Permitted parking for an Orange neighborhood between Tustin Avenue and the 55 Freeway was approved by the city council, Dec. 11, bringing the total number of areas in the city with restricted parking to 23.

The neighborhood, consisting of 144 homes in the area encompassing portions of Rose Avenue, Lomita Avenue, all of Mayfair north of Tustin, and the Highland, Victoria, Russell and Shirley areas, suffers from insufficient on-street parking, forcing residents to leave their vehicles blocks away from their homes.

Bob Guthrie of Highland Street spearheaded the permit process, submitting a request on behalf of his neighborhood last February. A resident survey indicated that 75.7 percent favored permit parking and 6.9 percent opposed it. Seventeen percent of households did not respond to the survey.

The problem, residents report, became untenable when a nearby apartment complex began charging tenants $15 a month for parking. Many tenants balked at the fee and began parking on the street. The apartment complex now has unused parking slots, while the neighborhood streets are packed bumper-to-bumper on both sides. The city sent the apartment manager a cease and desist letter, asking that the fee be lifted. According to Orange Public Works, “It’s a code issue, not an enforcement issue.”

Following Guthrie’s request for permitted parking, city staff conducted a traffic study of the area. The study, done at various times on various days, documented a consistently high demand for on-street parking that becomes progressively greater through the evening hours, and determined that parking in the area had “reached the saturation point.”

A number of parking-embattled residents appeared at the December council meeting to raise their concerns and encourage permit parking to be approved.

“I don’t feel safe in my home,” said one. “You don’t know who’s parking in front of your house. People are rude, disrespectful, leave refuse on the street, and block our trash cans so the trucks can’t pick them up.”

Others noted that cars are parked on sidewalks, on lawns, and block driveways. “Sometimes I block my own driveway,” one resident confessed. “I get home late at night, and it’s the only alternative. I’d rather move my car in the morning so family members can get out than walk for blocks alone at night.” 

A real estate agent noted that the curbside congestion has negatively impacted property values. “I can’t even show a home in this area,” she said, “because there’s nowhere to park.”

“I drove this area,” Councilman Chip Monaco reported. “It’s dangerous.”

City staff had recommended that permits be required from 5 p.m. to 5 a.m. only, but residents urged the council to grant them 24-hour relief. The council approved 24-hour permit parking by a unanimous vote.  

The city fully expects that apartment dwellers will either begin parking in their complex or find curb space across Tustin on Mayfair or Lincoln. The City Public Works department reports that it will know within a year if parking demand on the west side of Tustin increases to the point where residents in that area will want permitting parking, too.

The 144 residences in the neighborhood nestled between Tustin Avenue and the 55 Freeway are now eligible for permitted parking.  Single-family residences qualify for up to seven permits; duplexes, four.   There is an annual fee of $25 per household for the permits.

Another Orange neighborhood

gets permitted parking

January 2019