The Long Beach City Council wants city staff to explore how to get more people to use their garages to park their cars in. Stock photo
You could call 2017 the year of parking. No, not because parking spots in downtown have magically appeared and you can now consistently park on the block you actually live on, but because the city council has taken a public stance to figure out how to remedy the growing problem of parking in impacted areas of Long Beach.
The steps have been creative—two apps launched this year that allow people to rent out their parking spaces to those in need—to more legislative, with the council exploring parking permits in certain zones, creating more one-way streets and increasing the number of diagonal parking spaces and even expanding the use of parking meters in busy residential sectors like Second Street.
Tuesday night, the council added to its list of possible solutions for parking impacted neighborhoods: getting people to park in their garages.
A motion requested by Councilwoman Suzie Price (Third District), Lena Gonzalez (First District) and Jeannine Pearce (Second District) asks the city manager’s office to compile a report on what the city currently does to ensure that garages are used for parking, and how those ordinances can be better enforced in parking impacted areas.
It is currently illegal to rent out a garage as a dwelling unless it meets certain codes set by the city.
It also calls for the city’s Development Services department to possibly begin streamlining the process in which a garage renovation permit can be acquired by those wishing to expand their garages to fit larger, modern cars.
“We have a lot of parking impacted neighborhoods and the goal is just to encourage and streamline the permitting process so that people who want to remodel their garages so modern cars can fit, some of these homes were built in the 20s and 30s, they can’t fit their cars in there,” Price said. “We want to make sure that we provide an environment that allows for that to happen and we want to support our neighborhood organizations that are working to provide community clean ups and things of that nature.”
Before a renovation can occur, many people might need to first clean out their garages. The item also calls for a feasibility report for possible city-sponsored community garage clean up days where the city would assist in large-scale trash disposal and hauling for items that may be taking up valuable parking space.
The item is expected to come back to the council within 90 days.