More than 200 residents attended the Balboa Village Advisory Committee meeting at ExplorOcean last Wednesday to discuss the improvements proposed for Balboa Village.
The most controversial discussion of the evening was the Residential Parking Permit Program (RP3).
More than 60 ballots were filled out by residents, with 60 percent of those votes opposed to RP3. The remaining ballots were mailed to residents out with a deadline to have those ballots turned in by February 27.
Mayor Pro Tem Diane Dixon, concerned that RP3 is gravely misunderstood, clarified that it is not an attempt for the city to collect more money from the residence but has been actually driven by resident requests regarding the current and future parking issue.
Councilman Tony Petros repeated comments he made at a recent city council meeting that RP3 is intended as a preventative for what may come from the proposed improvements to Balboa Village.
If there is any issue to arise that impacts the neighborhood, RP3 is there to buffer the residents from those impacts and provide the city with an enforcement effort to address them. It is not, as rumors have it, a revenue generator from the long arm of our government to infiltrate the neighborhood.
But, said Petros, “If the community or neighborhood doesn’t want it, we don’t need to do it.”
He further commented that if that is the case, they will just have to wait and see if the parking among the residential streets becomes a major problem and go from there, readdressing RP3 and other solutions at a later date when the problems exist.
Earlier in the meeting, the Gateway Sign design details and concept imagery presented by Simon Andrews of Graphic Solutions was discussed for recommended action.
Questions were asked regarding the amount of sidewalk space allocated after changes, raising the height of the sign, and whether a banner could fit properly across the sign. There was also concern that the sign was not sufficiently lit at night.
The design itself is represented by gently waving lines mimicking the ocean dotted with stars lighting the sky at night. It was proposed that maybe the stars be substituted for something more aligned with the beach such as shells or sea stars (starfish). Staff members are to take the additional recommendations for the sign concept and present it to the committee at the next meeting.
The Improvement Program recommended actions to prioritize improvements and funding. Brenda Wisneski, deputy community development director, presented potential funding sources for this program and discussed how the Parking Benefit District was created to generate funds to implement these improvements as well as other projects in the Village.
The three funds were clarified: Existing Un-appropriated Funds from the Neighborhood enhancement Zone and Community Development Block Grant totaling $271,500; Future Funds from the Parking Benefit District totaling approximately $350,000 annually from parking meters; or borrow from the General Fund to pay back with annual funds from the Parking Benefit District.
Potential Funding Approaches:
- Prioritize projects and implement as funds are generated by Parking Benefit District. To be fully funded in approximately 11 years.
- Prioritize projects, request un-appropriated funds and implement as funds are generated by Parking Benefit District. To be fully funded in about 10 years.
- Request un-appropriated funds. Borrow remaining funds from the City’s General Fund and payback with funds generated by Parking Benefit District.
|Façade Improvement Program||$220,000|
Phase 1 – Balboa Blvd.
Phase 1 – Secondary Streets
Phase 2 – Main Street
Phase 3 – Fun zone Waterfront
Ferry Gateway Sign
There was some opposition from those in attendance to borrowing funds and adding more debt. Wisneski pointed out currently they are no longer in debt to the City’s General Fund.
Petros’ final comment concluded it was understood they generally liked this approach to the possible phasing out of the streetscape and not opposed to adding this into the budget cycle, if the city council also agrees. He also stated that the lion’s share of this funding will come from the city’s Parking Benefit District.