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08/10/1982City Council Minutes Tuesday, August 10, 1982 - 7:00 p.m. Page 2 year they had submitted a project totaling $7 Businessmen and Property Owners felt this was went back to the drawing board. They reduced floor, they increased the assessment district the original amenities. They have since come cost of $4.2 million. .5 million. The Downtown too expensive and they the structure by one area and cut out many of up with a proposal at a John French, member of CPAC, read the report submitted by CPAC dated May 1, 1982 (see file No. 554). This is a three page document which outlines their proposal. Ken Porche again emphasized that CPAC's proposal should be supported by the Council as it would provide these additional public parking spaces which would help to increase the vitality of the downtown. Don Patrick, speaking for the B.I.A. and Jack Whitehouse, who was on vacation, explained that the B.I.A. had been formed in 1975 for the primary purpose of creating more parking. The B.I.A.'s board approved the CPAC proposal on a 8 -2 vote with one abstention. He cautioned the Council that there were still many questions that needed to be answered and he reviewed a recent questionnaire that was sent out to B.I.A. members asking for their input and support. The survey has shown that there was an affirmative response of 86.5% or 51 for the proposal and 13.5% against (8 against). At this morning's B.I.A. meeting there was a unanimous vote that the B.I.A. would contact and try to get 100% response from this questionnaire. Doug Warschauer, owner of Etc., felt that the parking problem was severe, Councilman.Dunin questioned if she was representing the majority of the B.I.A. Board in view of the fact that the only formal vote that has been taken by the B.I.A. Board was an 8 -2 with one abstention supporting the project. Kathy Silva responded that she was representing the majority of the Board. and he would like to alleviate it; however,he was extremely cautious as to how this should be approached. He did not feel that the brochure was a good indication. He felt both the B.I.A. and the Chamber of Commerce have been operating in a vacuum. He was opposed to the present CPAC proposal as many alternatives had not yet been tried. He would like to see stronger enforcement of current parking requirements in the downtown ' and if the City is going to share in the financing,there should be a public referendum. Kathy Silva, 3584 E1 Cerrito Court, owner of Caballero Western Wear and B.I.A. Chairperson, spoke to the growing tide of opposition to the CPAC proposal which was no longer a minority. She explained they were not anti - parking but she felt an obligation to express these feelings of her constituents. Before the Council makes a decision on the proposed CPAC project, she asks that the following questions and suggestions be addressed in a written report at a future Council hearing: 1) Has CPAC prepared a written report.that studies alternatives to their main proposal? This report should include but not be limited to a) rideshar- ing; lot re- striping; employee rewards for parking elsewhere; shuttle system; a lease /purchase of small local lots as they become available; putting structure on the northwest corner of Morro and Palm or across Palm Street from City Hall; and, pay as you go parking solution vs. a financed project. 2) Has CPAC prepared a report on: a) comparable structure costs in other cities of our size; b) what are monthly vacancy rates in other comparable size structures; c) crime statistics for other comparable sized city structures. 3) How is financing on this project to be handled? Why aren't finance costs added to cost of the project in the CPAC /Parking Committee brochure? How can the current Council guarantee assessment costs? 4) Wilbur Smith's study states that people do not like to walk more than one and a half blocks from where they parked. Wouldn't more small lots scattered around downtown provide ' easier parking and provide better access to more stores downtown? This would also allow to pay for parking as developed. Councilman.Dunin questioned if she was representing the majority of the B.I.A. Board in view of the fact that the only formal vote that has been taken by the B.I.A. Board was an 8 -2 with one abstention supporting the project. Kathy Silva responded that she was representing the majority of the Board. City Council Minutes Tuesday, August 10, 1982 - 7:00 p.m. Page 3 Russ Johnson spoke in opposition of the plan. He felt that this would be benefitting a few businessmen and that they should be supporting themselves by paying for their own parking as he has himself. The City has already spent too much money up to this time. It should be put to the vote of the people as to whether or not they wish it. This could be done through placing an ad in the newspaper. He felt the city was looking at $40,000 per space. This is not running government like a business the way it should be. Dave Garth, Executive Manager for the Chamber of Commerce,.stated that the Chamber was in support of the CPAC proposal. This is representative of about 900 members. Only 200 of those members are located in the downtown area. He questioned the following: 1) is the project neces- sary; 2) can it be afforded. A survey was conducted of 800 shoppers and the results showed that the number one reason people would not shop in the downtown area was "Parking ". In the last ten years it has led to a 10% drop in retail