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Planning Commission Meeting

At the July 19 Planning Commission meeting, City of Carlsbad staff presented the city’s draft parking management plan, and members of the public were invited to comment. The plan is a road map for managing and maximizing parking in the Village, Barrio and beach areas.

If you missed the meeting, you can watch it on the city’s website or view the presentation.

Some of the topics raised at the meeting were:

  • Safety of pedestrians and cyclists 
  • Meeting the needs of persons with disabilities
  • Parking in-lieu parking fee amount 
  • Oversized vehicles parking concerns 
  • Shuttle or trolley service to make it easier and more convenient to get around the Village, Barrio and beach area without a car 
  • Parking structure and parking meters in Village
  • Ability to adapt the plan to accommodate future changes, such as autonomous vehicles and growth of rideshare programs 
  • Viability of shared parking to address parking needs

A parking structure and parking meters are not recommended by the draft parking management plan at this time. Parking demand is spread throughout the study area and would instead require a series of smaller parking structures to effectively meet the parking needs. Parking structures are also costly to build and can alter the character of their surroundings. 

What comes next?
There will be an opportunity for additional public review when the plan goes before the City Council on Aug. 22. Once input has been received from the community, Planning Commission and City Council, the plan will be revised as needed.

Findings from the parking management plan will be incorporated into the new draft of the Village and Barrio Master Plan that is currently underway. Separate public review, comment period and hearings will occur for the master plan beginning later this year. 

If a parking structure wasn’t recommended, what was?

To maximize the amount of parking available, the study suggests several short to long-term strategies, including the following:

  • Create more parking by converting some red curbs and "curb cuts" that aren't needed to parking spots. Where possible, parallel parking spaces can be converted to angled spaces to create more parking. 
  • Enhance enforcement of existing parking time limits, consider changing some time limits and add time limits to commercial areas to encourage "turnover" of parking spaces that improve access to businesses.
  • Encourage shared and leased parking arrangements by identifying underutilized private parking lots and partnering with the owners to make the parking lots available for public use during certain times of the day.
  • Use the parking in-lieu fee paid by developers to pay for shared or leased parking for public parking and improvements that reduce parking demand.
  • Make it easier to find parking through an app that shows where available spaces are located.
  • Encourage ride sharing with dedicated passenger pick-up/drop-off locations to reduce individual parking needs. 

The study recommends that the city collect and analyze parking data regularly to understand current demand for and utilization of parking and to make timely decisions about parking management.

How can I comment on the draft parking management plan?

Comments or questions about the plan may be provided by email to Associate Planner Pam Drew at pam.drew@carlsbadca.gov or 760-602-4644.

Copies of the draft parking management plan are available for public review at the city's libraries, City Hall, Senior Center and Faraday Center. The draft plan and supporting research documents can also be reviewed on the city's website.

Is the parking management plan taking into account how parking meets the needs of disabled persons in the community?

We appreciate the feedback we’ve received thus far on this topic and plan to more thoroughly address this in the next draft of the plan. 

Why do you allow developers to pay a parking in-lieu fee instead of constructing parking spaces?

The parking in-lieu fee allows developers to pay toward the development and maintenance of shared public parking facilities rather than providing some or all of their parking on premises, subject to city approval. This promotes recycling of parking spaces among many customers throughout the day, rather than devoting spaces to a single business. The character of the Village lends itself to this practice, as visitors can park their vehicle and then walk throughout the Village, and when they leave a new customer uses the space. The draft parking management plan provides recommended changes to the parking in-lieu fee beginning on page 86.

How has the city used the funds collected through the in-lieu parking program?

The city has acquired parking spaces in the Village through the program, most notably the 50-space parking lot along State Street south of Carlsbad Village Drive. 

Where can I find public parking in the Village?
Besides on-street parking located throughout the city’s downtown, check out this map for some ideas.

Is the study forward-looking, rather than just considering the Village and Barrio as they are today?

The study factors in land uses and potential development to project parking needs for future decades. Data supporting the city’s Housing Element and General Plan provide the basis for the potential development projections.

The data collected appear to show that more parking is available than there actually is when I’m looking for a parking space. Why is that?

In collecting the data the surveyors counted all public and private parking spaces in the Village, Barrio and beach areas, except for private residences. The study accounts for the fact that private commercial spaces are not readily available to the public. The reason for counting them is to provide a complete inventory and understanding of parking resources. Counting private spaces also helps establish an opportunity for the city to work with private owners, such as banks and business offices, on a shared parking plan that could allow the public to access those spaces when those businesses are closed. See page 80 of the draft parking management plan to read more about shared parking.

The data also show that there are some “choke points” where parking is in especially high demand, such as at the Village Faire and in some areas close to the beach.  

Still have questions?