Beverly Hills Two Hours of Free Parking Initiative, Measure 2P (March 2011)
Measure 2P makes two hour free parking mandatory at most of the non-metered parking lots in the city that are owned by the City of Beverly Hills. (The FPI will not impose this requirement on privately-owned parking lots in the city.) Beverly Hills owns 13 non-metered parking lots.
The parking lots of Beverly Hills
- The City of Beverly Hills owns 18 parking lots/structures.
- The City already provides free two-hour parking in six of its 18 parking structures.
- Measure 2P would add two-hour free parking at 5 additional structures. This would bring the total number of Beverly Hills free two-hour parking garages to 11 out of 18.
- There are five "pay" parking lots on Little Santa Monica Boulevard.
- Three lots built after June 30, 2008 charge a fee.
- The lots at Beverly Canon Gardens, the Montage, and the Third Street lot offer one-hour free parking but have been exempt from offering two hours of free parking.
- Five of Beverly Hill's 18 lots currently offer one-hour free parking. It is in those five lots that Measure 2P would extend the free parking from one hour to two hours.
- The Montage garage and the new Annenberg garage will not gain free two-hour parking under Measure 2P.
- The Bedford City parking lot will gain free two-hour parking under Measure 2P.
In addition to lead support from G&L Realty, the FPI was supported by other business owners in Beverly Hills.
Marcia Caden, who owns a jewelry business in Beverly Hills, said she supported the FPI because it would give stores in Beverly Hills a competitive advantage over stores in nearby cities, particularly Santa Monica, West Hollywood and Century City, that do not offer free parking: "It is a tremendous asset to the merchants. I know it’s a little thing, but if you have the choice of going some place where it’s free or where it’s $5 to $15, I personally am going to go where it’s free."
Beverly Hills resident Harvey Englander, a G&L consultant, said, "Without continued two-hour free parking, retailers, restaurants, doctors and other professionals will leave Beverly Hills for Century City, Santa Monica, West Hollywood and other parts of Los Angeles. All 2P does is restore two-hour free parking to every City parking garage with the exception of the Montage garage and the new Annenberg garage which were never proposed as two-hour free parking...This measure is for everyone who shops or dines in Beverly Hills."
Beverly Hills City Councilman John Mirisch opposed the FPI. He said, "The self-serving G&L initiative has one goal and one goal only, which is to provide government-subsidized funding to benefit a private developer and to create an unfunded mandate."
Beverly Hills Planning Commissioner Brian Rosenstein was the co-chair of "Residents United for 3P." He opposed Measure 2P and said, "Measure 2P is not about all the City parking facilities that already have two-hours of free parking. Measure 2P is really about the Bedford City parking garage next to G & L Realty’s medical buildings. It is an attempt by G & L Realty to force us residents to subsidize and pay for G & L’s lack of parking for their own medical buildings."
- See also: List of ballot measure lawsuits in 2011
The City of Beverly Hills filed a lawsuit against the FPI on November 24, 2010. The city's desired end-result from the lawsuit is to have a judge remove the measure from the ballot. Beverly Hills City Attorney Larry Wiener said, "The City believes that the initiative is invalid on several grounds. The lawsuit asked the court to order the elections official to remove the initiative from the ballot because it is invalid."
- The City of Beverly Hills filed a lawsuit on November 24, 2010 seeking to have the initiative removed from the March 8, 2011 ballot.
- A court hearing on the lawsuit took place on January 4, 2011. This resulted in Ann Jones, a judge of the Superior Court of Los Angeles County removing the initiative from the ballot. In her ruling, Judge Jones said that Measure 2P is "impermissibly vague and clearly invalid."
- On January 6, 2011, the California Court of Appeal granted a stay to backers of the initiative. The stay order blocks the ruling of the trial court that removed the measure from the ballot. The stay is temporary ("pending further order of this court").
- As of January 20, there was still no definitive ruling about whether Measure 2P should, or shouldn't, be on the March 8 ballot.
- On January 28, in the absence of a further court ruling (but one that might still come), the city clerk sent ballots to the printers with Measure 2P on them. City attorney Larry Wiener said, "The City Clerk and I made a call to move forward despite the unfortunate fact that the Court of Appeal has not made any decision."
Path to the ballot
G&L Realty Corp. spent more than $100,000 on a petition drive to collect the signatures required to qualify the FPI for the March 2011 ballot. Over 2,600 signatures to qualify the measure for the ballot were submitted on September 15, 2010.
- Los Angeles Business Journal, "Parking Measures Have a Lot at Stake," December 13, 2010
- Beverly Hills Courier, "Two Hour Free Parking Ordered Back On Ballot By Appellate Court," January 7, 2011
- Beverly Hills Courier, "Beverly Hills Ballot Printed With Controversial Measure 2P," February 3, 2011
- Beverly Hills Courier, "City To Sue Itself Over Two Hour Parking," November 27, 2010
- Los Angeles Business Journal, "Parking Measure May Return to Ballot," January 7, 2011
- Beverly Hills Courier, "Beverly Hills' Two-Hour Parking Measure In Limbo," January 20, 2011