trade and unless the parking problems were resolved the City would be in trouble and no longer "economically viable ". He posed the question, "Is the project reasonable ? ". He felt it was. It would help to solve a part of the problem. The businesses downtown should be paying a portion as well as the community as it is important to them as well. He listed three criteria: 1) parking be near the deficiency area; 2) cross sharing between the City, users and property owners; and 3) downtown merchants also pay. He felt it would be equit- able, the assessment district is fair, and -let this dovetail with the ridesharing, restriping and other suggestions and alternatives that had been made. He felt it was affordable. As to the question of having small lots in the downtown, he could not support it as it would not encourage pedestrian use. Frank Canaan stated the City will never be able to catch up with the parking problem at this point. He would rather see parking put on existing City lots instead of turning out existing businesses and turning them into parking structures. Ron Bearce submitted an alternative proposal. He agreed a parking problem existed and agreed the downtown workers in the core area were the problem. Further, 70% or more of the garage would be used by workers. The present plan calls for $1.4 million for the garage and $1 million for the lot to buy property and relocate tenants. This equals to $2.5 million out of total cost. He would prefer to see the City place a parking structure on the City owned lot across from City Hall. Businesses should not be assessed for the surface lot on Marsh Street either. The 60 existing spaces would be lost with a net gain of 40 spaces. He would prefer the Council look towards more emphasis on non - structural alternatives, ridesharing, bicycles, mopeds, buses, etc. and eliminating assessments and parking meters. Don Ross, resident living outside the City limits, submitted a proposal that would provide 384 new parking spaces via reserving 40% of the spaces for compact cars. Restriping and moving parking meters would represent a reduction in the proposal of $652,000. In addition to looking at compact car restriping, he suggested restriping for motor- cycles spaces, shuttle services and some of the other alternatives that were submitted. Reed Rosh, 220 California Blvd. and an employee of Mission Upholstery, spoke on behalf of the workers in these businesses earmarked for removal. He was concerned that the City did not displace them, they were serving the downtown people, but suggested Marsh Street parking lot should be a multi -level structure. He also questioned how the City was going to handle the relocation of both the businesses and the employees. The CPAC proposal would eliminate three downtown existing businesses. - Will Bearce, 804 Patricia Court, agreed that other alternatives were available. Raising the meters has freed up a lot of the spaces, the marking of tires was also important. Too many people were parking all day in the downtown area. He suggested using a similar alternative such as the City of Davis had adopted which encourages the workers to park City Council Minutes Tuesday, August 10, 1982 - 7:00 p.m. Page 4 out of downtown. He reminded the Council that 75% of the workers park downtown. The City should not be subsidizing the downtown businesses, especially if the City does not subsidize other shopping areas like Madonna Plaza or the University Plaza. The government should let the businesses stand on their own two feet. He would urge the Council to look to other alternatives. Leon Dyer, 659 Higuera and a merchant in the downtown area, was concerned ' with how the CPAC plan was to be implemented. He was concerned that if the City was to proceed with this proposal, the land owners in the downtown area would have an opportunity to vote on the proposal as well. Cliff Holser, 848 Monterey Street, spoke in support of the CPAC proposal. He felt it was crucial that the downtown remain vital and this would be a way to do it. He felt the assessment of $32 a month for parking was a real bargain for the downtown merchants, especially when you compare it to the Santa Maria mall. Penny Rappa urged the Council to seek other alternatives. She was concerned as to how the structure would be paid for and whether or not a guarantee could be included if the decision made by this Council would be binding by Councils years later. She disagreed that the parking was the real problem. She did not feel that spending all this money would be really economical or vital for downtown. Albert Gazin, 898 Center Street and member of CPAC, refuted the state- ment that the CPAC meetings were not well publicized. He questioned if the desire was that the user.be the primary payee. He did not under- stand the B.I.A.'s comments and their official vote and now their change in support. Regarding the Marsh Street structure, he felt that if the parking structure is the agreed upon concept, then Marsh Street would lend itself to a multi -level parking lot. He disagreed with the concept of simply restriping for compact spaces. He felt that without proper enforcement this would never work. Ken Schwartz, 201 Buena Vista, stated that the parking problem today was the same that it was 21 years ago. The debate was, and still is, employee parking downtown, restriping, marking tires, etc. The City has tried to cooperate with the merchant groups. The fact that the downtown is vital is a result of the City and downtown working together. He