A permit program designed to alleviate parking problems throughout San Bruno neighborhoods is set to receive a formal review from officials seeking to address residential concerns.

The San Bruno City Council will study Tuesday, July 16, a proposal to allow residents to establish a parking permit program in neighborhoods with limited spaces available on the street. No decision is slated to be made at the meeting.

While a program could give way to enforcement targeting unpermitted cars, City Manager Jovan Grogan noted it is likely not the magic bullet needed to immediately clear the existing parking problems.

“This is one strategy to help mitigate some of the parking challenges in our residential neighborhoods,” he said.

Under terms of the proposal, a majority of residents in a specified neighborhood must support establishing a program requiring a permit to park on the street.

Should a survey prove requisite support exists, the program proposal would work its way through an examination at City Hall before eventually making it to the City Council. If ultimately approved, it is expected that no more than two permits would be offered per dwelling. With purchasing a $35 two-year permit, residents would be allowed to park on the street and those without a permit would face the threat of receiving a ticket after a period of time.

The proposed initiative has long been weighed by San Bruno officials looking for ways to meet the needs of residents frustrated by the growing parking congestion throughout certain neighborhoods. A pilot program was proposed to be launched this fall, and a city report suggested the policy could come back before councilmembers to approve at a subsequent meeting.

In previous community meetings, those who support the program have expressed hope permits would discourage travelers who park in a neighborhood and take rides to the nearby airport from targeting San Bruno.

But Grogan expressed measured optimism regarding the success of the program, recognizing its potential effectiveness in cracking down on travelers but not quite getting to the core of the parking problems.

“There needs to be other solutions,” said Grogan, who added officials are looking to residents to contribute to alleviating parking congestion by limiting the amount of cars they own, and keeping vehicles in garages or elsewhere on the property.

The report further detailed the shortcomings of the potential program, such as not assuring residents an ability to park in front of their home, or even find a spot in the neighborhood.

A permit would also not be issued for trailers or other accessories, and cars with a permit would not be able to stay in a spot for longer than three days at a time. Those with handicap or disabled veteran placards would be exempt from needing to purchase a permit, according to recommended policy.

The initiative will also invite spillover into surrounding neighborhoods which do not have permit program, and those who pay for permits will also be required to purchase overnight passes for guests, officials have said.

If a program was approved for a neighborhood, those who planned to park on their property would not be required to get a permit unless they wished to leave their car on the street.

As a result, officials have discussed loosening restrictions on private property in hopes of carving out additional spaces off the street. Among the issues considered include easing permitting requirements for those wishing to alter their garage to make more room for cars in their driveway, since many are not long enough to fit modern vehicles without blocking the sidewalk. Or also allowing residents to clear space in their yard just beyond their driveway where a car could be parked to create an additional space for vehicles off the street.

Looking ahead, Grogan said councilmembers will also give feedback on the potential penalty for violating the permit program. All the input will likely inform a more detailed, forthcoming policy recommendation, he said.

“This is just one program that, frankly, the community asked for and the City Council provided direction to staff to develop the guidelines and we are coming back to the City Council with some of those guidelines and policy considerations,” he said.

The San Bruno City Council meets 6 p.m. Tuesday, July 16, in the senior center, 1555 Crystal Springs Road.

(650) 344-5200 ext. 105

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