WeHo Council Approves Extended Meter Hours

West Hollywood parking
Parking meter extended hours.

The West Hollywood City Council voted Monday night to extend parking meter hours throughout the city, despite objections to the plan from employees of local businesses. The council also set aside $1 million, the total amount of money to be generated from those extended hours, to hire additional sheriff’s deputies and private security officers to patrol the streets and provide security for employees of late-night businesses who will have to park farther from work because of the extension.

The proposal, meant to generate more business for shops, bars and restaurants that stay open late by encouraging parking turnover, was approved on a 4-1 vote with Councilmember John D’Amico voting against it. The major point of contention was the argument by employees of those late-night local businesses who say they depend on the free street parking. They argue the alternatives are inconvenient, if not unsafe.

City Council members supporting the extension believe people intending to park several hours will use parking decks and private lots, leaving street parking to those intending to make only a short stop.

“This is a way to manage our scarce parking resources,” said Councilmember John Heilman. Mayor Jeffrey Prang said the plan would create “equity for parkers” rather than reward the lucky few who find street parking after the metered parking is not enforced. The extension also will reduce traffic in residential areas, he said, because cars won’t circle the block looking for free meters.

Starting in July, those parking on Santa Monica Boulevard from Doheny Drive to La Cienega Boulevard will be required to pay the meter until midnight. From La Cienega to Fairfax Avenue, meters fees will be charged until 10 p.m. and from Fairfax Avenue to La Brea until 8 p.m. (there are some exceptions, see accompanying map). The cost per hour at WeHo meters is $1.50.

In addition, parking fees will be charged at meters across the city on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Parking at metered spaces on Sundays now is free.

Parking fees will continue to be charged until 2 a.m. at meters on Sunset Boulevard, a rule that went into effect in 2001.

City Public Works Director Oscar Delgado said the city is negotiating with Pavilions grocery store to use its rooftop parking deck for employees of late-night businesses, many of whom park at metered spaces just before enforcement ends at 6 p.m. and stay until their shifts end. He said the city also hoped to negotiate a deal to use the Pacific Design Center’s parking decks. The city will provide $30 evening parking passes for late-night employees to use at designated meters on side streets that aren’t as heavily trafficked.

Some late-night employees said those alternatives won’t make up for the loss of free parking next to their work places. Sam Borelli, a local resident and former candidate for the council, argued that employees at venues such as Micky’s and Gym Sports Bar, both bars in Boystown, would have a longer early morning walk to their cars, which could be unsafe.

Mary Ann McClintock, general manager of Micky’s, questioned the need for vehicle turnover at metered spaces. She said bar owners want customers to spend the entire evening in Boystown. Extending meter hours would, she said, encourage them to leave quickly.

McClintock also questioned the need for additional security, saying the West Hollywood sheriff’s station is “right there for us,” across the street from the Boystown entertainment district.

Half of the estimated $1 million additional parking meter revenue will go to the sheriff’s department while the rest goes to private security stationed around the city.

Resident Larry Block, owner of the Block Party, a clothing store in Boystown, bemoaned the loss of free parking on Sundays.

Genevieve Morrill, president of the West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, said although that although the chamber has some concerns, it supports the extension because it creates turnover on meters.

“It’s not perfect, but it’s a start,” said Morrill.

Councilmember John D’Amico cast the lone dissenting vote. He said the hourly rate in the city-owned parking decks needs to match the hourly rate at the meters, otherwise people would still end up driving around looking for meters first.

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ericm2031
ericm2031
7 years ago

Sounds like it’s going to force customers away once the meter runs out. Doesn’t generate any additional money since it’s just going into enforcing them. And it’s going to cause some club/bar patrons to drive drunk in order to move their cars after the meters run out.

Kevin
Kevin
7 years ago

Horrible idea! Only perpetuates the fact that the powers that be in the Weho Council are money hungry and could give a crap about the visitors much less the residents in the already over-priced neighborhood. I am a resident and have friends who won’t visit the area because parking is such an issue. I hate to think what the price of a resident parking pass is going to go up to. The ceiling of price gouging in Weho has been reached people. Think about that Weho Council.

Shawn Thompson
Shawn Thompson
7 years ago

And lets not forget the mastermind of the whole parking meter madness shake down WEHO City Hall Director Of Public Works Oscar Delgado who takes home a nice $201,258 a year paycheck. Oscar Delgado before working for the city worked for AMPCO parking. Isn’t that a conflict of interest? http://www.weho.org/index.aspx?page=602

Shawn Thompson
Shawn Thompson
7 years ago

@Marco if we follow the BS logic of the cars need to move more than why didn’t the city just change the total amount of hours a car could be in a space?

marco colantonio
marco colantonio
7 years ago

Parking is a commodity and needs to be managed; supply and demand is reality of life and nightlife. We are a small city with limited parking so it is equitable, fair and necessary to regulate usage with a reasonable fee. On busy nights, isn’t there a cover charge at Micky’s? When your neighbor monopolizes the washer and dryer in your apartment complex, you feel they are being selfish and inconsiderate, but at least the machines stop and you can remove their clothes after a little while. Why is parking any different? The city is opening up space, plain and simple.… Read more »

jax
jax
7 years ago

taking away free meter parking on sundays is wrong.

the city is more intertested in the fines it collects from
expired parking meters than the quarters to park.

Larry Block
Larry Block
7 years ago

The business in West Hollywood have been working with the Chamber to create a BID (business improvement district) and one of the incentives were increased security. We have been unable to get the 50% needed to launch. The costs of doing business in Boystown is crazy rents. So many businesses turn over. If part of this ‘meter money’ went to subsidize the BID then we could get over the 50% and take care of our own added security. We can add our own trolley. D’amico said it well, it doesnt change the parking paradigm… meters are still cheaper then the… Read more »

Larry Block
Larry Block
7 years ago

The business in West Hollywood have been working with the Chamber to create a BID (business improvement district) and one of the incentives were increased security. We have been unable to get the 50% needed to launch. The costs of doing business in Boystown is crazy rents. So many businesses turn over. If part of this ‘meter money’ went to subsidize the BID then we could get over the 50% and take care of our own added security. We can add our own trolley. D’amico said it well, it doesnt change the parking paradigm… meters are still cheaper then the… Read more »

Mark in Weho
Mark in Weho
7 years ago

This is Absolutly absurd! I’ve been in Weho for years and a lot of those free metered spaces are a must for all of the tax paying residents of west Hollywood to park over night or to have a guest stop by when you can’t find parking in your own district where you live. Many residents don’t even have off street parking!!. It is a headache enought to have to get up early in the morning and feed the meter or move your car but now it’s like you’re encroaching on the freedoms of all of the locals to live… Read more »

Gene in L.A.
Gene in L.A.
7 years ago

Isn’t it about time for term-limits on the City Council? John Heilman is owed a debt for helping to found the city, but he has been on the council continuously ever since. The city becomes ever more unfriendly to non-dwellers. This new one just about tears it.

Melrose
Melrose
7 years ago

Ugh, use that extra generated money on REPAVING ROADS!

I’m not sure the process/department/red tape one has to go through to repave roads, but driving on many WeHo roads is like driving on the surface of the moon!

Dan
Dan
7 years ago

Ugh. One more reason not to visit West Hollywood. Well, really the only reason that I don’t visit WeHo is because of the horrible parking. Sorry merchants, I’d love to support your businesses, but I can’t get past the lack of convenient parking. Why aren’t there more parking structures? Especially in an area that’s not served by the subway.