Chairman Ginter called the regular meeting of the Transportation & Circulation Commission to order at 4:00 p.m.
Commissioner Hardwick made a motion to approve the February 5, 2001 minutes as amended; Commissioner Buck seconded; and the motion passed unanimously.
City Traffic Engineer Mark Miller stated that this item was a reconsideration of a request to remove the overnight parking exemption on the north and south sides of Topaz Lane. Staff received a petition from Mrs. Vern Boyd, College Greens-Fullerton Owners Association, Board of Directors, requesting the exemption. Staff recommended denying the request. The motion failed due to a 3 to 3 tie vote. The Commission's concern was the lack of homeowner's support. The Association expressed the desire to appeal the Commission's decision to the City Council. Staff recommended that it was best to bring this item back to the Transportation & Circulation Commission due to the tie vote but encouraged showing a majority support by the homeowners.
Topaz Lane is comprised of a plan residential development with single-family homes on the north side, Pine Apartments and Topaz school on the south side, and has restricted parking for street sweeping, bus loading and unloading during certain hours on the south side, and no overnight parking. There was one reported accident within the past 12 months.
The original petition received 100% of the properties on the north side based on the association's authority to sign the petition. There are 22 single-family properties, and 48 single-family townhomes within the development on the north side. The petition received 50% of the support on the south side based solely on the school district but the Pine Apartments refused to sign the petition because they are not deficient in off-street parking.
Staff feels that the properties on the north side of the street are not deficient in off-street parking by today's standards. Each property has at least a two-car garage and 39 additional parking spaces within the development for residents and visitors. Staff was also concerned for the safety of children crossing in between parked cars. Staff recommended denying the request for the overnight parking exemption on Topaz Lane.
Chairman Ginter asked which conditions of the warrant were not satisfied.
City Traffic Engineer Miller stated that 50% of the residents signed the petition satisfying the warrant but the homes have two-car garages and 39 overflow parking spaces on site, which does not satisfy the warrant and does not show a parking deficiency.
Commissioner Buck asked how many of the residents facing the street signed the petition.
City Traffic Engineer Miller stated that staff did not have an exact number. The Association's board meeting minutes indicated a unanimous decision and the petition was signed by the residents of that area which was attached to the staff report.
Commissioner Hardwick stated that staff's concern was the safety of the children who may cross in between parked cars and the school has the same safety concern but is supporting the request made by the residents. Mr. Hardwick asked if staff had contacted the school to see what their thinking was.
City Traffic Engineer Miller stated that staff did not contact the school. The petition was signed by the school district and not by the principal of the school. Staff did have a previous meeting with the school to discuss their traffic circulation, recommended the on-street bus parking, red curb in front of the school for bus drop off and pick up, and spoke about traffic safety such as crossing in the crosswalks.
Commissioner Hardwick asked if the school had a crossing guard.
City Traffic Engineer Miller stated that there is a crossing guard on Placentia Avenue, Sapphire Road and Garnet Lane, and Bradford Avenue.
Commissioner Robeson asked if this school was a local school or a collector school.
City Traffic Engineer Miller stated that it was a local school in the Fullerton City boundaries but in the Placentia School District.
Public comment was opened.
Donna Mann, 3311 Topaz Lane stated that her tenants have been moving and parking their cars on the street at daylight. She did not see it being a safety concern for children because they would not be crossing the streets between the hours of 2:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m.
The Chairman stated that the concern was that cars parked overnight would remain parked during school hours making it unsafe for the children to cross.
Commissioner Francis asked Ms. Mann if she had a garage.
Ms. Mann responded that she has a two-car garage with two cars parked in it but there is a third car because three people live at the residence and there are three drivers. Residents are not allowed to park in their driveways because it is considered a fire lane.
Commissioner Buck stated that he observed when people park overnight, there are more cars parked on the street for days at a time, there is no way to monitor for the 72 hour limit, and some of the cars are less than desirable vehicles.
Leila Hoopii, 3313 Topaz Lane stated that there was an inconsistency when talking about school safety because there already exist a parking exemption on Sapphire Lane. The school district had examined the situation, and seems to feel comfortable. The homes in this planned unit development have three or four bedrooms many of which have four or five cars. These homes do not have driveways to park a vehicle. More parking is needed to enhance the safety within this planned unit development with very little downside with what that would do to Topaz Lane.
William Phillips, 2360 Camino Escondido stated that he is the vice president of a homeowner's association of 152 units. Mr. Phillips stated that there is a large loop in the association because people do not park their cars in their garages. The units are all two and three bedroom units with two-car garages. Fifty percent of the garages are used for everything but parking. Mr. Phillips stated that this is a condominium association problem that should not be passed onto the City.
Dean Brown, 3241 Topaz Lane, President of the Homeowner's Association stated that the garages of these units are not large enough for the SUVs. Cars are parked along the street when the children are going to school and he does not see additional danger to the children. Mr. Brown stated that 10 units face the street but he did not know if those individuals signed the petition.
