Parking Relief Study OKd

In an effort to curb Long Beach's parking problems, the City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to have the Planning Commission make recommendations on what can be done to find more places to put residents' cars.

Officials say the preponderance of buildings with little or no parking are the major cause of on-street parking problems in the city.

The council failed, however, to give final approval to a proposed 90-day moratorium on construction of apartment buildings with less than two parking stalls for each unit.

Although a majority of the council favored the moratorium, the issue failed to garner the required five votes because three council members were absent. The council will debate the moratorium again next Tuesday.

Councilmen Warren Harwood and Marc Wilder, who opposed the moratorium, said it would "put a damper" on the construction of new housing and send "the wrong signal" to developers.

Wilder warned that the moratorium would cause "a backlash," saying the council had "all of a sudden taken a giant step backwards" in its efforts to boost Long Beach's housing stock.

Councilman Thomas Clark, however, said the moratorium is necessary to keep developers from flooding City Hall to file building permits before the council has a chance to toughen parking requirements.

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