Residents Split on Balboa Parking Program

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Balboa Village sign rendering. — Image courtesy city of Newport Beach ©
Balboa Village sign rendering.
— Image courtesy city of Newport Beach ©

Balboa Village residents and business owners are split in their opinions on whether to implement the Residential Parking Permit Program, or RP3, proposed to eliminate “spillover” commercial parking onto the nearby residential streets. If enacted, overnight parking on specified streets would require a permit.

At this week’s Balboa Village Advisory Committee meeting at ExplorOcean, Principal Planner for the city, James Campbell, revealed a preliminary vote total based on ballots sent to each residential address in the area, property owners, and Mooring Permit holders asking whether or not they support the proposed program.

So far, the tally shows 269 or 50.3 percent voted in favor of the parking permit plan, and 266 or 49.7 percent opposed.

According to information posted on the city’s website, the proposed RP3 zone is proposed for all public streets between 7th Street and Adams Street, except for on-street metered stalls at the median in Balboa Boulevard. The area from Island Avenue to Adams Street would be implemented first with the area from 7th Street to Island Avenue implemented after the successful implementation of the first phase and if it is necessary.

The purpose of the program is to require overnight visitors to the Balboa Village area to park within the commercial village where parking is more plentiful thereby freeing up some spaces for residents and their guests.

The City Council may adopt the program if a majority of residents in the affected area (as determined by the City Council) support the program. If a majority of residents do not support the program, the City Council would not approve the program. As an option, the Council may modify program components to better suit the needs of the area. If a program is adopted, it would require the approval of the California Coastal Commission before implementation.

Right now, total ballots received runs at 41.2 percent, less than a majority of ballots. The response back from the ballots have slowed to a trickle, and Campbell is doubtful a majority will be reached, although he explained what while they would like to get a majority for a better representation of public opinion, it’s not necessary.

That did not sit well with some of the residents, who asked about California codes and what makes a majority for an initiative to pass.

Deputy Community Development Director, Brenda Wisneski, explained that at this point RP3 is clearly a city council decision, and the information gathered was to help get an understanding where residents stand on the plan.

Mayor Pro Tem Diane Dixon said it will be resolved later at the council level with the city attorney and agreed it is an indicator to gauge residents’ reaction to the proposal.

Yes and No responses will be mapped for geographic trends, which will help break down statistics through location based on how the owners, renters and moorings are responding. This could give the council a better indication of the RP3 impact on residents.

Also at the Advisory Committee meeting, the gateway sign update was approved with the addition of clams and starfish, the ability of banners to be placed on either side of the sign, and recommendations to increase the logo from 4 feet to five feet across. It is targeted to be completed by this fall.

The new funding is coming from Balboa Village parking meter management instead of the parking funds from the whole peninsula, said Wisneski.

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