Del Mar residents will need to remember to carry some spare change on their next Starbucks run. Up to 22 parking spots owned by St. Peter's Episcopal Church will be metered in the alleyway that runs between the church and the Union Bank and Starbucks. The Del Mar City Council approved the meters on July 12, expanding on the city's parking enforcement authority.
Installation of the meters will begin on the east side of Maiden Lane from 15th Street to Parish Lane.
An additional eight spaces along the east side of Maiden Lane from 14th Street north and spaces in the enclosed lot between Parish Lane and 15th Street will come at a later date.
With parking in Del Mar at a premium, people have not been deterred by signs that declare violators of the private parking spots in the alley will be towed, according to complaints to the city from church and the bank.
Eric Sandy, city parking enforcement lieutenant said although the church is permitted to enforce its towing authority, it has preferred to adopt a system that would allow for mixed-use through the meters.
The city will maintain and enforce the meters and share the revenue with the church. No additional staff and the $800 cost of installation will be funded by meter revenue, which will be apportioned 100 percent to the city until the costs are recovered.
Sandy said the church also would have the right to place bags over the meters during church functions to allow certain groups to be able to park without the fee.
"I think it's a clever idea," said Del Mar resident Bill Michalsky of the meters. "It fills a need for both parties and also keeps people honest."
The church and bank are not the only ones with issues of illegal parking. The Homeowners Association of the Ocean View Condominiums has also asked the city about enforcement on its reserved parking spaces.
Even though Ocean View is gated, people are still getting in and parking there. The city's parking enforcement team will begin patrolling the lot and issuing tickets for cars parked there without a sticker showing they live there.
TBID meetings scheduled
Del Mar City Council adopted a resolution to establish the Del Mar City Council Del Mar Tourism Business Improvement District (TBID). A public meeting on the issue will be held on Aug. 2 at 6 p.m. at the Del Mar Communications Center on 240 10th St. Additionally a public hearing will be held on Sept. 13 at 6 p.m., also at the center.
The district is being proposed by the six lodging businesses in Del Mar to bring more overnight tourists to the city's available hotel rooms.
The resuliton proposes that each lodging business share a percentage of the gross revenue from tourist rooms—an assessment rate of 1 percent of gross short term room rental revenue. After the district is formed, the city would collect fees on a monthly basis and funds would be returned to the TBID for spending on activities that promote overnight stays in Del Mar.
29th Street improvements approved
Del Mar City Council approved installing several improvements at the end of 29th Street in order for Southern California Edison to achieve compliance on one of the conditions of its Coastal Commission permit for the wetlands restoration project.
The city has gone through seven different iterations of a plan for the street improvements and believes the latest addresses all the neighbors' concerns. The plan includes a five-foot-wide ADA compliant sidewalk with a rolled curb, a new ADA parking space and a concrete path to the seawall that extends to the viewing area.
"This is a tight area and we've struggled to find an iteration that works," said councilmember Crystal Crawford. "It has been a challenge to figure out how to achieve access. ... We've done the best we can do here."
Southern California Edison was required to install improved beach access at points north and south of the San Dieguito River mouth, including 29th Street. The city has worked for 18 months with neighbors trying to find a solution that works. At one point it was proposed to cut into the seawall to provide access, which neighbors opposed.
While the plans have been drastically scaled back, some concerns still remain.
Resident Natalie Naftzger Davis wrote a letter to the council stating that the new ADA sidewalk, when paired with the existing diagonal parking on the street, is unsafe. She wrote that the width of the street won't allow enough room for through traffic and could be dangerous for both vehicles and pedestrians.
"It's a difficult location, no doubt about it," said Councilman Carl Hilliard.
Hilliard echoed Crawford's statement that they have done the best they can and have addressed many of the neighborhood's concerns.