Live, Work, Play.
That was one of the marketing slogans that original sold me on the Santiago Street Lofts.
Three years later, I Live here, I (sometimes) Work here, and if you're a reader of this blog, you sure as hell know I Play here.
The "Live, Work, Play" slogan dreams big for this community, but has still yet to be fully realized. With the Renaissance Plan on the back burner until election season is over, and any developments that were headed our way postponed until the next real estate cycle, I figured in the mean time, the Work element was something that could use some fine tuning.
As someone who runs a part-time business out of their store front, I've witnessed firsthand how difficult it is to do so. On several occasions, my clients were unable to find a suitable parking space nearby. With gas prices on the rise, even the parking lot at the train depot can be packed with increased ridership. Also, it doesn't help that the city of Santa Ana previously designated ALL parking around the Santiago Street Lofts as No Parking/Stopping.
Currently, the city is looking the other direction and not enforcing the No Parking on Poinsettia Street until construction is completed here at the lofts. But once the construction crew is out at the end of the year, the plan was to make that entire block No Parking/Stopping.
And why are there so many streets designated “No Parking/Stopping” around the lofts? For years, the Logan neighborhood has battled irresponsible overflow parking from some of the neighboring businesses, which prompted the city to act with their usual kill a fly with a shotgun method by restricting parking on entire blocks.
While this method has prevented trash and tow trucks from taking up residence on nearby public streets, it has also put a stranglehold on many who've decided to run a business from within their unit.
This dilemma prompted me back in January (2008) to approach the city of Santa Ana with a plan to install parking meters around the Santiago Street Lofts–allowing guests and clients easy access during normal business hours to the businesses residing in the lofts. These meters would only be enforced Monday through Friday, 9AM-6PM.
After speaking with countless individuals and getting the runaround several times over, I called Scott Kutner of the Community Development Agency for Santa Ana and he was able to put me in touch with Frank Orellana, a Senior Engineer with the city of Santa Ana's Public Works department. Frank had just recently been assigned to identify options to improve on-street parking in our area due to upcoming developments with the Santa Ana Street Car plan.
Though we're currently not in an area that allows (is zoned) for metered parking, Frank and I worked out a plan that will now allow non-metered 1-hour parking in the green areas, indicated in the graphic below. This 1-hour rule will be in effect Monday through Friday from 9AM-6PM.
But why metered/1- hour parking at all you ask? That's a great question. The plan is to prevent long-term parking on the loft-side of the street from adjacent businesses, as well as overflow from the depot parking lot–a problem that has crept into our own "visitor parking" stalls here at the lofts. The goal is to create circulation, and not stunt businesses. Not to mention, preventing any future issues with abandoned cars near the lofts.
If things go well, Frank said there’s a good possibility that the 1-hour limit can be increased to a maximum of two hours. The ultimate goal of this pet project is achieve metered parking around the lofts, but with the city of Santa Ana, it's always baby steps. But hey, it's a start.
The debate on whether or not parking should be allowed on Civic Center Drive (loft side) is still going on being that the "Go-Local" streetcar scheduled for completion in a few years would just end up taking any allotted spaces away from that side of the street.
In the mean time, these added parking spaces should help out not only the daytime businesses that are blossoming in our community, but nighttime activities including our monthly Art Walk, which, by the way, is this Saturday.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Live, Work, Play.