35% Design Image of Potential Parking Structure
While building surface parking is far more economical than structured parking, the City cannot rely solely on surface parking if the downtown is to grow and be revitalized.
Currently OCTA’s parking plan
call for the creation of 445 surface parking spaces on City-owned property and public streets. As described, this plan will permanently eliminate 47 current parking spaces in the downtown area that are open to business customers, employees and residents. The construction of a parking structure in the downtown area has been studied as part of a visioning process through a regional planning association and by a consultant retained by the City to analyze parking demand.
In 2001, the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) started a regional visioning process that culminated in a strategy for regional growth that would accommodate the coming growth while providing for livability, mobility, prosperity, and sustainability. This visioning process, which became known as a “Compass Blueprint,” was intended to promote a stronger link between transportation and land use planning at both regional and local scales so that growth is directed toward areas that offer mobility and transportation choices.
Beginning in 2003, the five North Orange County Cities (NOCC) of Brea, Fullerton, La Habra, Placentia and Yorba Linda received a grant to participate in a Compass Blueprint study to explore opportunities for transit-oriented development around an emerging high-capacity transit system. The study resulted in a report addressing the long-range needs for parking, pedestrian circulations, multi-modal transit access, commercial intensification, and public gathering areas of a proposed Metrolink Station in the City’s historic downtown area. The report found that there was a need for a three story 498-space parking structure to support multi-modal transit access, existing commercial businesses and future economic opportunities. This report can be viewed here
In December 2011, the City received a report from Walker Parking Consultants entitled “Parking Structure Feasibility Analysis”. The purpose of this report was to analyze parking in the City’s downtown area to better understand the parking impacts of the proposed Metrolink Station. The report concluded that surface parking alone would not be able to satisfy the parking demands of the Metrolink Station, as well as downtown businesses and residents. Furthermore, the report found that “dependence on scattered [surface] parking in the area will be extremely inconvenient for train commuters looking for a spot to park, especially in the morning peak hours.” While the report did find that constructing a parking structure is more costly than surface parking, the benefits of a parking structure that provides more parking capacity and increased convenience outweigh the cost. The Parking Structure Feasibility Analysis can be viewed here