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By Shawn Raymundo
Long-standing efforts to standardize the city’s parking meter zones will soon extend the paid-parking hours to 10 p.m. at four of San Clemente’s coastal lots.
The city council on Tuesday, Oct. 19, unanimously approved an ordinance to implement new hours of operations for metered lots at North Beach, Linda Lane, Pier Bowl and T-Street. At those locations, visitors will be required to pay for parking from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Prior the council’s adoption of the ordinance, operating hours for paid-parking varied at the four lots, some requiring visitors to pay as early as 9 a.m. and as late as 6 p.m. The Pier Bowl and North Beach lots, the most popular parking areas, ended at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m., respectively.
The hourly parking rate of $1.50 will remain unchanged.
Under the ordinance, the city will remove the parking meter zones along Camino Capistrano—from El Camino Real to Avenida Vaquero—and Avenida Calafia, west of the Calafia Beach parking entrance, giving visitors four hours of free parking.
The council’s approval of the ordinance comes more than a year since the California Coastal Commission unanimously approved the city’s request to update the metered-parking hours. City officials had initially anticipated bringing the ordinance to the council for final approval at the start of 2021.
Asked by Councilmember Chris Duncan on Tuesday night why there was a delay, Jennifer Savage, assistant to the city manager, explained that it was a result, in part, of staff turnover within the city’s public works department.
The staff report to the council noted that the city is expected to see an increase in revenue from the parking meter changes. Previous reports from the city estimated an additional $220,000 in revenue at the Pier Bowl lot alone.
According to the city’s latest report to the council, the cost to change to update the meters and change signage is $2,900.
The new metered-parking hours are expected to go into effect in early December—30 days after the council formally approves the ordinance under a Second Reading, which is likely to occur during the early November meeting.
Shawn Raymundo is the city editor for the San Clemente Times. He graduated from Arizona State University with a bachelor’s degree in Global Studies. Before joining Picket Fence Media, he worked as the government accountability reporter for the Pacific Daily News in the U.S. territory of Guam. Follow him on Twitter @ShawnzyTsunami and follow San Clemente Times @SCTimesNews.