felt it important that the Prop 13 tax situation be explained fully. He felt that the City had to take advantage of the sales tax base. This is a simple economic problem. All the alternatives that were raised are good ones but the retail square footage area is what's important. The downtown must accommodate more retail. The need for the parking struc- ture should be urged and must be resolved quickly in order to keep the downtown vital. Alex , 979 Osos Street, was also concerned with the future of the downtown. He felt the shoppers went to the downtown because of its character and convenience. He felt it important to keep the downtown intensely developed. "If you don't, it'll die." He agreed that ride - sharing, buses, etc. would help but it would not eliminate the problem. He has studied the problem and agrees with the CPAC proposal. Small lots would be inefficient. He was confident.that the parking structure would be aesthetically pleasing. He felt the CPAC assessment-in lieu fees was a sleeper. Private parking schemes would have to be encouraged. Roy Hanff cautioned the.Council not to pay more.for a parking structure than they need to: 9:05 p.m. Mayor Billig declared a recess. At 9:25 p.m. City Council reconvened, all Councilmembers present. John Ottoson, downtown business owner, questioned if the parking plan would be helping customers or simply making it.more convenient for employees to park in the downtown. He would also like to see additional alternatives looked into. City Council Minutes Tuesday, August 10, 1982 - 7:00 p.m. Page 5 Birdie Silva, 923 West Street and downtown merchant, did not feel there was any accord on the part of the CPAC proposal and the property owners. He did not feel CPAC members listened to other proposals. Mayor Billig declared the public hearing closed. Wayne Peterson, City Engineer, reviewed the site selections, some of the financing, the parking program development schedule which would take approximately 18 months if all went well, and reviewed the cost of land, construction and financing using a 100 -space parking lot at a cost of $1,325,000. The CPAC proposal using the following example would show property owners paying $150,000, the parking lot meters generating $27,000 and the remaining funds required $33,000. An annual debt to retire the .bonds would be at a cost of $210,000. (See file No. 554) Rudy Muravez, Finance Director, reviewed the financing of the proposal. He used a graph showing the Garage Option B, C, and the Marsh Street Surface Lot as well as the existing lots #3 & 11 (Palm Street) and the breakdown of the capital investment for land, construction, and the debt, the differences between those and how that related to a net annual cost per parking space: the Garage Option B would be $1,632 per space; Garage Option C $1,120; Marsh Street Surface Lot $1,941; the existing lots #3 & 11 $826. (See file No. 554.) Toby Ross, Community Development Director, explained that the City currently needed between 400 and 900 parking spaces. In 1977, the City --adopted a plan to promote infill of the downtown. The County has since decided that they would remain in the core area. The City has also committed to staying in.the downtown. The general.plan shows offices to be encouraged to stay in the downtown are on the periphery, intensifying the downtown. The most important issue is the question of comparison shopping: Retail in the downtown vs. Madonna Plaza. For five years, the City has maintained that until a parking program was approved the City would not support development in outlying centers. He warned the Council that this policy could not continue indefinitely. He did not feel that dispersed parking throughout the downtown would be the answer but rather parking should be concentrated. He cited the two most frequent alternatives were: 1) expanding the downtown to a lower density use, all new uses in the outlying areas providing their own parking; and 2) the most common method, promotion of the outlying centers. This would provide necessary generation of revenue but to the detriment of downtown. In 1978, the City adopted a policy that recog- nized the need for a long range parking program and that parking should, "be close to the use ". He again stated that to have a.vital downtown, needed parking must be provided. Councilman Griffin questioned if the CPAC proposal had also looked at some of these alternatives in combination, and if they were successful, the parking problem should be lessened. Wayne Peterson stated that these areas had been pursued, but you were looking at a "catch -up game" that is too far behind to ever be caught up at this point. Councilman Griffin, also questioned Wilbur Smith's reference to the "peak demand" use. Wayne Peterson explained that the study designed parking using the 30th highest day of the year rather than using the worst day of the year. You don't use Christmas or holidays. Upon question he stated that the Wilbur Smith study had addressed future parking deficiency demands through 1990. Councilman Settle stated he was most concerned with the financial analysis and agreed with the comments made by Community Development Director. He questioned to what extent the assessment district would be employed as only one portion of the proposal. 