Our meeting with the City had mixed results. Attending were the City Traffic Engineer, Deputy Director of Public Works, and Planning Director. Jamie Hall (our attorney from the Channel Law Group) asked the questions from our members. They said they would look into some of our suggestions but we were told that the City is unable to act on others for various reasons. It remains vague as to what the future will bring for the two main issues: the parking regulations and the addition of parking. While we appreciate every parking space that can be found for us to use, we expect the parking problem to get worse without a resolution to those two main issues.
City staff asked questions about our parking study and seemed interested in this effort. We asked them to participate by giving us their requirements for the scope of the study in hopes that the City will be more likely to listen to the results.
About those parking structures that people tell us they want...The City's position has been that it's too expensive to add parking. We were told that these were the most likely scenarios for us to accomplish getting new parking:
- We were told that the only current option for budget funding is from the General Fund and that we'd need to advocate for this funding during the budget process during August and September (along with everyone else who wants money at a time when all the money has been spent on a new courthouse and Civic Center).
- Another option is to set up a Parking District per State law, which might enable us to get State and Federal funds plus ask the community for a property tax assessment. It would require us to set up our own CFD (Community Facilities District) or work with a PBID (Property based Improvement District which is merchant based and would probably be DLBA). Implementing this option requires long term organization and monitoring from our community to collect the money and build the parking.
Of course, we came out of the meeting with more questions that need to be answered so we cannot yet tell you how you can help. For now, continue to send your friends to our website and send us your email address for updates.