Marie Farone, 3227 Topaz Lane stated that many of the vehicles parked along Topaz Lane belong to the teachers and people going to Topaz School.
Vern Boyd, Secretary for College Greens Homeowners Association stated that there are two-car garages in every home, but does not mean there is enough parking. The heights of the garages are not tall enough and deep enough to fit SUVs and some vans. Ms. Boyd stated that they needed parking relief on Topaz Lane for safety and security. Ms. Boyd pointed out that there are only 37 additional parking spaces and not 39 as stated by Mr. Miller.
Ms. Boyd received three letters from residents who could not attend the meeting but were in favor of removing the overnight parking exemption:
City Traffic Engineer Miller stated that staff received a telephone call from Mr. Les Waechter, 3357 Topaz Lane who was opposed to the overnight parking request.
Ms. Boyd stated that Mr. Les Waechter is against the petition because he believes that the people from the Pines Apartment will be parking on Topaz Lane too often.
Al Faggard, 3235 Topaz Lane stated he recalls Commissioner Hardwick asking the residents to bring in more people to support this and that is what has been brought here today.
Public comment was closed.
Commissioner Hardwick stated that Mr. Miller has a legitimate concern for safety for the children but we already have people parking on the street and the school supports the request. The problems that the residents are facing are not unique to the City. Commissioner Hardwick stated that he still supports the request for overnight parking exemption.
The Chairman clarified that overnight parking on Sapphire Road is consistent with the City's policy of allowing exemptions on a block-by-block basis. The majority of the children crossing would be residents of families from the courts who are crossing Sapphire Road to Topaz School and it would be hazardous for a parent to drop a child off in between a double parked car so the problem with parked cars do to the overnight parking is not that serious. The Chairman hoped that the responsible homeowners in that area would discourage long term parking of derelict vehicles because this is the reason why the City has the overnight parking restriction. The Chairman supported the removal of the overnight parking restriction because the concern is not the children crossing between 2:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. but the concern is that the overnight parking would allow a few more cars to be parked on the street during the school hours.
Commissioner Buck stated that he would feel more comfortable if he knew how the residents whose homes actually faced that street voted and did not know how he would vote. Commissioner Buck stated that this request was not as clear-cut as some of the other issues because there is guest parking that may not be desirable but should take up some of the slack which is a partial solution.
Commissioner Robeson stated that his concern was once the overnight parking was allowed, cars would park overnight maybe for a day or so and there will not be enough parking for the elementary school parents.
Commissioner Hardwick asked Mr. Miller if there was red curb for loading and unloading of students by the parents.
City Traffic Engineer Miller stated that there is a bus loading zone but not for parent's vehicles. The parents circulate in the parking lot to drop off children.
Commissioner Francis was not in favor of removing the overnight parking exemption because it keeps the city safer and cleaner.
Commissioner Cochran stated that the times have changed and families have changed. Commissioner Cochran stated that he was unable to make a decision because there is a need to keep some control of our streets from the few who take advantage of leaving their cars parked for days on end. Commissioner Cochran stated that he was not sure that was a good enough reason to put these people through the obvious problems they are having trying to make due with parking that is no longer adequate.
Commissioner Hardwick moved to approve the request of removing overnight parking exemption, Chairman Ginter seconded. The motion passed.
AYES: Cochran, Ginter, Hardwick
NOES: Robeson, Francis
Commissioner Buck stated that he purposely abstained so that it would go onto the City Council but he did not favor the request.
City Traffic Engineer Miller stated that the commission requested staff to survey the surrounding cities and determine if they have a citywide overnight parking restriction or permit parking program in place. The Commission requested that staff present their findings and propose a citywide overnight permit parking program.
Staff contacted the Police Department on the pros and cons of the current overnight parking procedure versus the permit procedure.
The City of Fullerton has two permits:
After discussing the pros and cons with the Police Department on the current permit process, staff recommended making no change to the existing overnight parking exemption policy as established by the City Council.
The Chairman asked if any of the cities have a procedure such as ours, a block-by-block exemption.
City Traffic Engineer Miller stated that the City of Orange has a block-by-block permit process around the area of Chapman College. The City of Orange charges their residents $400 to file a petition for exemption.
The Chairman asked if by going to a permit process would this eliminate the once a month block-by-block exemptions.
City Traffic Engineer Miller stated that it would. In the City of La Habra, the Police Department handles it and they do not handle it on a block-by-block basis. The individual resident states their reasons for the request and the Police Department makes the decision to issue the annual permit.
Commissioner Francis asked what the problem was with this program.
City Traffic Engineer Miller stated that we might not have the staff to handle this. Mr. Miller stated that it would take staff more time to issue the permits than it would be to bring the request to the Transportation & Circulation Commission.
