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Arreguín Amends Proposal for 72-Hour Parking in Residential Permit Zones

Berkeley City Councilman Jesse Arreguín has pulled back his proposal to exempt Residential Parking Permit holders from the 72-hour limit on parking in one spot. He's now asking the City Council to approve evaluation of other measures.

Berkeley City Councilman Jesse Arreguín is withdrawing his proposal to exempt permit holders in Residential Parking Permit (RPP) areas from the 72-hour limit on parking without moving a vehicle.

Instead, he said, he's submitting a revised proposal to the City Council Tuesday night to ask the city manager and Transportation Commission to explore new ways to notify permit holders when their vehicles are in danger of being towed for violating the 72-hour limit. City law forbids a vehicle from being parked on the street for more than 72 hours without being moved.

The agenda item originally submitted by Arreguín for the Tuesday night meeting asked the council to send the proposal to the city manager and Transportation Commission to draft an ordinance exempting permit-holders from the 72-hour rule.

(A Patch article published Oct. 11 erroneously reported that Arreguín's original proposal was to end the 72-hour limit in Residential Parking Permit areas. The exemption would have appled only to permit holders. The article has been corrected.) 

The revised agenda item, which is attached to this article, suggests that the city consider additional ways of contacting owners of vehicles that have exceeded the 72-hour parking limit.

"Currently, only a notice is posted on the windshield before enforcement, which may be not be received by residents who could be sick, out of town, or otherwise unavailable," Arreguín's revised item says. "Contact and coordination with a resident will ensure that an arrangement can be made to move the vehicle at the earliest opportunity to avoid a tow that largely profits a third party."

If the city moves forward with such an idea, it "may want to request additional contact information, such as work and alternative numbers, and email addresses," the item says. "Simply put, this referral seeks to find a balance between parking turnover while providing excellent customer service to our residents that are not the main target of towing under the 72 Hour Rule."

Alternative proof of permit area residency

Arreguín said he will also submit a revised version of second proposal on the council agenda regarding Residential Parking Permits. He is proposing to revise the permit eligibility rule, which currently requires that the vehicle be registered to the owner's address in the Residential Parking zone.

The current requirement can impose a hardship on students whose cars may be registered to their family's out-of-town home address, according to Arreguín.

Arreguín's revised item is basically the same as his original item, which is to allow for alternative ways to prove residency in the permit zone and thus obtain a permit. The revised version adds language offering suggested ways to ensure that a change in the eligibility rules are adequately enforced.

"The fairness of granting permits to students is not disputed," the added language says in part. "However, there are legitimate concerns that changing vehicle registration requirements may open the door to nonresidents fraudulently obtaining permits, further impacting our overburdened neighborhood parking. Consideration of any change to the vehicle registration requirements must be sensitive to this concern and will not be adopted unless regulations and procedures can be developed to satisfactorily ensure only residents and their vehicles are receiving entitled permits."

In an email, Arreguín provided the following statement about the changes in his proposals:

My intention is refer the issues for evaluation only so we can explore possible reforms that ensure we are fair to residents while keeping protections to discourages nonresident parking impacts and to prevent fraud and misuse. I recognize and share the same concerns regarding parking turnover in our over-parked neighborhoods and that’s why I plan on submitting clarifying amendments at City Council . It is my intention to keep the 72 hour rule but to explore alternatives to the simple tag and tow of RPP cars. I also plan on prescribing rigorous verification standards to prevent fraudulent RPP applications. If our staff and commissions determine that we cannot find a balance that doesn’t negatively impact our neighborhoods, then I will not support those changes to our parking program.

Proposed new rule for parking on border streets between adjacent Residential Parking Permit areas

Another Residential Parking Permit area item on the agenda, from Berkeley Public Works Director Andrew Clough, recommends that residents of adjacent Residential Parking Permit areas be allowed to park on both sides of border streets between neighboring permit areas. The law currently provides that permit holders in one area can use the permit to park only on their area's side of a bordering street, except in a few special cases.

The agenda item on Clough's recommended change includes a public hearing followed by a possible discussion and vote by the council.

Arreguín's two proposals are on the council's "consent calendar," part of the agenda where non-controversial items are grouped together and collectively voted on in one vote, generally without council discussion. Before the vote, a council member can ask that a consent calendar item be removed from the group vote to be discussed and voted on separately.

The council meets at 7 p.m. in the council chambers at 2134 Martin Luther King Jr. Way.

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Proposed new rule for parking on border streets between adjacent Residential Parking Permit areas

Another related item on the agenda comes from Berkeley Public Works Director Andrew Clough, recommending that residents of adjacent Residential Parking Permit areas be allowed to park on both sides of border streets between neighboring permit areas. The law currently provides that permit holders in one area can use the permit to park only on their area's side of a bordering street, except in a few special cases.

The agenda item on Clough's recommended change includes a public hearing followed by a possible discussion and vote by the council.

Arreguín's two proposals are on the council's "consent calendar," part of the agenda where non-controversial items are grouped together and collectively voted on in one vote, generally without council discussion. Before the vote, a council member can ask that a consent calendar item be removed from the group vote to be discussed and voted on separately.

The council meets at 7 p.m. in the council chambers at 2134 Martin Luther King Jr. Way.


Yuki October 16, 2012 at 04:44 AM
Okay rewrite this all you want Jesse, its still a bad idea all around . We don't (a) need any more cars in Berkeley especially loner cars from parents (b) need to remind RPP permit holders that are lazy and or irresponsible to move their cars after 3 days (c) need tons of additional bureaucracy and needless paper wasted to amend laws that function perfectly . Furthermore by not allowing residents to weigh in on these " changes " by placing said items in the " Consent Calendar" is a poor avoidance tactic.
Anthony Sanchez October 16, 2012 at 05:38 PM
The items will be pulled off consent. Additionally, as referrals, they go through a public process at the commission level as it is considered and possibly developed before it would come back again to Council.

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