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Redwood City considers charging residents fee to park on street

in Community/Featured/Headline

Redwood City is considering charging residents of neighborhoods where parking is hardest to find an annual fee in order to park in their area.

The proposal to establish a residential parking permit fee in high-demand areas was discussed at last week’s City Council meeting. The city recommends keeping the existing allowance of three permits per household in designated areas, but charging $60 per permit for the first two permits in the first year, $130 for the third, with annual renewals costing half the amount of the initial price. The proposal establishes a cost for visitor permits at $25 for 14 days and $4 for one day.

Currently, the city does not charge a fee as part of its Residential Permit Parking Program. The program was established 30 years ago near Sequoia High and Sequoia Hospital to discourage longterm parking by non-residents. Three years ago, parking scarcity led to an expansion of the program to areas near the south end of Broadway in Friendly Acres and near downtown in Stambaugh/Heller.

A continued lack of parking availability has prompted calls to expand the city’s residential permit parking program, according to city staff.

The proposed fees would only cover the cost of program’s administration, not the cost of its enforcement, according to city staff, which noted that the Redwood City Police Department was in the process of hiring two new parking enforcement officers for the program.

On Monday, Sept. 9, City Council approved amendments to the parking program, but did not decide whether to impose a fee. City staff is set to conduct public outreach in the coming months on how to amend the permit program, including whether to impose permit fees, before bringing the proposals back to council before the end of the year.

The fee proposal received mixed reviews during public comment and the Council discussion.

While residents say the Residential Permit Parking Program works, some opposed the concept of being charged to park in front of their homes.

Councilmembers expressed discomfort over the fee proposal, particularly Mayor Ian Bain.

“I have a philosophical problem with charging people to park on public streets, which, arguably, we are also already paying for with our taxes,” Bain said.

Bain and other councilmembers expressed concern over imposing yet another charge on residents struggling to afford staying in Redwood City, where the high demand for housing has increased residential costs.

Councilmember Janet Borgens, who lives in a residential permit area, said she’s more in support of increasing parking citation costs than imposing a fee.

“I do have concern because just the cost of hanging on in this community, to be able to stay here and live her and pay PG&E, rent and DMV fees that have increased, it’s expensive,” she said.

Councilmembers floated the idea of providing the first two of three permits alotted to households for free, and charging for the third. Another idea was to charge for permits on a sliding scale based upon income.

The parking problem in Redwood City is not going away, however, and the city will need to balance an expanding program with the need to fund it, Councilmember Diane Howard said.

13 Comments

  1. The problem is inconsistent enforcement. Since the permits were implemented in January for the Friendly Acres area, only three or four cars have been cited, which has been enough to get many people to move their cars in the evening, but if there were random, monthly inspections on one or two streets it would reinforce the idea. Officers would have to identify undermined cars parked on the street between 7 and 9 or 2 and 3 and then return after two hours to see if they have been moved but knowing it was going to happen without warning would ensure compliance.

  2. We can do what Berkeley does, provide a sticker to local residents who live in the neighborhood… charge a small fee to apply for the sticker and confirm your residence via DMV records… will need to apply annually or whatever is decided upon… all folks without parking sticker need to pay for daily pkg

  3. As a resident across from Sequia Hospital I do not believe we have a parking problem. We had a parking problem prior to the construction of the Sequoia parking structure. Employees and hospital visitors were parking on our street making it difficult for residents. The Council failed to notify residents in a timely manner in order for us to give the Council information before deciding to add another tax .
    If you are going to charge outrageous fees for permits to park in front of our homes you should require parking permits for every residential area.

  4. This sounds about as ludicrous as letting Milagros have our downtown library parking lot be used as their private valet parking for awhile. I bristled every time I rode past that lot in the evenings –I do not know how it came to an end, but hopefully because others were as incensed about that as I was! I cannot believe that our little RWC is that money hungry that the Council has lost all sense of decency. I no longer go anywhere near our downtown library because the parking lot has been taken over and charges resident patrons to pay for parking. We residents OWN that parking lot, and we have paid for it over and over and over again through the years of owning our homes here and continuing to pay our taxes as dutiful citizens, and this is the thanks we get! How about that two-year utility tax we have been paying for between 30 and 40 years? Is the City that dysfunctional that they have to throw so many fees on the people living here and then continuing to ask for more and more and more? Look –our little RWC is not NYC, and it never will be, and most of us have been gobsmacked by this ridiculous getting rid of our downtown, and now it is just for eating and sleeping! Great!

    • I avoid downtown RWC like the plague.
      Over crowded ,no parking,streets closed for construction and a street layout that’s a joke.
      Quit frigging building all ready!

  5. This is local govt at its worst. I pay 20k a year in local TAXES and now you want to charge me more!!!!! I have a novel idea. Get to know your neighbors , and remember the street in front of your house is not yours. If its full , park in your own driveway or garage. If you dont have a dedicated spot thats on you! Start walking.

  6. Try parking in North Fair Oaks/Dumbarton Oaks area. Not one single garage around here is used for PARKING. People are now parking on corners and the Planned Parenthood parking lit is FULL at night.

    Now we are getting a new 30+ apartment building where Enterprise Rent A Car used to be. Will the County (we are in county, not Redwood City, and we have NO REPRESENTATION in this stupid city!) purchase the old Eco Clean car wash site for use as a parking lot?

    AND a block away, a 300+ unit Senior housing is going in across from the hot, hot, hot Selby’s restaurant with all the cars going THERE.

    WE ARE MAXXED OUT!

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