1 i 1 City Council Minutes Tuesday, August 10, 1982 - 7:00 p.m. Page 6 Councilman Dunin was concerned with the vitality of the downtown and stated that the sales tax was the main source of income to the City. If we only build the structure and abandon the surface parking, how would that affect the downtown economically? He questioned the use of the "enterprise approach" and how it affects the budgetary portion of the City's budget. Rudy Muravez stated that the City's initial cost would be lessened because it would be using the land which is already City owned. Councilman Dunin also questioned the use of compact spaces. Wayne Peterson explained that enforcement of compact car parking require- ments is difficult as everyone has their own definition of what is considered compact. Mayor Billig questioned the City's involvement insofar as providing relocation assistance. Anne Russell, Assistant City Attorney, explained that there are sche- dules the City would be required to follow to provide required reloca- tion assistance for downtown businesses. Mayor Billig explained that relocation was a major concern of the City. Upon question, Toby Ross explained the CC zoning requirements and the provisions that if a business downtown cannot provide the required parking, it could pay parking in -lieu fees.. The dollar amount generated from this has not been calculated. Referencing an earlier comment, he explained that the City of Davis has more bicycles per capita than anywhere else in the country but their downtown was only one /sixth the size, so he did not feel their parking problem was comparable to San Luis Obispo. Councilman Griffin thanked the B.I.A. and CPAC for their efforts-on the proposal and hoped that a community consensus could be reached. He felt that the real enemy was the automobile and over reliance on it. He would not intend this to imply that the automobile is not with us to stay, but that we should look to less and less reliance on the auto- mobile. It's important to keep the downtown vital. He felt the burden of proof needed to be increased that a parking structure would provide an equitable and reasonable approach. He would urge staff to take a hard look at the alternatives and get the information out to the public. Councilman Dunin stated present downtown is a result of cooperation between various previous Councils, downtown merchants and other inter- ested organizations. The project had been under discussion since at least 1976 and he was very perturbed that there was a rift being created among the downtown merchants and did not feel it was the City's responsi- bility to try to patch it. Part of the problem, he felt, was that there had been no parking requirements for a long time. The biggest benefactors were the downtown merchants but it was disturbing that there was no unity between those organizations. Although the City is very concerned with the downtown, which is vital to the community, the downtown merchants should recognize this as well. Councilman Settle agreed with the comments made by Ken Schwartz. He was ready to support the project and the proposed parking structure. The City has already made a large contribution by the use of its land and he would like the downtown to participate as well. He also agreed that other alternatives suggested, such as ridesharing, buses, car pooling, mopeds, bicycles, etc. were also important and should be incorporated. Councilwoman Dovey reminded the audience that somebody's going to have to pay to help alleviate this problem, whether it be the merchants, the City, the shoppers. The real problem was designing a parking solution at the lowest cost to be the most effective. She felt it was needed by City Council Minutes Tuesday, August 10, 1982 - 7:00 p.m. Page 7 all, the City as well as the downtown merchants and the shoppers. This will require the cooperation and participation of everyone. Mayor Billig felt it was important that the public understand that the entire well being of the community was dependent upon a vital downtown and it was the Council's job to anticipate the needs for the future. Leadership was extremely important and this is what this Council is charged with providing. The previous Councils, as well as the current Council, has maintained prudent financing and that's why the City is as vital as it is today. However, the sales tax is the primary source of income to the City and keeping the downtown vital will insure a stable sales tax revenue to the City. After brief discussion, and upon general consensus, to direct staff to review the additional alternatives and suggestions made this evening and report back with recommendations to Council at its meeting of Monday, August 30, 12:10 p.m. (5 -0) 11:20 p.m. Mayor Billig adjourned the meeting to closed session to discuss litigation matters. 12:01 a.m. City Council reconvened, all Councilmembers present. On motion of Councilman Griffin, seconded by Councilman Settle, the following resolution was introduced: Resolution No. 4931 (1982 Series), a resolution of the Council of the City of San Luis Obispo approving an agreement between the City and Wayne T. Hesselbarth and Wilma Fay Hesselbarth for purchase and sale at 692 Marsh Street and joint escrow instructions. Passed and adopted on the following roll call vote: AYES: Councilmembers Griffin, Settle, Dovey, Dunin and Mayor Billig NOES: None ABSENT: None 12:10 a.m. City Council adjourned to closed session to discuss personnel matters. 1:20 a.m. the City Council reconvened, all Councilmembers present. There being no further business to come before the City Council, Mayor Billig adjourned the meeting at 1:25 a.m. to Monday, August 23, 1982 at 12:10 p.m. Pamela Vog s, City Clerk APPROVED BY COUNCIL: 8/31/82 1