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There's a shortage of parking in some San Diego communities and the city's community parking district program isn't much help addressing that shortage.

In a recent audit, the city auditor's office found holes in the city's management of San Diego's six community parking districts. The districts, established in 1997, are managed by nonprofits throughout the city. Forty-five percent of annual parking-meter revenue goes toward funding for the program — the city keeps the remaining 55 percent. Currently, four nonprofits manage the six districts in downtown, Hillcrest, and surrounding Uptown communities, University Heights, and portions of El Cajon Boulevard.

In recent years, community members in downtown and Uptown have criticized the nonprofit parking districts for exorbitant salaries and high overhead as well as lack of results.

In 2011, a county grand jury found Uptown Partnership, the organizations that managed the program in Hillcrest, Mission Hills, and Bankers Hill, spent three times the amount on overhead as it did on parking improvements. That group was later disbanded and has since undergone reorganization.

Three years later, city auditors have taken another look at community parking districts. There's still room for improvement, for the city and the nonprofits in charge.

The audit report, to be presented to the Audit Committee on November 20, found the program to be run on "informal procedures." Because of that, the city is not able to "measure or monitor program outcomes to determine if parking meter revenues are being used efficiently and effectively. Without documented formal procedures, performance measurement, and monitoring, key program stakeholders are not able to assess if the program is meeting the goals of [the program]…. The processes used to administer this program have not been fully developed and documented to mitigate the risk of loss of institutional knowledge."

In addition, the city is not monitoring money spent on the program. Tracking revenue and expenditures on an annual basis, wrote city auditors, does not provide the community parking districts with enough information and performance measures.

"[T]he program lacks formal project management and oversight procedures to ensure city-implemented projects are completed in a timely and consistent manner. To improve program administration and to ensure the program is meeting the goals of the [community parking district] program, we recommend that Economic Development develop formal, documented guidance that details the processes used to manage CPD funds and expenditures, as well as procedures needed to implement and monitor parking projects from start to finish."

The Audit Committee will discuss the report during their 9 a.m. meeting in the council committee room on November 20.

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AlexClarke Nov. 17, 2014 @ 2 p.m.

Gee what a surprise I guess this is Falconers idea of private sector albeit non-profit, idea of getting the job done better with a few at the top making money and the rest of the workers getting little.


Founder Nov. 17, 2014 @ 2:42 p.m.

Face it, unless you are lucky enough to live in a Wealthy neighborhood, you can be sure that the City will do everything it can to pack as many new units into your neighborhood with as little parking as possible!

Why, because it will make it much easier for Developers to add even more DENSITY into your area, which is great for both Developers and Business not to mention the City's own tax roles.

Look for terminology like Low Mod Housing, Walkable, Transportation Corridor and Urban all of which will actually reduce the quality of life for all those already living nearby.

Want proof, just look at what has been happening in North Park in the last few years and you will understand that what most of us considered Community Planning has morphed into a Pro Business Development Model where everything is now being measured by how much additional DENSITY can the City shove into a neighborhood before citizens take to the streets and/or hire lawyers to protect themselves for yet more Urban Blight!

Expect to see all neighborhoods with less vocal residents get the greatest DENSITY impacts, since the City will face less resistance from residents that are living there.


AlexClarke Nov. 18, 2014 @ 6:08 a.m.

Well said and so true. There are places I would visit but for the congestion and lack of parking. It is all about money and to hell with the people who live in an area designated for development.


sdurban Nov. 20, 2014 @ 12:29 p.m.

I think increased density is great and improves the vibrancy of the neighborhood. Why would you live one block from the business district (as you do) and then complain about parking as North Park has turned into a nationally-recognized urban neighborhood? Your street doesn't exist just to provide you alone with free on-street parking, despite your entitled beliefs to the contrary.

We need 330,000 housing units in San Diego by 2050. North Park is well-served by transit and is an ideal place to put some of them. It's sad that your perceived right to on-street parking is more important than addressing our city's housing crisis. But then you've got your house, what do you care if no one else can afford to live here?


laplayaheritage Nov. 17, 2014 @ 6:25 p.m.

The City Council asked for clear guidelines on the use of Community Parking District (CPD) Revenue for landscaping, beautification projects, and Portland Loo Restroom maintenance. This audit ignored major issues and should be amended with direction from the City Council Committee before final presentation to the full City Council.


The Audit was very forgiving and did not acknowledge that Parking District Revenue can be used for any public Infrastructure project on City Streets and Sidewalks, street cleaning. Not just to increase Parking, or to fund Park-Related Projects, or mitigate Parking Impacts as documented in the City Council Policy. As with all Fees charged by government, is the collected cash money is not spent in a timely manner, the Reserves should be paid back to citizens who used the parking meters.

There were no discussions of the Excessive Reserves of $17,755,321 Unexpended in Parking Meter Revenue carried over from previous years, kept hidden by Civic San Diego staff in Successor Agency to the former RDA Reserve accounts. When the Cash money siting in the bank is not used in a timely fashion, then by State law, the excessive out-of-date Reserves should be spent immediately.


sdurban Nov. 20, 2014 @ 12:25 p.m.

I'd like to see more parking district funds go toward neighborhood beautification and improvement. Pasadena is a successful example of this policy: http://articles.latimes.com/2004/mar/02/local/me-wheel2


CaptainObvious Nov. 18, 2014 @ 12:06 a.m.

Where is Cool Hand Luke when you need him?


dwbat Nov. 18, 2014 @ 11:15 a.m.

I wonder how many will remember that parking meter scene. Great movie.


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