Opinion: Tax revenue behind parking drive
By Ralph Peck
At the Del Mar Council meeting of March 28, the council agreed, by consensus, to initiate amendments to adopt the SANDAG smart growth parking ratios in the Central Commercial Zone.
Those ratios are those in Table 6 of a SANDAG parking report titled “Potential San Diego Smart Growth Development Parking Rates.”
The paragraph preceding Table 6 states, “Table 6 summarizes the suggested guidance on parking rates for smart growth development based on the studies mentioned above, relative to existing parking requirements in the region in both typical and smart growth settings.”
But Del Mar is not a “Small Growth Development Area” as defined.
The background for the SANDAG strategies for smart growth report begins with “Smart growth development sites feature relatively dense development, mixes of compatible land use with pedestrian amenities, bicycle facilities, and optimal access to public transportation. These features favor access by transit, walking, and bicycling. The diversity of uses within close proximity encourages visitors to make journeys within the site by foot, even if they arrive by car. Furthermore, research has shown that vehicle ownership for smart growth residents is lower than for residents of suburban development. All of these factors suggest that parking demand in smart growth areas is lower than elsewhere in the region and that parking supplies should reflect this fact.”
Does that sound like Del Mar? It certainly doesn’t sound like our General Plan! But the city wants lower parking ratios!
We have to realize that the drive behind the City Council in wanting to reduce the parking standards is the goal of more tax revenue. But they have chosen the most time consuming and expensive way to achieve that goal. That goal can be achieved sooner and cheaper by just increasing the Floor Area Ratio to 100 percent. But they won’t discuss that!
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