Point Dume condo residents upset with a lack of street parking got their wish Monday night, as the City Council voted unanimously (4-0) to create a preferential parking pass system along Heathercliff Road and Dume Drive—only the second such system in Malibu—after years of what residents call a battle for street parking with Point Dume Village Shopping Center employees.
“It only takes a few employees to monopolize 16 parking spaces,” said Jonathan Selig, president of the Heathercliff Homeowners Association.
However, Mayor Joan House insisted on adding a 90-minute grace period to the 18 spaces so shoppers grabbing a bite to eat or picking up groceries still have the option of parking on the street.
“I talked to a few residents today and a lot of people who shop at the center…they said they don’t like to park in that parking lot at that Pavilions, but they like to go to the market,” House said.
The city-striped spaces would allow a 90-minute maximum public use of six spots along Heathercliff Road and 12 spaces on Dume Drive every day from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. For longer stays, though, city-issued preferential passes will be required Dume Village employees do not park in spaces Dume View Villa and Heathercliff Condo residents said they rely on for hosting guests, handymen or plumbers.
“We can’t have visitors, we can’t have workers,” said Heathercliff condo resident Jenny Ogden. “We have to literally block our neighbor’s garage doors if we can’t find parking on the streets for workers. We’re regularly hollering over the balconies if we need to move our cars. It’s silly.”
Residents said they often see Point Dume Village employees park in front of the condo complexes for up to 10 hours a day. Point Dume Village management last year began encouraging workers to park along the shoulder of Pacific Coast Highway instead of residential streets, but condo residents said that did little to free up street parking.
Mayor Pro Tem Skylar Peak voiced some trepidation about a possible trickle-down effect in surrounding neighborhoods. Point Dume Village employees might just start parking farther away along residential streets, he said.
“I would hate for us to then be coming here in a year or two…and have the next row of houses along Dume Drive, Heathercliff and Wandermere say, ‘Now everyone is parking at our house,’” Peak said.
“Sometimes in Malibu we take for granted that we can just park right in front of our house,” Peak said.
Public Works commissioners also worried about starting a trend toward preferential parking elsewhere in Malibu when they considered the matter in October.
“We just don’t want to start something and have everyone come to us for parking pass systems,” Commission Chair Steve Karsh said.
Malibu has only one other neighborhood parking-pass system: the Malibu Country Estates. MCE requires a pass from 2 a.m.-5:30 a.m. to discourage Pepperdine University students from parking overnight.
The Public Works staff must now process a coastal development permit, notify neighbors and bring back an ordinance to the council establishing the preferential permit parking in the area. Once the system is in place, the City Council plans on reviewing its effectiveness following a one-year trial period.