Parking More Affordable For Some Santa Monica Residents With Disabled Placards

Friday, 19 Apr 2013, 9:33:00 AM

Parimal M. Rohit

The Santa Monica City Council approved April 9 a

resolution that would establish new parking rates in downtown structures for

disabled tenants living in 100 percent affordable housing in the area,

particularly where onsite parking is unavailable.

Per City staff’s recommendation, the approved resolution

allows disabled residents living in 100 percent affordable housing units within

the downtown core to pay the lowest parking rate “generally available to

Downtown residents.” That lowest rate is currently $65 per month.

The council established a policy in July 2012 to charge

vehicles with disable placards to park in one of the downtown core’s many

parking structures.

“This policy was recommended as a means to increase

access to parking for those with disabled placards,” City staff stated. “The

policy related to charging vehicles with disabled placards has had a

significant positive impact on increasing availability of designated spaces for

those with disabled placards.”

Those who had disabled placards carried a greater

financial burden than those who did not, City staff stated.

“Staff has identified a particular population where the

policy of charging those with disabled placards has created an additional

financial burden compared to those without disabled placards,” City staff

stated. “The City approved a residential building at 1423 Second Street without

any onsite parking after the developer, Community Corporation of Santa Monica,

paid in lieu fees to the Downtown Parking District. Since the lower-cost Civic

Center option is not practical for residents with disabled placards, the only

option available to them is $160 per month in the Downtown structures.”

Accordingly, those with disable placards who live in a

100 percent affordable housing unit within the downtown core and cannot obtain

an onsite parking space will only have to pay $65 per month at a downtown area

parking structure instead of the $160 per month they would otherwise have to

pay.

“Considering the various factors discussed above and the

narrowly defined criteria, staff does not believe that adoption of the proposed

discounted parking rate would have a significant negative effect on the parking

supply for vehicles with disabled placards within the Downtown,” City staff

stated. “Staff anticipates the recommended action would affect less than a

dozen downtown residents.”

The vote was 6 to 1 in favor of the fee change; Council

member Bob Holbrook was the sole “no” vote.

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