Parking problems and how to solve them are hot topics at Corona del Mar meeting

Public parking in Corona del Mar’s commercial corridor continues to be an issue, speakers at the village’s annual town meeting said Tuesday.

Scott Laidlaw, a member of the Corona del Mar Business Improvement District board, laid out the impediments: lack of convenient, cost-effective parking; Newport Beach’s parking requirements for developers; lack of funds for parking supply expansion and aesthetics.

So he offered potential solutions: Increase mobility for residents and employees, perhaps through a private shuttle service like the Downtowner, which already operates on the Balboa Peninsula. Reduce the number of city-mandated lot spaces. Collect developer fees paid in place of providing private parking. Improve directional signs to let motorists know where to find public parking.

While parking can be tight and concentrated, city requirements for business lots can sometimes lead to an abundance of space in those private lots, Laidlaw said.

He used the Gelson’s shopping center lot off San Miguel Drive as an example. If allowed to count the nearby street spaces, the center could have reduced its parking obligation by one-fourth, he said.

Some underused private lots could be shared through an agreement, for example, with banks, which typically empty after 5 p.m.

“We don’t have to build those,” Laidlaw said. “They already exist.”

Newport Beach Councilman Scott Peotter, whose district includes Corona del Mar, asked people attending the meeting how many of them walk to the shops and how many prefer to. Several raised their hands.

“Our code doesn’t take any of that into consideration,” he said.

City officials told the crowd they would continue to look into remedies.

To learn more about parking in Corona del Mar, see a study released by the city of Newport Beach in 2014 at newportbeachca.gov/home/showdocument?id=17909.

hillary.davis@latimes.com

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