Briefing Room: ‘merchant lot’ parking available to public after 5 p.m.

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Hi Seal Beach!  Before we get to this week’s question I want to thank my partner, Lieutenant Julia Clasby, for covering for me last week while I was gone.  Her contributions to the Briefing Room were great!  Okay, now on to our question:

Hi Lt. Nick,

We were in Old Town this weekend during the day for the Fish Fry and found no parking anywhere.

We went to the parking lot next to the fire station and luckily found a parking spot.  The signs state for employees only and that public parking is available after 5 p.m.  The lot was pretty much full on a Saturday afternoon.  We did not get towed or ticketed but was wondering whether this lot is open on weekends to the public during the day?

Thank you,


Hi Jean,

Thanks so much for your question.  The lot you are referring to is the Eighth Street Municipal parking lot located on Eighth Street, just south of Central Avenue (adjacent to Orange County Fire Authority Station #44). We normally refer to this lot as the “merchant lot” because Main Street and other businesses can purchase permits for their employees to parking in the lot.

In order to park in this lot, you must have a merchant parking permit during the hours of 6 a.m. to 5 p.m.  After 5 p.m., the lot becomes free and open to the public until 10 p.m.  After 10 p.m.?

Then the lot is closed and whether you have a permit or not, you may not park there until 6 a.m.  This is the same all seven days of the week.

For more information of parking permits, please visit

Thanks again for your question Jean!

Keep your questions coming Seal Beach!  Please email them to me at today!

Briefing Room: ‘merchant lot’ parking available to public after 5 p.m.