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The City Council has approved making changes to downtown parking as a result of a survey conducted last year. Photo: Andrea Papagianis
The City Council has approved making changes to downtown parking as a result of a survey conducted last year. Photo: Andrea Papagianis

By Jim Shilander

The San Clemente City Council approved changes to the city’s downtown parking plan Tuesday, with the goal being to alleviate periods where employees may take up space along Avenida Del Mar and some of the city’s public lots.

The changes follow a survey of downtown parking habits performed last August. Associate Planner Cliff Jones said the survey, performed by department interns, found that while the issue of employees parking in front of stores and restaurants in customer spaces was largely overstated, employees and other long-term parkers were tending to monopolize spaces in the city’s all-day and three hour lots along Avenidas Cabrillo and Granada.

Changes that will go into effect sooner will include more strict enforcement of current three-hour limits and against overnight parking between 2 a.m. and 5 a.m. without a permit, as well as encouraging downtown businesses to ask employees to park in the fire station/senior center lot located off Avenida Rosa, in the late afternoons, when it becomes free. The all-day lot on the south side of Avenida Cabrillo will also be converted into a three-hour time limit.

Other potential future options include continued promotion of programs and digitalization of the city’s downtown parking map to make it more accessible to businesses for use on the internet.

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