Councilman Jim Silva says surfers need a break.
Silva persuaded the City Council on Monday night to start legal procedures that will allow free early-morning parking at city meters near a popular surfing area. He said the move also will help free nearby residential areas from parking by surfers.
"This (change) would relieve parking congestion in the residential neighborhood adjacent to Golden West and 22nd streets for the early morning surfing crowd, plus it would benefit surfers who don't use the beach all day but only surf in the morning before work or school," Silva said.
Silva's proposal would allow meter-free parking in the city's Blufftop Park area. That park faces the Pacific Ocean and parallels Pacific Coast Highway. Surfers flock to the bluffs area because of good wave action.
Parking meters at Blufftop Park currently are in force between 5 a.m. and dusk. Silva proposes that the meter hours in that area be changed to 8 a.m. and dusk. Surfers could thus park free in the park area in the early-morning hours, he said.
The other members of the City Council agreed with Silva's arguments. By unanimous vote, the council instructed the city attorney to draft an amendment to the city's parking ordinance so that the meter hours can be changed.
The "free surfing" time change will not go into effect until the amendment is drafted and adopted, probably within the next two months.