City Council addresses bike parking

It will soon be illegal to secure your bicycle to any public buildings, light poles or traffic signals in several of Costa Mesa's parks, according to an ordinance approved by the City Council Tuesday night.

The ordinance takes aim at what the city's Homeless Task Force concluded was part of a quality of life issue for residents, which is adversely affected when local transients lock up their bikes loaded with personal belongings to park sidewalks and street lights.

The ordinance would make it illegal to secure bicycles to anything besides a bike rack on public property. Bikes are also prohibited from blocking the public ride of way throughout the city. Bicycles on private property cannot be impounded.

There are only 38 bike parking spaces among the city's 30 parks, city staff reported. Costa Mesa is considering adding more bike racks to alleviate some of the pressure on enforcement. Police will be allowed to impound bikes for up to 90 days. If all the bike spaces are full, police will not enforce the ordinance, said Sgt. Victor Bakkila.

Enforcement should steer transients to check in their bikes and property at any of several nonprofits where the homeless can store their belongings, city officials said.

In other action, Costa Mesa approved $37 million in tax-free bonds from a county joint powers agency seeking to renovate Bethel Towers, a low-income apartment tower off 19th Street in Westside Costa Mesa. The city is not on the hook financially, but had to approve the project because the housing project is within the city's jurisdiction.

Also, the old Tower Records property off Superior Avenue may soon be history. The City Council approved a plan by Walgreens to build on the space but encouraged company officials to work with the nearby Del Taco fast food restaurant to combine their parking lots to maximize space and minimize traffic. The property has been an eye sore for residents for the last five years.

Lastly, the City Council unanimously approved withdrawing layoff notices for Costa Mesa's telecommunication employees. Like many others in the city, the nearly 30 telecommunications workers have had layoffs hanging over their heads since March 2011 while the city pursued outsourcing their jobs.

No outside companies met the city's standards for the job, so Costa Mesa will now consider partnering with Newport Beach for shared service.

Twitter: @JosephSerna

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