Code changes will return to council following town hall meeting
Proposed changes to the city’s parking laws returned to the Seal Beach City Council this week, but the council directed staff to bring back the new parking rules after a scheduled February town hall meeting on the subject.
Various members of the public raised concerns about transparency surrounding the proposed parking laws.
The next parking town hall will be held 6-8 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 12, in the City Council Chambers.
District One Councilwoman Ellery Deaton asked that the parking ordinance be continued until the later date.
The council members didn’t vote , but some members nodded their heads and no one spoke against it.
City Attorney Craige Steele said the parking ordinance would come back to the council at the next meeting after the scheduled town hall on the parking issue.
Some Seal Beach residents had raised transparency concerns about the proposed changes. For example, local activist Robert Goldberg emailed questions to the council (and sent a copy to the Sun), which included the parking issue. “There are two completely new subsections that specifically regulate vehicle parking associated with auto repair facilities (8.15.025 H & I). ‘H’ prohibits parking of customer cars on public streets, and ‘I’ prohibits storage of vehicles on the premises for more than 30 days. Is there some reason why these new regulations were not presented for discussion at any previous workshop or Council meeting? There are three affected businesses in Old Town alone. One owner informed me Saturday that there was no outreach to him from the City regarding these new regulations,” Goldberg wrote.
During the public comment segment of the meeting, Bruce Bennett thanked the council for moving the parking ordinance to a future agenda. According to Bennett, the proposed ordinance appeared to prohibit individuals from parking in front of their own garage.
Deaton said the apron is your private property. She said you may not block the alley.
Andrew Harris, owner of Automotive Excellence, was concerned about a provision that does not allow automobile repair services to park cars on public streets. His business does park cars on Pacific Coast Highway. “I wish you could address that.”
This wasn’t the first time changes to Seal Beach’s parking laws had come before the council.
The Seal Beach City Council considered a “second reading,” or approval, of an ordinance updating the city’s parking code on Dec. 10, 2018. However, council asked staff to revise the proposed changes in part because of controversy over the number of feet that cars ought to be moved to qualify as having been relocated.
The parking ordinance came back to be “introduced” (also known as “first reading”) at this week’s council meeting.
Under the currently proposed rules, cars that are parked in “non-commercial” areas would have to be moveed 30 feet within 72 hours. Cars parked in commercial areas would have to be moveed 150 feet within the same time period, according to the staff report by Seal Beach Police Commander Steve Bowles.
At a 2018 parking town hall meeting, many members of the public had expressed fierce opposition to the proposed requirement that they move their cars at least 150 feet.
For information about the Feb. 12 parking meeting, email Parking@sealbeachca.gov.