Solana Beach approves new off-street parking manual

The City of Solana Beach will implement a new off-street parking manual March 1 after the City Council on Feb. 22 voted to approve, with a few changes suggested by the council, a long list of updates to the manual. Established in 1993, the outdated manual was based on City of San Diego Standards set in 1985.

The new parking manual includes about 50 specific changes in areas from trees in parking lots to grocery cart storage. The manual was expanded to include underground and above ground parking structures, as well as one bicycle parking spot per 10 vehicle parking spots.

Prompted by a letter submitted by Douglas Alden, Solana Beach’s bicycle and pedestrian advisory committee chair, Councilman Mike Nichols suggested the manual provide more specifics about how bike racks are installed. Nichols worked extensively with city staff in identifying and implementing the updates.

“We show how parking lots should be laid out,” he said. “We should show how bike racks are laid out so they are not placed too close to walls, too close to landscape or in the pedestrian right of way.”

Council member Lesa Heebner pointed out that trees in parking lots are meant to provide shade and reduce the amount of heat, therefore she suggested limiting palm trees.

Nichols said the manual requires one tree every 30 feet, but if you use a palm tree, the mandate is every 15 feet, so property owners would have to double the amount of trees used if they opt for palms.

Solana Beach Mayor Joe Kellejian said he likes palm trees.

“Because of the topography of our city, palm trees are encouraged because they don’t block views,” he said.

City staff will still implement the manual, but return to council for approval of updates discussed on Feb. 22.

— reported by Claire Harlin