During a nearly 3 1/2-hour meeting, the Laguna Niguel City Council voted on Tuesday, Sept. 19, to continue discussion of a proposed citywide residential parking permit program in four weeks.
The proposed program presented to the council would have impacted the 11 existing permit parking districts and future districts by limiting single-family households to two permits, charging up to $25 for the permits and requiring the permits be renewed every two years.
In addition, the permits would be non-transferable and a $1,500 processing fee would be charged for a petition to establish a new parking permit district, according to the proposed ordinance. The proposed permit program would only affect existing or future permit parking districts within city boundaries.
The council’s first opportunity to discuss the proposed program came nearly five months after the Laguna Niguel traffic commission approved sending the proposed program to the council.
Though the council had no intention to adopt the permit parking ordinance Tuesday night, as it would require a first reading before a formal adoption, the council agreed to push back discussion of the item until the Oct. 17 council meeting following public comments and questions and concerns from council members about the proposed program.
“I look at this plan and it’s so confusing,” Councilwoman Laurie Davies said. “I mean after the first page, you kind of lost me on all the regulations.”
The biggest concern for Davies, she said, was enforcement of the permit parking program and its potential impact on police services.
“At night, our priority is safety,” Davies said. “I’ll be real honest. I would rather have my deputy going down my street looking to see if there’s anyone is trying to break into my house than waiting for a tow truck because someone doesn’t have a permit.”
Councilman Jerry Slusiewicz also expressed interest in potentially keeping the existing parking districts the same and said the permit program should be “forward-looking.”
“I don’t think we should change that in any way, shape or form,” Slusiewicz said.
Current districts do not pay fees for the permits and the number of permits issued is tied to the number of registered vehicles, not households.
The council also supported going into closed session at a later date following the prospect of potential litigation after Duane Morris LLP attorney Colin Pearce sent a 16-page letter to the City Council saying “Windridge…