The city has agreed to relax its stringent standards governing the number of parking spaces that churches must provide.
Since 1987, Monterey Park required one parking space per two seats, plus one per 35 square feet of sanctuary. According to a city staff report, those standards were more than four times stricter than the average requirements of 11 surrounding cities, which call for one space per 4.9 seats or one per 39 square feet, whichever is greater.
The City Council on Monday voted 5 to 0 to lower the city's requirement to one space per 4.5 seats, or one per 35 square feet for churches without permanent seating. The rules will apply to new church construction and expansion.