LONG BEACH — Three restrictions may soon be imposed in neighborhoods where the simple task of parking a car is often an exercise in futility. The question is whether the restrictions will bring relief or just create more aggravation.
The City Council was ready Tuesday to vote on three parking proposals for such crowded areas as Belmont Shore when residents complained about the restrictions. So the council decided to refer the proposals back to a committee for further review and public hearings.
As drafted, the restrictions would:
Create a permit program that would allow only residents to park overnight on neighborhood streets.
Require that residents use their garages to store vehicles and not convert them into guest or storage rooms.
Permit owners or renters to park in front of their driveway curb cuts.
Several residents found problems with two of the proposals.
Local activist Bob Roxby said the parking permit system should be revised to let residents of each neighborhood decide for themselves whether they want permits.
Belmont Shore Improvement Assn. representatives Janet Davids and Bud Huber said most of the 400 homeowners in that oceanside neighborhood, which includes the trendy and congested 2nd Street commercial strip, are opposed to parking permits.
The city would offer a three-day overnight parking permit for guests. But Davids told the council that such a 72-hour pass would be inconvenient for a weekly summer renter, a longer-term guest or someone who pops in unexpectedly for the weekend.
Davids said she also found a loophole in the plan to have city inspectors check any home put up for sale to see whether the garage has been converted to a non-parking use.
Originally, the concept was to force the seller and buyer to turn such a structure back into a garage for cars. But as drafted, the proposal doesn't require that property owners even give inspectors access. "Should entry (to a home) be refused, the director of Planning and Building shall indicate on said report that entry was refused," the proposal states.
The lack of enforcement power "takes the teeth out of the ordinance," Davids said after the council session.
The council sent the proposed restrictions back to its Housing and Neighborhoods Committee at the request of Councilwoman Jan C. Hall, who heads the committee.