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SLO City Council to consider pause on new parking districts

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Posted at 10:36 PM, Jul 06, 2023

The San Luis Obispo City Council will consider a temporary pause on any new residential parking districts.

A residential parking zone means you need a permit to park on the street during certain hours, and those permits are only given to people who live in the area.

It’s no secret that street parking can be hard to find in the City of San Luis Obispo.

“We have a big family. When we have guests or our family over—it’s almost impossible for anybody to find a place to park,” said Susan Rains, who lives off Devaul Ranch Drive.

She hopes that requiring a parking permit during the overnight hours will free up street parking in her neighborhood.

“We have rentals where there’s maybe eight students in the house and lots of cars with nowhere to park,” explained Rains. “A lot of people don’t use their garages for parking and so they use the street instead.”

Street parking will be restricted between 10 p.m. and 10 a.m. if her idea gains traction.

“You would have two permits per household in addition to whatever parking you have in your driveway or your garage,” she explained.

But the neighborhood is split on the issue and not everyone supports the idea of forming a new parking district.

“It’s not that big of an issue. It’s not like San Francisco, that’s for sure,” said Kathleen Ruiz, who lives a couple blocks down. “There’s plenty of parking here that’s open for everybody. You might have to park a few houses away but it’s not that inconvenient.”

She is also concerned neighbors will be inconvenienced by having to get a parking permit.

“It’s a handicap for the owners that do park on the street. They have to go get permitted and it’s more bureaucratic hassle,” said Ruiz.

Supporters are hoping to keep their vehicles close to home and not have to park too far down the street.

“We’ve had a lot of vehicles broken into and catalytic converters stolen because we have to move our cars around wherever they’ll fit,” said Rains.

Just this year alone, the city has received six requests to create new parking districts.

This coming Tuesday, the San Luis Obispo City Council will discuss the future of this program and could suspend it until stricter requirements are put in place.

The city currently has 11 special parking districts mostly around Cal Poly and the downtown area.