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.