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Parking Ban Would Pay Its Way : Ordinance: Permit fees and violator fines would produce a surplus of $200,000, a staff report estimates. But one official objects to financing that depends on fines.

March 22, 1990|PHIL SNEIDERMAN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

A proposed ban on overnight on-street parking would cost the city more than $1 million a year to implement, but parking permit fees and violator fines would produce a surplus of about $200,000, according to a report reviewed this week by the Glendale Parking Commission.

The commission--which voted 3 to 2 last month to recommend banning on-street parking between 2 and 6 a.m.--reviewed a report detailing the pros and cons of the ordinance Monday. Residents and guests whose vehicles display city permits would be exempt from the ban.

The City Council last year asked the commission to study ways to curtail overnight parking problems created by the city's rapid growth, particularly in the southern part of Glendale. City officials have said curbs are clogged with cars because many apartment complexes have insufficient off-street parking and a high number of tenants per unit.

City officials believe that the parking congestion leads to unsightly neighborhoods and traffic hazards.

The report, written by the city's traffic and transportation staff, includes new estimates on staffing, expenses and revenues. The report will be considered by the Glendale City Council in the near future, city staff members said.

"The cost of the program may be self-supporting, mainly provided by violators of the ordinance," the report stated.

Under the plan, residents would receive up to two free permits annually if no off-street parking spaces are available. Additional permits would cost $40 each. A resident could obtain up to 30 daily guest permits free each year, with a charge imposed for additional ones.

According to the report, four customer service representatives and three inspectors or investigators will be needed to issue the permits. The city expects to provide about 31,000 permits.

Tom Horne, Glendale's traffic and transportation administrator, said the cost of issuing permits is expected to be $314,000, offset by $105,000 in revenues from the sale of permits.

He predicted that this loss will be made up through enforcement--motorists who violate the law would receive $21 tickets.

Overall, program revenues would total about $1.3 million annually, against expenses of $1.1 million, he said.

Horne cautioned, however, that "we have no way of knowing how many tickets" the city will issue.

He said the revenue estimates were based on a plan according to which parking enforcement officers would write about 270 tickets each night. The plan calls for the hiring of 12 such officers, another police sergeant to supervise them and a clerical worker.

If fewer people violate the law or fewer enforcement officers are hired, the financial picture could change, Horne said.

Commissioner Michael D. Moro, who opposed the parking ban last month, said Monday that he objects to financing the program through violator fines. "This is going to be an expensive program," he said. "It seems to be not a very positive way of correcting the situation."

Parking Commissioner Zaven Hanessian, who also voted against the permit proposal, asked that his minority report also be presented to the City Council.

In it, Hanessian proposed several steps that the city should take in place of the permit system:

Through utility bill enclosures or other notices, the city should contact residents who are parking on the street because their landlord charges an extra fee for parking. City officials should then resolve this problem with the landlord.

Landlords should be prohibited from renting a garage to a non-tenant.

Anyone who uses a garage as a workshop should be required to clear the unit so it can be used to store the resident's car.

The city should build new parking lots south of Colorado Street to give residents an off-street location for extra vehicles. Residents would pay a meter or a monthly fee to use this lot.

If residents do not comply with these plans, Hanessian said, the late-night parking permit proposal should then be implemented.

"We would tell the public that we tried our best to please them and to solve their problems, but they refused to cooperate with us," he said in his report.

Commissioner Marilyne Wiechmann said Hanessian's suggestions "would be a very piecemeal solution."

She said land is too expensive for the city to buy for new residential parking lots. Wiechmann said the council should get a chance to review Hanessian's alternatives, but she remained firm in her endorsement of the permit proposal.

"The plan we submitted has drawbacks, but I feel it's the best solution to the problem," she said.

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