Capitola to update village parking zoning code

Parking codes in Capitola reviewed, suggestions made

CAPITOLA, Calif., - Like a lot of seaside towns in California, there can never be enough parking spots. On Thursday night, the Capitola city council hosted a public hearing to discuss a few solutions.

The council focused on suggestions for the village, which has been a popular destination. New Yorker Justin Blake is visiting Capitola for the first time.
"We just came around the bend and we parked," Blake said.

While sometimes a stroke of luck can land you a spot, the city of 10,000 is looking for a more comprehensive plan.

"It's really difficult to find parking especially on the weekends and during the summer when we have an influx of tourism or even during the school year, we have students coming down here who obviously want to see our beaches," said Capitola resident Kristen Petersen.

The city has added 500 parking spots in recent years, but there are limitations to what they can do.

"A the end of the day, there are only so many people that can get into our little village, the village itself isn't going to grow, the beach itself isn't going to grow," said city manager Jamie Goldstein.

During the meeting, the city discussed zoning codes for future developments in and around the village to encourage people to walk instead of drive.

"There have been conversations about potentially allowing what are called 'parkletts,' these will be small spaces in the street that restaurants could develop into, taking out more parking spaces but allowing out door dinning opportunities," Goldstein said.

The city is also considering an in lieu parking program that would allow a future hotel development to valet in a city lot. Residents are looking forward to any potential solution.

"It would be ideal to find a parking solution that works not only for business owners and for those living in the surrounding communities that are impacted by people trying to park in their neighborhoods," Petersen said.

Once the planning commission and the city finalize the zoning plan, they will submit it to the California Coastal Commission for review.

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