Commissioner Hardwick stated that the citizens have voted twice to keep this law. We currently have a system that allows us to look at a case-by-case basis or a block-by-block basis and deal with these situations. Commissioner Hardwick asked Lieutenant Mayes if it was a burden to enforce.
Lieutenant Mayes stated that it was not a burden to enforce in the permit's current existence. The Police Department knows that if a car is parked on a street that is not exempt, they are subject to a citation. The Police Department responds on a regular basis for radio call complaints. The overnight citations are a tool to prevent people from parking beyond 72 hours. A car cannot be towed for the overnight citation but if they have 5 or 6 citations, then they are subject to being towed. The overnight parking enforcement is a tool for an area that needs to get the cars off the street to facilitate the street sweeping and trash collection.
Commissioner Robeson was in favor of leaving the existing overnight parking exemption policy.
Commissioner Buck was in favor of leaving the existing overnight parking exemption policy as well as the permit policy.
The Chairman reviewed his notes from the September meeting stating that if it was recommended keeping the present petition process, to issue permits only after the petition is denied where a demonstrated hardship occurs.
Commissioner Hardwick moved to accept staff's recommendation to keep the current overnight parking exemption policy established by the City Council. Commissioner Robeson seconded. The motion passed.
AYES: Francis, Hardwick, Cochran, and Robeson
NOES: Ginter, Buck
City Traffic Engineer Miller stated that the conditions have changed at 611 North Pomona Avenue and 122 North Yale Avenue and the disabled parking spaces are no longer required.
Public comment was opened.
Eva Christian, 717 E. Santa Fe #4 apologized for the inconvenience.
Public comment was closed.
Commissioner Hardwick moved to approve the removal of the disabled parking, Commissioner Cochran seconded. The motion passed unanimously.
City Traffic Engineer Miller presented the Transportation &Circulation Commission and the Board of Parking Place Commission with temporary designation to relieve parking concerns during construction of the south side of Chapman Avenue north of Whiting Avenue. This is to provide on-street limited parking on Whiting Avenue for 30 minutes and with the construction of the future bus turnout allowing 11 more spaces on Chapman Avenue for short-term parking. Staff recommended the Transportation &Circulation Commission to approve overnight parking on both sides of Whiting Avenue between Harbor Boulevard and Pomona Avenue for the 24-hour Kinko's, the overnight parking on the south side of Chapman Avenue would be removed, installation of 30-minute parking on both sides of Whiting Avenue and on the south side of Chapman Avenue. Staff recommended the Board of Parking Place Commission to approve overnight parking in District No. 2 of the parking lot located north of Whiting Avenue and south of Chapman Avenue between Harbor Boulevard and Pomona Avenue.
Terry Galvin, Redevelopment Agency stated that Kinko's will occupy the portions of American Savings that fronts Chapman Avenue, Starbucks will be on the north end of the building which use to be the Mustard Seed that fronts Harbor Boulevard, and two additional tenants will be added in that same building. The parking that currently exists will become part of the area that is going to be under construction, which is north and south Whiting Avenue. Whiting Avenue will still exist entering in from Pomona Avenue and entering in from Harbor Boulevard to the north and south alleys. The area between the alleys will become part of the parking supply when the project is completed. In order for the businesses to become established, they will need to have overnight parking permitted because Kinko's is a 24-hour business. All of the Whiting Avenue and Chapman Avenue parking need to be available during the entire construction of that parking garage. The Morgan parking structure is anticipated to be completed in 6 to 8 months and will open up a portion for public parking while they construct the rest of the project.
The Chairman asked if Chapman Avenue will lose one lane of traffic or will the City restrip to make the lanes narrower to allow for parking on Chapman Avenue. The Chairman asked if the bus stop on the south side of Chapman Avenue at the east end of the American Savings Building would remain until the turnout is constructed.
City Traffic Engineer Miller stated that Chapman Avenue would not lose any lanes because the builder will be cutting into the property with a bus turnout, which would be approximately 10 to 12 feet into the property. The buses will not use the turnout during construction. When the construction is completed, the parking will be removed and the buses will use the turnout, which will be part of the driveway entrance into the main parking lot.
Terry Galvin stated that the contractor would be making the turnout longer than it will ultimately be to be able to get in as many parking spaces.
The Chairman clarified Item No. 2 for overnight parking on the south side of Chapman Avenue between Harbor Boulevard and Pomona Avenue adding "in the temporary bus turnout".
Commissioner Hardwick moved to accept staff's recommendation to approve temporary parking relief during construction. Commissioner Buck seconded. The motion passed unanimously.
The Transportation & Circulation Commission adjourned and reconvened as the Board of Parking Place Commission to approve overnight parking in the District 2 parking lot.
Commissioner Buck moved to approve staff's recommendation. Commissioner Cochran seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
The Board of Parking Place Commission adjourned and reconvened as the Transportation & Circulation Commission.
The following were approved by the City Council:
The meeting was adjourned at 6:10 p.m. until the next scheduled meeting.