YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Monterey Council Acts to Resolve Dispute Over Aquarium

March 19, 1987|Special to The Times

MONTEREY, Calif. — Seeking to end an argument between the popular Monterey Bay Aquarium and some merchant-neighbors on Cannery Row, the Monterey City Council has decided to limit the number of people who may attend aquarium functions on Friday and Saturday nights.

The modest curbs, approved late Tuesday, will chiefly affect the aquarium's fund-raising and members-only nights, but will last only as long as it takes to build a new four-level, 1,007-space parking garage in the area.

That garage should open next year, said Assistant City Manager William Smith. Until then, evening events at the aquarium will be limited to 362 people--the maximum that can be accommodated by the aquarium's own parking lots--unless shuttle-bus service is available. A maximum of 1,500 people will be allowed if buses are used.

In exchange, the council also voted to lift all of its restrictions on the types of merchandise the aquarium may offer in its bookstore. In the past, the city had required that 90% of the merchandise be educational in nature, to protect established souvenir-sellers along Cannery Row.

The greater-than-expected popularity of the aquarium, which opened in October, 1984, led to congestion and a lack of parking along Cannery Row, and some merchants complained that their old customers would no longer come to the area and new visitors were interested only in the aquarium.

Aquarium officials produced marketing surveys disputing this, while several other Cannery Row merchants rushed to the aquarium's defense.

An aquarium spokesman is much more optimistic now.

"Everyone came together and it has worked out well," said Hank Armstrong, public relations director for the educational and research facility.

Los Angeles Times Articles