In Southern California getting a driver’s license is a rite of passage. Owning a car usually happens before the time to leave the nest. Everyone has a car, some people have more vehicles. Compare this with New York City where many don’t even bother to get a driver’s license.
Existing neighborhoods in Encinitas frequently have most of the parking spots occupied. Businesses need parking for employees and customers. Our commercial areas are surrounded by nearby residential, so high density with less than an adequate car to onsite parking ratio will create trouble in the commercial districts. If a resident doesn’t have “his” parking spot he will take one in front of some downstairs store. If the customer can’t park he won’t shop or dine there. Visitors and customers and tourists don’t come if they can’t park. An excess of parking is vital.
Not enough residential parking spaces are being required by the Draft Proposed Housing Element. Here are some examples.
- A tradesman will often have a car and a truck, and his wife may have another car, yet they reside in a 1 bedroom unit. The proposed standard calls for 1.25 parking spaces, it should accommodate all 3 vehicles on-site.
- A sportsman may have a boat on a trailer, a truck to pull it, and yet another vehicle to get around, and yet reside in a Studio unit. The proposed standard calls for only 1 parking place, it should provide 3.
- A recreation enthusiast may need safe parking for his bicycle, but he may also want to store his kayak or surfboard.
- In California, without basements or attics, many enclosed garages are used as storage areas for tools or household goods. This usage is counted as a parking space but does not provide car parking.
- And our city needs to identify parking places within the city for Motorhomes, Dune Buggies, Boat Trailers, Sail Planes (Yes I have a friend in Mid-Cardiff with one), and other Recreational Vehicles.
Providing just one parking space per adult resident may not even be enough. It is ideal that there should be at least one assigned space per unit, with nearby shared space available for other vehicles. Onsite EV charging must be possible as well.
Charging for parking separate from the housing units will allow tenants to choose to opt-out of paying for a parking space and rely on street parking. This will create a burden on nearby neighborhoods. We must demand “free parking”.
Asphalt is cheap. You can valet park about 180 cars on an acre of flat land, maybe only 100 if you have nice wide aisles. At the highest density you may have to go to subterranean parking, parking tucked under the units, or a parking structure.