Residential Parking Fees May Increase

Tuesday June 17, 2003

Berkeley may soon have the most expensive neighborhood parking in the Bay Area. 

As part of its meeting Tuesday, City Council will hold a public hearing for those who live and work in Berkeley to give their opinions about a proposal to increase residential parking fees. 

If approved, the cost for parking in one of the city’s 14 residential parking zones will go from $21 to $30, making Berkeley’s permits more expensive than Oakland, which charges $25, and San Francisco, which charges $27. 

The city manager is also proposing that one-day visitor permits be increased from 50 cents to $2 and that two-week visitor permits be increased from $2 to $20.  

For people who work in residential parking areas, the fees are also expected to be raised. For people working at a community-serving facility such as a retirement home or a hospice, the annual fee will go from $21 to $100. Merchant permits will be increased from $78 to $100. 

According to a report from the city manager’s office, the fee increases will raise an additional $250,000, which will go directly into the city’s general fund. The total revenue raised from the program will be about $590,000. 

In recent years, many residents have complained to City Council that the parking permit ordinance is not enforced. On June 24, along with the city budget, the council is expected to approve five additional parking enforcement officers to increase enforcement. 

The city first adopted the Residential Parking Permit Ordinance in 1980. The purpose was to protect neighborhoods from an influx of non-resident vehicles and create more available parking for neighborhood residents. 

If approved, the fee increase will be the first since the ordinance was instituted in 1981. 

The public hearing will be held at 7 p.m. in Old City Hall at 2134 Martin Luther King, Jr. Way.  

—John Geluardi