After a four-hour marathon meeting on February 20 that featured a packed agenda, and the contentious issue of off-leash dog parks, the council has a relatively light agenda for its March 6 meeting. Only two issues are expected to generate much discussion — the fate of decal parking zones for residents living adjacent to Naval Air Station North Island (NASNI) and a status report on a proposed active transportation plan.
Other items on the agenda are fairly routine, for example: vehicle upgrades for the fire department, the treasurer’s report on investments and the free summer shuttle. The popular summer shuttle service has been offered for the past five years and is normally approved unanimously.
Decal Parking Permit Zone: The council will discuss the permit parking zone that was created over 25 years ago for residents who live adjacent to NASNI. The program began in July 1991 when the Navy had strict regulations for vehicles coming on base and many sailors and some civilian personnel parked on city streets. As a result, few residents were able to park near their home. Since then the Navy has relaxed its regulations and has added 203 parking spaces in front of the Third Street Gate and 111 parking spaces adjacent to the First Street Gate.
Given these changes, the city council voted in October 2017 to temporarily suspend the decal zone for a 12-month trial period. A survey of available parking spaces was presented at the February 20 meeting. It showed that removing the decal parking zone has had little impact on available parking spaces in the neighborhoods.
People who live near the base said that had not been their experience. They told the council at the same meeting that removing the decal parking has made it harder, if not impossible, to park near their homes. They want the parking permits back.
After hearing from more than a half dozen residents, the council decided to take up the issue as an action item. The council could vote to reinstate the zone, suspend it permanently or continue to monitor the situation for another five months and decide then.
Active Transportation Plan (ATP): This is a status report on ways to improve bicycle and pedestrian safety. The report is based on recommendations by transportation planners the city hired. These were discussed and revised at a series of stakeholder and public meeting held over the past year and by an online citizen’s survey. The next step will be for the staff to write a draft plan based on comments from the city council.
City Council will meet on Tuesday, March 6 at 4pm in Council Chambers, City Hall at 1825 Strand Way. The outline and complete agenda can be found here.