The Capitola Police Department announced the availability of 2013 residential and business parking permits last week, but for several blocks of Capitola residents, permit renewal wont be necessary this year.
The "permit parking only" signs that line most streets in the neighborhoods surrounding Capitola Village mysteriously disappeared from Riverview Drive and Blue Gum Avenue in recent weeks.
Residents of those two narrow, house-laden roads were taken by surprise to notice their streets had turned into viable parking not only for non-residents without a time limit.
Several questions arose on behalf of the residents:
- Is it really public parking now?
- Where did the signs go?
- Are they just being repaired?
- If they're really gone, why weren't we notified or called to a public meeting?
Capitola-Soquel Patch reached out to Capitola Police Chief Rudy Escalante for the answer. Chief Escalante did a little digging and delivered the following explanation: The signs were removed because only the 300 block of Riverview Drive is approved as exclusive parking by residential permit. The rest of Riverview, as well as the entirety of Blue Gum, were never approved for that classification, making them, at least for now, free and unlimited public parking as long as cars do not cross the white line.
Permit parking has to be approved by the Coastal Commission, Escalante said. It was recently discovered that all blocks of Blue Gum and Riverview, except the 300 block, were never approved and have been signed incorrectly. So the Capitola Public Works Department rectified the error by removing the signs.
But why were the signs installed in an unapproved area in the first place?
"No one seems to know. That remains a mystery," Escalante said.
Parking in the Village is never easy. But at least through the rest of the holiday season, it is free with a three-hour limit. Riverview Drive residents can hold tight to the hope that the free parking blocks away will keep shoppers' cars off their street.
Do you live on Riverview? Upset about the parking mishap? Will you park on Riverview now that it's free? Tell us in the comments!