Seal Beach looks at parking limits for Old Town

The Seal Beach City Council Monday, Jan. 9, unanimously directed staff to look at presenting the Coastal Commission with a proposal to regulate parking on streets near Pacific Coast Highway.

The decision came in response to a petition signed by Eighth Street residents who wanted one hour limited parking in their neighborhood.

In other news, the council discussed the structure of the committee for a Salon Meritage memorial and council meeting dates for 2012.

Parking issues

City staff proposed putting one hour parking signs on the street, which would require a permit from the Coastal Commission.

The proposal was based on a permit signed by a majority of single family homeowners on Eighth Street. However, a staff report staff said less than half the property owners had signed when apartments were included.

According to the report, written by Mark Persico, director of Development Services, the section of Eighth Street in question is the one closest to Main Street without any parking limits. “Due to this fact, Eighth Street receives much of the overflow parking and is the most heavily impacted by Main Street,” Persico wrote.

The report also said that if the parking limits were imposed, the result would impact merchants on the 300 block of Main Street, but residential quality of life would be improved. The Persico report said the signage would cost Seal Beach $1,000.

Four Eighth Street residents told the council about parking problems on their street and asked the council to impose the parking limit.

Esther Kenyon, speaking on behalf of the Chamber of Commerce, said the Chamber supported the staff recommendation. However, she said the Chamber would like to see a survey performed before the city acted on a Coastal Commission permit.

Persico told the council that Seal Beach would be more likely to succeed with the Coastal Commission if the city took a comprehensive approach to parking, rather than a block by block approach.

However, Persico said getting consensus from the neighborhood would take time.

Mayor Michael Levitt said he was not sure the city needed a consensus. He said the council could decide that parking needs to be regulated.

District 1 Councilwoman Ellery Deaton said you had streets going up to Pacific Coast Highway that were impacted by the traffic there.

Deaton recommended one hour parking on one side of a street and all day on the other. Deaton moved to direct staff to present the parking issue as a “package” to the Coastal Commission.

Council meeting dates

The council also looked at its 2012 schedule to determine how many times the agency should meet.

The council voted 4-1 to cancel only two meetings in 2012.

The Seal Beach council canceled five of its meeting dates last year, six in 2009 and 2010 and seven in 2008, according to a staff report.

This year, however, staff recommended the council only cancel the Nov. 28 and Dec. 26 meetings because of the holidays and because of the large number of projects on the council’s agenda for this year.

Council members Miller, Levitt and David Sloan had submitted dates when their schedules conflicted with the council’s.

Miller preferred that all districts be represented at all meetings.

Deaton, however, said she agreed with the staff recommendation.

Councilman Gordon Shanks said he preferred two council meetings a month.

Councilman Sloan also supported the staff recommendation. He and Shanks both spoke of times when meetings were canceled and the council at subsequent meetings had to deal with what Sloan called “super thick” agendas.

Levitt said he didn’t think any one council member was so important that the council would not be able to function without one member.

Miller cast the sole dissenting vote on the matter.

Other news

  • Councilman Miller had suggested making audio recordings of committee meetings. The council members discussed directed staff to come back with cost estimates for recording meetings at which decisions are made and then making the recordings available on the city Web site.
  • Staff will come back to the council with three proposed cost estimates for a proposed Salon Meritage memorial. The council will then look at the possibility of the city funding the memorial. Ten residents had applied to be on the memorial committee, which staff had proposed would meet only twice.

The goal of the committee is to develop plans for a memorial that would be completed in time for the first anniversary of the Oct. 12, 2011 shootings.