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Planners review parking at The Camp

With just 172 on-site spaces for customers, the popular shopping center is looking for creative ways to alleviate problems.

March 12, 2013|By Bradley Zint

To meet demand, The Camp is using several off-site parking lots during peak hours, according to a presentation given Monday to the Costa Mesa Planning Commission.

The popular Bristol Street shopping center in the Sobeca District uses 10 off-site lots for customers and employees.

The lots, some of which are portions of other business' parking lots, are on Bristol, Baker Street, Randolph Avenue, Century Place and a section of St. Clair Street east of the 73 Freeway.

The lots hold as few as five and as many as 40 cars.

Planners voted unanimously to receive and file the parking report, which also stated that The Camp offers free valet during its lunch rush and $3 valet during evening hours.

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The city, which addresses such complaints on a case-by-case basis, typically hears about The Camp's parking problems during the lunch rush hour, said Claire Flynn, assistant development services director.

Outside of peak hours, Flynn said, there is generally enough parking.

Commissioner Robert Dickson asked Jennifer Lovelace, the Camp's representative, about measures to make sure employees don't take up the 172 on-site spaces meant for customers.

"We're really relying on our tenants to take the initiative and be responsible for their employees to get them to park off the lot," Lovelace said.

She said the center did have security at one point to monitor the lots, but the measure had limited success.

The center is willing to look at the option again, though, Lovelace said.

"We have contacted neighbors and landlords and hotels, trying to do some kind of shuttle service," Lovelace said. "[We're] really trying to be proactive and think outside the box."

Dickson also asked about The Camp's parking signage and if there are any bike racks.

Lovelace said new signage is on the way to replace the weathered signs, and there are two racks with about five or six spaces each.

"There's plenty of bike parking," Lovelace said, "and I'm willing to add more."

Commissioner Colin McCarthy said there is also a difficult parking situation at the shopping center at 891 Baker St., adjacent to Bear Street.

"It's just an absolute mess over there," McCarthy said, adding that one businessman he spoke with felt that the center's planter boxes and landscaping eat into potential parking.

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Former commissioners honored

The commission also recognized the service of former Commissioners Sam Clark and Edward Salcedo. Clark served for six years and Salcedo for two.

Chairman Jim Fitzpatrick lauded Salcedo for his business acumen. McCarthy complimented Clark, calling him his figurative and literal "right-hand man" when he served as commission chairman. McCarthy also kidded with Clark for his possible Planning Commission record of "most amount of motions made."

bradley.zint@latimes.com

Twitter: @bradleyzint

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