In that motion, Lowenthal and DeLong requested “streamlining the permit process to allow residents to park in front of their driveways and return with the modified ordinance and a fee resolution that would establish the permit cost.” Several years ago, the City identified a Parking Impacted Area covering all of the Second Council district, large portions of the First and Third districts and parts of the Fourth, Sixth, and Seventh districts. Despite having this designation, the Parking Impacted Area has not led to substantial changes in parking rules or regulations in this designated area, except for an ordinance requiring a garage inspection upon resale of a home to curb illegal garage conversion. Lowenthal’s last two motions have addressed this discrepancy in the municipal code and changed the way city staff and the council view parking impacted areas.
Under Section 10.22.025 of the Municipal Code, in order for a resident to park in front of their driveway, one must circulate a petition and gain approval of 66% of all owners fronting the streets in the immediate area. The City must then conduct a study to determine whether there is a parking problem, and based on the study, the Council must adopt a resolution establishing the parking area. After the resolution is adopted, the property owner must apply for a permit from Financial Management. The application is then referred to the Director of Planning and Building to verify that the applicant is the property owner, and finally, a permit can be issued to park in front of the driveway. As a result of this process, not a single resident had applied for a permit.
After a handful of community meetings in the most affected neighborhoods, the City’s Traffic Engineer and City Attorney returned with an ordinance that simplified the existing procedure by eliminating the petition and Council resolution process, and established a simple permit process where the Department of Public Works reviews the request and, if appropriate, issues a permit allowing the resident to park in front of their driveway. The ordinance will be read a second time on January 12th, before going to the Mayor for approval and implementation 30 days later.
“I firmly believe that this designation should result in something more tangible than enabling city staff and residents to identify where the parking problem exists”, said Lowenthal. “Driveway parking has been successfully implemented in other cities and it’s another tool in our parking reform toolbox.”
( Driveway Parking Motion from Councilmember Lowenthal )