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San Diego Parking Reform Wins the Day With the California Coastal Commission

The California Coastal Commission could have overturned part of San Diego's ambitious parking reform policy approved earlier this year, and would have if commission staff had won their arguments.
October 21, 2019, 9am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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"[On October 16,2019] the California Coastal Commission rejected a staff recommendation to exempt a slice of the Pacific Beach area from San Diego’s new zero-minimum parking policy," reports Melanie Curry.

In March 2019, the city of San Diego approved parking reform that undundled the cost of parking from rent or purchase prices, removes parking minimums, sets parking maximums for new apartment and condominium developments in neighborhoods proximate to transit service.

The California Coastal Commission had a say on the policy because of a state preemption for development approvals in the state's coastal areas enabled by the California Coastal Act.

"The staff recommendations followed tired familiar cliches about parking," according to Curry. "Less parking will reduce beach access, they said, claiming that 'public access concerns call for more parking than is typical in the rest of the city.'"

Curry credits Alyssa Muto, deputy planning director for the City of San Diego, with "gently and thoroughly" building the case in response to the Coastal Commission staff. For instance, the parking policy "was a key part of the city’s climate action plan, based on a report that found parking reform is one of the most effective ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, auto trips, and traffic congestion [PDF]."

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Published on Thursday, October 17, 2019 in Streetsblog California
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