The Moorpark City Council has adopted a law that would allow permit-only parking in some areas, over the concerns of council members who said the measure is unnecessarily complex and will never be used.
“This is simply a resource to empower people to control a problem in their neighborhood,” said Councilman Pat Hunter, who drafted the law with Councilman John Wozniak, and who has been the measure’s fiercest supporter.
Hunter said the move is a way for residents to control overcrowding by restricting the number of vehicles associated with a house.
But others said the new policy--which divides the small city into more than 50 “neighborhoods” and includes several pages of restrictions, definitions and explanations--is too confusing and unwieldy.
“You’ve got a resolution that will probably never be used,” said Councilman Scott Montgomery, who, nonetheless, joined the 4-1 vote in favor of the law Wednesday. “It will sit and gather dust.”
Under terms of the resolution, the council will consider imposing permit-only parking in a neighborhood if at least 10% of its residents request it by signing a petition.
The council would then send notices to all residents in the area and hold a public hearing to gauge support for the restrictions, which would prohibit street parking for all but permitted vehicles between 2 and 6 a.m.
If the ordinance were activated, up to two street parking permits could be issued to each residence at a combined cost of $25. Since most residents would be able to keep two cars in a garage and another two in a driveway, the ordinance would--in most cases--cap the number of vehicles associated with any residence at six.
Mayor Paul Lawrason spoke out against the law during earlier council meetings and was the lone dissenter.
“This document is fraught with difficulties,” Lawrason said Thursday. “I don’t see it as precise enough, I don’t see that some of the serious problems have been worked through, and I question the potential effectiveness of it.”
The law was initially proposed in response to overcrowding at residences in the city’s downtown area, but critics contend that since the law defines the entire downtown area as a neighborhood, it will be difficult to gather enough signatures to impose it there.
Councilman Bernardo Perez, a strong advocate for downtown residents, provided a vote Wednesday night when he announced he would support the law, which appeared all but dead when discussed by the council last month.
“I think it’s incumbent upon us to use any resource that we can to mitigate any problem,” Perez said. “I think, all things considered, this is an appropriate way to move forward.”
The council Wednesday also expressed broad support for a proposed law that would ban on-street parking during citywide street sweeping. It will revisit that issue at an upcoming meeting.