City of South Lake Tahoe Parking Program Repeal Initiative, Measure P (June 2014)

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A City of South Lake Tahoe Parking Program Repeal Initiative, Measure P ballot question was on the June 3, 2014 election ballot for voters in the city of South Lake Tahoe in El Dorado County, California, where it was approved.[1]

Measure P repealed the paid parking program that was instituted by the city council.[2]

Measure P was put on the ballot through a successful initiative petition drive.[3]

The city received $190,976 during the first 15 weeks that the paid parking program was in place. It collected an additional $211,183 from tickets. After expenses, including one time expenses, the net revenue for 2012-2013 was $180,783. City officials estimated a net revenue of over $1.37 million from the parking program over 5 years.[3]

A "yes" vote was for the repeal the paid parking program and a "no" vote was to allow the program to continue.

Election results

Measure P
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 1,705 66.99%
No84033.01%
Election results from County of El Dorado Statewide Direct Primary Election

Text of measure

Ballot question

The question on the ballot:[2]

Shall the City of South Lake Tahoe repeal the paid parking program consisting of Ordinance Numbers 1049, 1051 and 1054, which repeal shall be effective August 31, 2014?[4]

Impartial analysis

The following impartial analysis of Measure P was prepared by the office of the city attorney:[5]

Beginning in 2012, the City Council of the City of South Lake Tahoe determined it would adopt paid parking as a funding source for infrastructure and maintenance of various areas within the City limits. This determination was made in light of the limited financial resources available to the City for maintenance of highly utilized prime parking locations.

The City Council unanimously agreed to place Measure P before the voters to provide an opportunity for the voters to determine if paid parking should be a funding source for maintenance and operations. If Measure P is approved by the voters, the City would remove the paid parking kiosks and residential parking restrictions from the parking lots at Lakeview Commons, Boat Ramp, Lakeshore Drive and the surrounding neighborhoods. Other areas which previously had paid parking have already been eliminated by the City Council, including Venice Boulevard and Paradise Avenue.

This proposition does not remove paid parking on Transit Way or Bellamy Court or from the Parking Garage, which will continue. This proposition does not eliminate parking tickets for vehicle code or municipal code violations. This proposition does not eliminate the parking management program of the City, it removes the parking kiosks, residential restrictions and revenue derived from the parking kiosks.

Financial Impact The paid parking kiosks were installed and have only been operational for a part of year at the time of this writing. Between June/July of 2013 and December 2013. over 60,000 parking transactions have occurred at parking kiosks, resulting in net parking meter revenue of approximately $200,000.00 during that same time, for an average of $3.00 per transaction. The expenses attributable to the operation of the kiosks are very small, specifically paper and electricity to run the equipment. The City's major expenses of the parking management program, primarily personnel costs, are not reduced by this proposition.

The City currently owes $191,000.00 for the purchase of the parking kiosks. If Measure P is approved, the $191,000.00 would be required to be repaid from general fund revenue, rather than parking fund revenues. If this measure passes, the City will also lose annual budgeted revenue in the estimated amount of approximately $300,000.00.

Effect of the Measure Measure P would specifically repeal the three Ordinances that authorized the use of paid parking kiosks: Ordinance Numbers 1049, 1051 and 1054. A "Yes" vote on Measure P is a vote to repeal the Ordinances authorizing paid parking, effective August 31, 2014. A "No" vote is a vote to continue the paid parking program, allowing the City to continue to receive revenue from the parking kiosks. If the measure receives a majority of "Yes" votes, it will be approved and the parking kiosks along with the associated revenue from those areas will be eliminated.[4]

—South Lake Tahoe City Attorney[5]

Council resolution

The full text of the resolution of the South Lake City Council calling for Measure P to go before voters:[5]

A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, CALIFORNIA, CALLING AN ELECTION FOR THE PURPOSE OF SUBMITTING TO THE VOTERS A MEASURE WHICH WOULD REPEAL ORDINANCE NUMBERS 1049, 1051 AND 1054 REGARDING PARKING IN THE CITY OF SOUTH LAKE TAHOE; AND REQUESTING THE EL DORADO COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS TO CONSOLIDATE SAID ELECTION WITH THE JUNE 3, 2014 STATEWIDE DIRECT PRIMARY ELECTION

WHEREAS, the City Council of the City of South Lake Tahoe was presented with a proposed initiative petition by proponents against the paid parking program; and

WHEREAS, the City Council has determined that the parking initiative as certified is legally flawed; and

WHEREAS, the City Council believes that the voters should be provided an opportunity to determine the continuation or repeal of the paid parking program; and

WHEREAS, Election Code Section 9222 allows the City Council to place a proposed measure for repeal of any ordinance before the voters at their discretion; and

WHEREAS, under the provisions of the laws relating to general law cities in the State of California, there has been called and ordered a Statewide Direct Primary Election to be held on June 3, 2014.

NOW, THEREFORE, the City Council of the City of South Lake Tahoe does hereby resolve, declare, determine, and order as follows: Section 1. Pursuant to the laws of the State of California relating to General Law Cities, there is called and ordered to be held in the City of South Lake Tahoe, County of El Dorado, a Statewide Direct Primary Election on Tuesday, June 3, 2014 for the purpose of submitting to the voters a measure which would repeal Ordinance Numbers 1049, 1051 and 1054 regarding Parking in the City of South Lake Tahoe as follows: "Shall the City of South Lake Tahoe repeal the paid parking program consisting of Ordinance Numbers 1049, 1051 and 1054, which repeal shall be effective August 31, 2014?"

