Peninsula residents protest parking plan

A new parking district could add 200 meters in the neighborhood.

October 06, 2010|By Tom Ragan,
  • NEIGHBORHOOD OPPOSITION - Residents who live on or around the 100 block of East Bay Drive gather behind a mock parking meter to show opposition to metered parking on the residential street.
NEIGHBORHOOD OPPOSITION - Residents who live on or around… (DON LEACH, Daily…)

NEWPORT BEACH — Balboa Peninsula residents are beginning to learn the hard way that there's always a price to pay for living so close to the water.

And sometimes the price tag isn't just biannual property taxes, or hefty monthly mortgages.

Sometimes, it can be as simple as the real possibility of having to feed parking meters — in front of their own houses along East Bay Avenue and East Balboa Boulevard under a tentative city plan.

"We're already burdened with the influx of out-of-towners. We have vandalism, crime, drunkenness, disturbances, and already there's no parking because of people coming down here to visit," said Mark Carlozzi, a resident of East Bay Drive. "What, now our reward for living here all these years is that we have to pay for our own parking in front of our houses, too?"

Such anger was evident last week when a group of property owners turned out at the Newport Beach City Council meeting and cried foul at a proposal by the city to install dozens of parking meters in the vicinity of Balboa Village.


It's part of the city's attempt to create a Balboa Village Parking Management District, which would create nearly 200 new parking meters within the district that borders Bay Street on the north, the Pacific Ocean on the south, Coronado Street on the west and B Street on the east.

The purpose of the district is to generate revenue to help pay off a $3.5-million property that the city bought last year in the 600 block of East Balboa Boulevard, where the 71-year-old Balboa Village Market sits. It will soon be demolished to make way for a 32-space parking lot finished by mid-December.

But when it comes to parking, or lack thereof — in a geographically confined area like the Balboa Peninsula, no less — the issue is a hot one.

Which is why a group of residents have been posting fake meters in the proposed district, poking fun at the city's attempt to "make money off the backs of residents," according to Carlozzi.

In many ways, the issue isn't much different from the Newport Beach residents who live beneath the flight paths out of John Wayne Airport, Carlozzi said. He realizes that there's a certain amount of noise and traffic that comes with the location of living on the peninsula — that's to be expected.

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