Parking, specifically the lack of parking, was the main topic of discussion at District 1’s town hall meeting on March 16.
The coastal commission did not approve the parking lot plan on the hill above Sunset Ridge Park, so the park was built without one. Residents are now concerned the only parking available is a small lot located across the road at Superior Avenue and PCH, a busy and potentially dangerous intersection.
Public works director Dave Webb discussed possible plans the city has initiated to address this problem. A pedestrian/cyclist bridge that connects the new park to the current parking lot and another one connecting across PCH from the lot was suggested.
This would also help improve flow and safety associated with the high volume of pedestrians and cyclists crossing to get to the park.
Regarding the amount of parking spaces, Webb proposed to expand it into a two story lot with underground parking as the first floor.
This would also accommodate the added visitors to the proposed dog park. When asked by Mayor Pro Tem Diane Dixon if the residents wanted a dog park in that area, little enthusiasm was generated.
Another concern for parking was raised when Webb detailed the Marina Park project that is currently under construction. Pay stations will be present on the lots in the park. Visitors utilizing the community center with paid classes will not have to pay for parking. It will not be available for residential use.
Street parking at the park will have meters yet open for the residents at night. Webb assured them there is more parking than they need with additional spaces located at Bay Avenue and at 18th street.
The 10 acre park with its view of the bay has a 72 foot high icon tower equipped with a tsunami warning sign, and will sport a 11,000 square foot sailing and 10,500 square foot community center along with a girl scout leadership center and a restaurant. A dock with 23 slips for 40 to 60 foot boats will make the park available to those visiting by sea.