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Petition to maintain Downtown San Luis Obispo’s old parking rules gains traction

Posted at 3:44 PM, Jul 11, 2021

Plans for new parking regulations in Downtown San Luis Obispo have not been well received by some businesses and customers.

Last week, a petition was created to maintain the current parking enforcement hours with nearly 800 signatures so far.

“I was like in shock. I couldn’t believe the hours changed so drastically on top of all the meters having to be paid more," San Luis Obispo Resident and owner of Project XO, Hanna Lique-Naitove, said.

On July 1st, hourly parking rates in Downtown San Luis Obispo went up by 25 cents per hour.

Parking garages are now $1.50 an hour and on-street parking ranges from $1.25 to $2.00 depending on the zone.

Starting July 19th, paid parking hours will extend to 9 p.m.

“I think those are times that most Downtown's give to residents in the community to be neighborly friendly, to invite people Downtown,” Lique-Naitove said.

Lique-Naitove started the petition to address the community’s concern. Like many others, she took issue with the fact that Downtown San Luis Obispo’s small businesses rely on the limited parking close to their storefronts.

“I wanted change. I felt that people needed a platform to voice their concerns as citizens of SLO County,” said Lique-Naitove.

The City of San Luis Obispo is aware of the petition, but explained the increased rates will help fund a $43 million parking garage at Palm and Nipomo - adding 250 parking stalls.

“Our parking is back up near 80-85% occupancy on a daily basis now. With that being said, that’s close to being full and we do need to look to our future and build a new parking structure," the City of San Luis Obispo’s parking program manager, Gaven Hussey, explained.

For those concerned about the safety of parking structures, Hussey added that they are adding public safety officers to their parking enforcement division.

“If there is stuff we can change based on how the year progresses, we will make those adjustments and changes,” Husse said.

Lique-Naitove is currently writing an email to City Council.

“Eventually I would just love to go to the City Council meeting and present to them everything that the community has spoke upon. It’s not from me. It’s from everyone,” Lique Naitove said.

Hussey said if concerns are not addressed by the city’s parking services, community members are encouraged to actively engage in City Council meetings if there are further questions.