Parking enforcement will resume July 15 in San Mateo after being suspended since April due to the shelter-in-place order brought on by COVID-19.

Enforcement of parking meters and pay stations as well as street cleaning and residential parking permit program areas will all resume then. Street sweeping returned to its normal schedule June 15, but enforcement was delayed a month.

Downtown monthly parking permit holders can be refunded for the month of June upon request and will be given a prorated fee for July. Permit holders have also been given refunds for the months of April and May to avoid undue hardship without losing their permit and being placed on the waitlist.

The return of parking enforcement comes as businesses reopen and outdoor dining is up and running downtown.

The reduced activity downtown and suspension of parking enforcement over the past few months has caused monthly revenue from parking meters and permits to drop more than 85% based on normal operations. In April 2020, parking meter and permit revenue totaled about $31,000 compared to $235,000 from April 2019.

During a meeting last week, Councilman Rick Bonilla proposed making public parking lots free of charge in light of outdoor dining taking place, but City Manager Drew Corbett said doing so would not make financial sense.

“If we were to do that it’d have a pretty significant effect on our revenues because we’re going to be losing a lot of the street parking and pushing folks into the garages so we can get the restaurants out into the public right of way,” Corbett said. “If we made the garages free we’d have a pretty significant revenue problem.”

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