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West Valley Focus

Special Parking Plan at School Considered

September 22, 1993|JILL LEOVY

Plans for an unusual version of permitted on-street parking--it might forbid residents from parking near their own homes--are scheduled to be considered by the Westlake Village City Council tonight.

The idea is to create a special parking zone for elementary teachers at White Oak School. It would be the district's first such zone, and it stands out because most permit parking zones are designed to protect residents, not workers.

Permits for teachers were proposed after neighbors' complaints stopped plans to build a new school parking lot, said Donald Zimring, assistant superintendent of the Las Virgenes Unified School District.

Earlier this month, the district began grading a section of school property to use as a parking lot and trucked in a load of gravel to cover the site.

"They had two huge piles of gravel; kids were grabbing handfuls and throwing it," said Tim Bernsen, a high school student and neighbor of the school.

The district received complaints from neighbors who feared that rocks would end up smashing their front windows. The permit idea came after two contentious community meetings, he said.

Zimring said the school needs more parking because it has grown considerably since its construction in the late '60s and no longer has enough room for all the cars that flood its parking lot.

Council members will consider whether to allow parking by permit only on a section of Village School Road in front of the school between Shropshire and Hartfield courts between 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. on school days.

As presently envisioned, teachers would have "stickers on their cars like is done in some of the beach communities," school Principal Richard J. Malfatti said. The stickers would allow them to park on a short strip of street that is not generally used by neighbors. The strip, across the street from the school, abuts a block wall that lines the back yards of several homes.

Malfatti said the district will also push for signs directing parents to a new loading zone to keep them from crossing paths with teachers coming to park.

The combination of signs and permits is the result of a compromise between the district and neighbors.

If the permit plan is approved, Zimring said, the half-finished parking lot will eventually be replanted.

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