Protests prompt Hermosa Beach council to roll back parking enforcement hours

Mike Parnell, Joe Apodaca, Russ Kagy and John Sandling express mock alarm at the prospect of 8 a.m. parking meters enforcement in front of La Playita restaurant. The retired police officers meet for breakfast at the restaurant every Tuesday morning. Photo by Kevin Cody

by Kevin Cody

Residents who addressed the city council Tuesday night about early enforcement of downtown parking received a positive response from the majority of councilmembers.

An ordinance before the council called for moving up downtown parking meter enforcement to 8 a.m. Parking enforcement elsewhere in the city begins at 10 a.m.

Last month, city staff told the council that the earlier enforcement at the downtown’s 978 meters would generate an additional $800,00 annually. But under questioning by Councilmember Dean Francois, city finance director Viki Copeland said the estimate had been revised downwards to $150,000 annually.

Residents argued the earlier enforcement would discourage the many Strand strollers, sand and Strand runners, bicyclists, surfers, and volleyball players who park downtown and visit local restaurants and coffee houses following their exercise.

Redondo Union High assistant surf coach Frank Paine said the early enforcement would interfere with high school surf competitions.

When the earlier enforcement was approved last month, Councilmembers Mike Detoy and Dean Francois opposed the change. Mayor Jackson and Councilmember Justin Massey supported the earlier enforcement. At that meeting, Councilmember Rob Saemann cast the deciding vote in favor of the change. But Tuesday night, Saemann cast the deciding vote opposing the change because, he said, it was inconsistent with the 10 a.m. enforcement elsewhere in the city. ER  



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