HUNTINGTON BEACH : Free Parking Ends in Pierside Area

The hub of the city's downtown redevelopment center, which this summer has begun opening one building at a time, on Tuesday was officially christened a new shopping and entertainment district.

That is, the city began charging for parking.

Parking in the Main Promenade Parking Structure, which had been free since it opened a week ago, now costs up to $5 a day.

The parking structure on Main Street between Walnut and Olive avenues serves shops, restaurants and theaters that have begun opening in the Pierside Pavilion, a cornerstone of the area's redevelopment project.

Non-validated parking now costs from $1 for one hour or less to $5 for four or more hours. The charge drops to a flat $1 rate at night.

Many of the businesses in the area will offer patrons discount validation stickers. During an unspecified introductory period, validated parking will be free for up to two hours, and $1 for each additional hour. The city charges Pierside Pavilion tenants 25 cents for each validation sticker.

The City Council on Monday approved the rates, after lengthy discussions between city officials and business representatives. City officials estimate the parking fees will bring the city $297,000 in revenue a year.

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