Section 1. The measure shall be effective if approved by a majority of the electorate.

Section 2. The Board of Supervisors of the County of El Dorado is hereby requested to approve consolidation of said election with the Statewide Direct Primary Election to be held on June 3, 2014.

Section 3. The City Clerk is hereby directed to file a certified copy of this resolution with the El Dorado County Recorder Clerk-Elections Division.[4]

—South Lake Tahoe City Council[5]

Support

Supporters

The following individuals signed the official arguments in favor of Measure P:[5]

  • Peggy A. Bourland
  • John N. Cefalu
  • John J. Grace
  • Bruce Grego

Arguments in favor

Those who opposed the paid parking program and supported its repeal through Measure P argued that the program made it more of a hassle for customers and tourists to spend time in the city and that the program had lost the city money since it was put in place.[3]

Andy Engelhardt of Lakeside said to the council, “You have created disgruntled, not delighted customers.”[3]

Official arguments

The following official arguments were submitted in support of Measure P:[5]

Vote YES to REMOVE PARKING METERS. Let's take back our beaches and streets.

The Tahoe 4 Tahoe Committee and the 1422 voters that signed the petition caused the City Council to vote unanimously to place Measure P on the ballot. If approved, Measure P would rescind three ordinances passed by the City Council which established paid parking at Lakeview Commons, Venice Drive, Lakeside Beach and Paradise Avenue.

We feel that the paid parking program causes too many problems. Nearly half of the revenue from the parking program comes from parking tickets. The paid parking program creates an unwelcome environment for our visitors, upon whom our economy depends, and discourages use by most locals. Local businesses suffer because customers patronize other areas where parking is free. Neighborhoods adjacent to paid parking areas now have restrictive parking where residents must obtain permits to park in front of their own homes!

Despite the City's claims, the paid parking program has been a failure. Not only have the capital investments for acquiring parking meter equipment and signs been expensive, but the ongoing costs, including hiring additional public employees as parking police, will continue to cause long term burdens to our city budget. Also, the impact on our businesses and visitors has not been considered in the City's budget and fiscal impact calculations.

This program is not for our Community. It is an inconvenient and negative tax for residents and tourists alike, It changes the character of our neighborhoods and community. And most importantly, if paid parking is not stopped, it encourages further expansion into every commercial area and every neighborhood. A "YES" vote will eliminate all paid parking areas established by the City since December 2012.

STAND-UP South Lake Tahoe and VOTE "YES" to REMOVE PARKING METERS.[4]

—Peggy A. Bourland, John N. Cefalu, John J. Grace and Bruce Grego[5]

Opposition

Paid-parking-300x191.jpg

Opponents

  • Councilman Hal Cole

The following individuals signed the official arguments in opposition to Measure P and the rebuttal to the arguments in favor of Measure P:[5]

  • Mayor Hal Cole, on behalf of the South Lake Tahoe City Council
  • Betty Gorman, president of the Lake Tahoe South Shore Chamber of Commerce
  • Jerry Bindel, secretary of the South Lake Tahoe Lodging Association
  • Peter Fink
  • John Friedrich of Small World

Arguments against

Those who supported the paid parking program and opposed the effort to repeal it argued that the system was working and was providing additional revenue to the city needed to maintain and operate city parks and public areas. Councilman Hal Cole pointed towards Lakeview Commons as an area that benefited from the revenue received by the city from the paid parking program.[3]

Official arguments

The following official arguments were submitted in opposition to Measure P:[5]

Vote NO on P Passage of Measure P would eliminate a significant new revenue source for the maintenance and operations of public facilities.

We strongly urge a NO vote on Measure P.

Measure P would dismantle:

  • Funding for maintenance and operations of Lakeview Commons.
  • A new funding source that was established to fund & maintain parks and streets.
  • Planned regular and necessary maintenance and operations of city owned parking lots.
  • The City's ability to maintain a balanced budget.

The City formulated the paid parking program after years of study and many public meetings. In the first 8 months of the program, more than $200,000 in parking revenue has been collected from over 60,000 parking visitors.

The City listened to the Community:

  • We are offering a "Locals Pass".
  • We removed paid parking from Venice Drive.
  • We reduced the hours of operation to 8am-8pm.
  • We reduced parking meter violations from $55.00 to $35.00.
  • We will improve signage and striping on city owned lots.

If this measure were to pass, the city will lose an estimated 1/2 million dollars!

Vote NO on P The City has made tremendous strides over the last few years. The City Council is focused and strategic in moving our community forward. We listen to our community as you relay your expectation and needs. Over 70% of residents surveyed between 2010 and 2013 have recommended the city seek new revenues whenever possible, from tourists. The City's strategic plan is focused on investments in recreation and infrastructure such as streets and parks. The City's budget is balanced. We reduced our work force by 33% and have eliminated structural deficits. If you believe we are moving in the right direction, join us and VOTE NO on measure P.[4]

—Mayor Hal Cole, on behalf of the South Lake Tahoe City Council[5]

Path to the ballot

See also: Laws governing local ballot measures in California

Measure P was put on the ballot through an initiative petition effort that garnered 1,422 signatures.[6]

See also

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