CdM street a parking lot

High school's Aralia Street neighbors compete with students for limited spots. Council may explore time limits for the area.

October 03, 2013
  • Despite a sign on Alba Street, residents are getting more unhappy that students park in front of their homes on Aralia Street across from Corona Del Mar High.
Despite a sign on Alba Street, residents are getting more… (Don Leach, Daily…)

When Scott Ehlers moved with his family to Newport Beach, he hoped to find the best home possible to suit their needs. They chose a house on Aralia Street.

Ehlers now finds himself among the residents frustrated with parking on the street. One block behind Eastbluff Drive, which borders Corona del Mar High School, Aralia is occupied during the school day by the cars of students, residents say.

It's a problem that parents add to when they pick their children up from school. On a typical afternoon about 3:15 p.m., parents wait in their parked cars on Aralia in an attempt to avoid the parking lot traffic.

In mounting frustration, neighbors have attended recent Newport Beach City Council meetings, attempting to lobby council members for change.

At stake is the safety of students, the protection of the residents' lawns and the neighbors' hope to be able to park their cars in front of their homes without headache, they say.


"We've seen all kinds of things," Tara Reilly Tung, who is spearheading the effort to establish new parking rules on the street, said at the Sept. 10 council meeting. "There's no space to park on our street, but in addition we have constant littering, loitering, noise and other minor crimes, I'd say."

Sophomores and juniors cannot use school lots. Seniors can park in a "seniors only" lot, but many find Aralia more convenient.

When Ehlers first saw his house, which he bought in summer 2012, he wondered if the proximity to the school would be an issue.

His real estate agent assured him that students did not park on the street, he said. After all, signs on the block read "No student parking."

"Much to my chagrin, after we closed on the house, I learned that those signs are not enforceable," Ehlers told the council last week.

Ehlers was shocked that a city could erect signs but not enforce their pronouncement.

Student parking can't be banned because the street is public, Councilman Tony Petros noted.

The signs, put up about a year ago, are a reminder of an ongoing issue city and school officials have yet to solve.

CdM added a second student parking lot to its campus last year. At the same time, however, the school was forced to close the original student parking lot due to construction on the theater and enclave, said Laura Boss, director of district communications.

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