Council OKs Student Parking Lot : Traffic: City gives preliminary approval to finance college project with bond sales. Costs have increased 50%.


Despite a 50% increase in costs, the City Council on Tuesday approved preliminary plans to build a student parking lot at Glendale Community College and make other traffic improvements to relieve congestion in nearby neighborhoods.

The council authorized formation of a joint parking authority with the college to sell government bonds to finance the proposed $6.3-million project. The debt would be repaid from increased student parking fees over the next 20 years, officials said.

A team of private consultants estimated in January that the project would cost $4.1 million. The higher figure was released Tuesday by International Parking Design of Sherman Oaks after further studies indicated grading and blasting of a granite hillside will cost considerably more than expected.

Officials said the added costs can be recovered by extending the bonds for 20 years, rather than 10 years, as originally planned.

The proposal calls for building a 750-space parking lot on the upper level of the terraced campus. Students could still park in nearby city-owned lots at the Glendale Civic Center and at Verdugo Park, but at increased fees.

Permits allowing students to park on both campus and city lots would be issued for $40 a semester, the current maximum permitted by state law. Meter rates on city lots would be raised from 25 cents for 2 1/2 hours to 25 cents per 30 minutes, with a daily maximum of $2.50.

To keep students from parking on streets surrounding the college, parking there would be limited to residents with permits.

City and college officials have bickered for years over who should pay for more parking to serve the college, which has an enrollment of more than 14,500 students but only 605 parking spaces on campus, mostly reserved for faculty and staff. City officials criticized the college for failing to resolve its parking problems, and college officials countered that state law prohibits using educational funds to build parking lots.

Formation of a parking authority still requires final approval by college trustees and the City Council. After that, a campus lot could be completed within a year, consultants said.

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