Dissenting D’Amico: Time to Curb Parking Rates Hikes

John D'Amico
CouncilmemberJohn D’Amico has sounded off against increasing parking fees.

It’s time to kick rising parking fees to the curb, says Councilmember John D’Amico. In an email newsletter distributed on Monday, D’Amico vented his disagreement with the council’s vote last week to increase the cost of residential parking permits.

In the email, D’Amico also sounded off on other rising parking-related costs.

“I disagree with my colleagues and the city staff about the need to continually increase meter hours, increase hourly rates at meters and in the city lots, increase parking ticket costs and increase the cost for residential parking permits,” D’Amico wrote.

“My colleagues continue to vote to increase these fees and I believe that the residents are being ‘nickled and dimed’ and that we don’t like it. I know I don’t like it. I do not believe this is an appropriate way for a city to treat the residents just so that the city can add more and more money to its already overflowing coffers.”

The council voted to increase fees for annual parking permits by 16 percent for one car and by 20 percent for a second car; that will make rates $22 and $30, respectively. The cost of guest parking permits and commercial parking permits will also increase.

D’Amico proposed offering each city resident one free residential parking permit.

“We’ve raised $1 million from parking meters, and we’ve raised the parking fines, and we’ve raised the parking costs at the parking lots and we’ve raised the parking hours, including Sundays,” he said during the June 3 council meeting. “And it just seems to me that we have nickel and dimed our own residents, and it’s a little abusive.”

Councilmember Jeffrey Prang voiced concerns about the loss of revenue affecting city programs but said he understood residents’ frustration with parking and the need for relief.

“With 40,000 people shoehorned into 1.9 square miles and virtually every neighborhood a permit parking district and all the different ways that people feel tormented by parking in this town, I’m certainly sympathetic,” Prang said.

Prang suggested city staff members be asked to explore alternatives and that the issue be raised for further discussion in the summer. Mayor Abbe Land echoed concerns about revenue loss while John Heilman said that the city’s permit fees are relatively small and that the funds collected through the program are less than the cost of its administration. He argued that all residents’ taxes pay for the streets while only residents can park there, and he said he didn’t think the fee was onerous.

The permit fee increase comes on the heels of an April vote to extend the hours that the city’s parking meters are enforced along Santa Monica Boulevard; D’Amico cast the sole dissenting vote.

Various parking-related charges, including parking meter fees, parking permits and parking tickets, account for 18 percent of the city’s revenue. Read more about parking fees and the city’s $72 million budget for fiscal year 2013-2014 online.

Parking rates at city-owned decks and lots vary. To see a breakdown of these, click here.


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3758092
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3758092

I agree with Marco Colantonio’s last comment. Everyone who doesn’t have a job should be given as much free parking as they want in West Hollywood. Everyone in West Hollywood who earns a living should have their parking fees increased annually until they move out of the city and commute long distances to work and play. That way, the city can charge them exorbitant fees to park if they are ever rude enough to come back here and take up some unemployed people’s prime free parking. After all, why live in the city if it means you’re close to where… Read more »

90069
Guest
90069

I’m not sure why the City of Beverly Hills can offer validated parking on nearly all of its major streets yet West Hollywood tries to nickle-and-dime everyone. We should be a lot more welcoming…

keaswaran
Guest

Why are the parking permits even sold at a constant price? Doesn’t the city know how many spaces there are? They should just have that many permits, and sell them at the price the market will bear. Or give one to each resident (if there are that many spaces) and let them sell to others if they don’t want to park a car in the city – it gives less well-off people that don’t need a car an extra way to get some cash, and it means that rich people who feel like parking lots of cars will pay their… Read more »

Rudolf Martin
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Rudolf Martin

As some have pointed out with this issue, as with other issues like Plummer Park: One has to wonder why Mr. D’Amico worked so hard to help get guys re-elected who are making sure he remains a “Minority of One” on these issues. The only logical conclusions would be: A) he didn’t know where they’d stand on the issues (unlikely) B) he wanted to make sure there would be nobody else on the council who agreed with him on issues he cared about. (kinky) C) he is (to put it very kindly) “not passionate” about these issues. (likely) Regardless of… Read more »

Marco Colantonio
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Marco Colantonio

Weho Weho, I am suggesting that our disabled, seniors, lower income, students, workers and others in need be offered discounted or free permits. I am thinking of the “have-nots” and not those who have and have more. So no, I would not subsidize your move to Bel Air. When Council approved parking meters till midnight, we were promised a proposal to provide safer transportation for restaurant and bar employees and months have passed with no plan. The Council also talked about an entertainment shuttle, but still nothing more than delays and revisions. Tens of thousands of dollars are wasted annually… Read more »

wehocares
Guest
wehocares

Don, unfortunately, actions speak louder than words. Councilmember D’Amico disagrees with his colleagues on these important city policies, yet these are the same colleagues he endorsed and strongly supported in the last election. It’s business as usual in Weho. His one lonely vote is meaningless.

Don Jones
Guest
Don Jones

Finally D’Amico is talking about what he promised when he ran for election–new ideas and resident-friendly policies

Rudolf Martin
Guest
Rudolf Martin

As usual John Heilman wins the price for most disingenuous and misleading comment:

The “funds collected” being smaller than “the cost of administration” ostensibly refers to the residential permit program and is true only if applying the city’s remarkably creative accounting technique in which citations are not factored in. In reality the program is hugely profitable for both the city and the contractors involved in administration and enforcement.

Marco Colantonio
Guest
Marco Colantonio

I respect the dissenting opinion for the sake of dissent, but honestly this altruism is no more than a token gesture. Although it attracts attention and garners publicity, it does not impact costs or address the real parking issues in the city. I am sorry to rain on the dissenter parade, but this just seems like grandstanding. Current permit fees are $19.00 for one and $44.00 for two, annually. If you can afford to live in Weho, an extra $5.00 a year for a parking permit is not big deal. Offering everyone a free permit is a nice gesture but… Read more »

weho weho
Guest
weho weho

Marco, are you suggesting people in million dollar condos should pay more for parking permits than the impoverished living in weho? Whatever happened to the idea of living where one can afford to live? I can afford to live in weho, but I really want to live in Bel Air. Will you help subsidize my living in Bel Air for me?

Al Strasburg
Guest
Al Strasburg

The condescending tone of councilmembers who think they know what we want and what’s best for us is getting really tired. Term limits are great. but it’s time to shorten those limits through the democratic process for this increasingly out-of-touch, imperious bunch. It’d be interesting to see how many of the publicly owned parking spaces have been taken out of circulation to support valet parking. One can’t even go for a quick frozen yogurt without the obscenity that is valet parking.

Rocco Camarillo
Guest
Rocco Camarillo

It is time the City of West Hollywood, among other neighboring cities start working together on a plan for mass transit along the Santa Monica Blvd. corridor. Lowering the parking for the area is not going to resolve anything especially when the area continues to get more visitors and more residents. This area is one the most dense area in west L.A. The city has the money to start a transit project but would rather use it to plant flowers. Only solution is to re-use the middle median of the blvd. to try to extend a trolly or train service… Read more »

Ali
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Ali

I agree with all of the above.