being cited for not curbing their wheels when in fact the wheels were curbed. On another occasion my neighbors car was cited for not displaying his placard correctly when in fact it was hanging from his rear view mirror. What really amazes me is how businesses at the bottom of the hill are allowed to park illegally and on one occasion blocked the street restricting the fire department from responding using the… Read more »
that I hear from businesses are that their revenues are down. “It resulted in increased revenues for the city to fund social services” It did? Link? How much revenue? What programs? “restaurants and businesses in the Design District are thriving more than ever before” That’s interesting because there’s been a spate of restaurants, bars, and businesses that have closed since the extended hours up and down SMB. “many residents in WHW say they have experienced less disturbances in the middle of the night, less littering and less cars parked illegally on our permit parking residential streets” Many? How many? Who?… Read more »
So appreciate Lauren Meister who ran on parking reform and was elected, bring this to the table in a timely manner and is offering economic policy that allows the working class to keep more of their earnings and stimulate our local economy by removing the agenda of parking as a revenue source into a public resource and stimulate positioning our city as open to access for individuals to come work and play in our city with out having to pay a cover charge in aggressive parking costs
Randy…I voted for her in previous elections…not in this past March’s election. I did read what her positions were…that’s why I didn’t vote for her in March…and won’t vote for her again. Thank God for term limits! =) And a good leader may hold a position but when the facts are presented and they are ignored so she can keep to her steadfast position…THAT is NOT a good leader. John Heilman June 2!
Luca – the parking ticketers is my agent tell me it is legal to park after the cleaning is done, and that they have access to the timing of their work. I’ve never tried it, but apparently the city is aware of this and doesn’t try to penalize people.
Well, Lauren is doing what I feared. Giving priority to her neighborhood: “Meister’s proposal would leave in place the current meter hours of 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. Mondays through Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sundays on Sunset Boulevard and some of its side streets. The proposal also calls for parking meters to continue to be enforced from 8 a.m. to midnight Mondays through Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m on Sundays in that part of WeHo bordered on the south by Beverly Boulevard, on the north by Melrose Avenue, on the east by La Cienega… Read more »
The status quo is not working. Ms. Meister wants to form a sub- committee to study the issues. I hope she won’t get shot down like the old council did with D’Amico every time he wanted to have trial periods of new ideas; such as traffic-flow cops for six months. I am concerned about raising the permit parking fines though. I wonder if there can be different fines for people who forget to put a pass in their car or forget it is street washing day and forgot to move their car.
JJ, maybe you should have researched Lauren’s position on this issue before you voted? She seems to have been clear and consistent, and is only acting as she stated she would (and yes, she made this position before that traffic study was released).