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Council Zones Out High School Drivers

By Anita Varghese
Staff Writer

September 14 -- A residential neighborhood near Santa Monica High School got some parking relief Tuesday, when the City Council voted 4 to 1 to designate the streets used by students during school hours a restricted parking zone.

The neighborhood south of Pico Boulevard and west of Lincoln Boulevard, across the street from the high school, was the last remaining neighborhood adjacent to the campus to not have preferential parking regulations.

“I am a prisoner in my home maybe eight months out of the year,” said resident Jennifer Hornstock. “I cannot leave my home during the day for fear that I will not be able to park anywhere near the street I live on when I come back with bags full of groceries.”

Residents to the east of Lincoln, both north and south of Pico, have been granted preferential restrictions over the last five years, shifting more demand for parking into the neighborhood surrounding the Sheraton Delfina Santa Monica Hotel.

This area has not been granted restrictions because it is located in the California Coastal Zone, and the California Coastal Commission had previously indicated that additional daytime restrictions would not be approved.

However, the commission recently indicated that City staff could ask for parking restrictions if staff clearly finds parking demand is from the high school and not related to beach access.

“This is an area where people are experiencing parking occupancies that make it hard for them to park on the street,” said Lucy Dyke, the City’s transportation planning manager.

“Some people in the neighborhoods a little further away are concerned about the impact of regulations on them and that conditions might get worse in their areas,” she said.

The council action comes six years after residents of the 600 and 700 block of Bay Street, between Lincoln Boulevard and Sixth Street, filed a preferential parking petition.

The entire area south to Ocean Park Boulevard and west towards, but not including Fourth Street, also was pre-approved for preferential parking restrictions.

In creating Zone U, the City can now enforce a set of specific regulations -- no parking between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, except by permit, on Bay Street between Lincoln Boulevard and Sixth Street and Sixth Street between Pico Boulevard and the eastern portion dead end.

A two-hour parking limit between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, except by permit, has been established for the following streets:

  • Bay Street between Sixth and Fourth Streets
  • Grant Street between Lincoln Boulevard and Sixth Street
  • Pacific Street between Lincoln Boulevard and Fourth Street
  • Strand Street between Seventh and Fourth Streets
  • Kensington Road between Seventh Street and Beverley Avenue
  • Hollister Avenue between Beverley and Fourth Street
  • Seventh Street between Grant Street and Ocean Park Boulevard
  • Beverley Avenue between Kensington Road and Ocean Park Boulevard
  • Fifth and Sixth Streets between Bay Street and Ocean Park Boulevard

“Zone U is not a single-family neighborhood, but a multi-family neighborhood,” said Grant Street resident James Duford. “Parking restrictions will not be a complete solution, but at least it will offer some relief.

“Even when school is not in session, there would be days where parking is difficult, but we can find a spot one block away,” he said. “When school is in session, it is more like three blocks away.”

A group of Santa Monica High School students wanted the Council to delay approving Zone U until the School Board hears a proposal to subsidize student parking at the newly built Civic Center Parking Structure.

The high school currently uses a lottery to issue permits for 40 spaces available at the school’s own parking lot for 12th grade students.

“We understand the concerns of the homeowners, but for the four years we attend SaMo, it is like a home to us too,” said student Ben Walker.

Gordon Anderson, assistant city manager, said he had two meetings with school district officials to discuss reducing rates so that students could park at the Civic Center Parking Structure.

Students pay a fee that amounts to $25 per month to park at the high school.

Any Santa Monica resident for $75 plus tax can purchase a Civic Center Parking Structure monthly pass.

“There is a parking option for students and parents to avail themselves to at the Civic Center Parking Structure,” Gordon said.

Dyke said if progress is not made by school district officials to utilize the Civic Center Parking Structure, City staff will look at opportunities for students to receive a reduced parking rate at the cheaper Main Library Parking Structure.

Council member Pam O’Connor cast the sole vote against Zone U, predicting it would push the parking crunch to neighboring streets without parking restrictions.

“What we are going to hear, in a number of years or so, is that other adjacent neighborhoods will start to have a parking problem,” O’Connor said.

“I can support a two-hour parking restriction sometimes, but I especially don’t support the no parking restriction,” she said. “This zone just pushes the problem somewhere else.”

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“I am a prisoner in my home maybe eight months out of the year.” Jennifer Hornstock


“We understand the concerns of the homeowners, but for the four years we attend SaMo, it is like a home to us too.” Ben Walker



"This zone just pushes the problem somewhere else.” Pam O'Connor


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