Paul Lopez, Cody Martin and John Campbell are the three candidates running for the District 3 seat on the San Juan Capistrano City Council.
Some locals are calling for a special parking program for residents now that paid parking has been instituted in parts of downtown. What are your thoughts on that, and do you plan to introduce such a program?
Paul Lopez: Over the past few years, our downtown area has undergone a beautiful revitalization. Perfectly situated near both the historic Mission San Juan Capistrano and Los Rios District, as well as several other city jewels, our downtown area is now a vibrant space where both residents and tourists of all ages can enjoy shopping and dining. My family and I often visit the downtown area to enjoy an afternoon or night out.
As the residents of San Juan Capistrano are undoubtedly aware, the city has implemented paid parking in certain lots throughout the downtown area. It has since been suggested that the city provide residents with the opportunity to purchase monthly or annual parking permits, rather than having to pay for parking each time we visit the downtown area and park in the paid parking lots.
As a frequent visitor to our downtown area, I support a paid parking permit program for San Juan Capistrano residents. We want to encourage support for city businesses from our own residents, and allowing residents to purchase parking permits will further promote local patronage. I will work to implement such a program, as it would benefit both residents and local businesses.
Cody Martin: Parking, especially in the downtown area, has been a major issue. Residents’ concerns have largely been ignored, and the situation has gotten worse. For example, residents often have to pay an extra 6 to 8 dollars to get dinner and see a movie. This has understandably caused some to forgo visiting our downtown area, which has so much to offer. This is unfair to our residents, who should not need to constantly pay for parking or receive parking violations. It’s equally as unfair to our businesses, who lose out on revenue due to people choosing not to visit downtown. I support a residential parking pass which allows our residents to freely enjoy our town’s amenities while still bringing in revenue from tourists while they visit.
John Campbell: In my first public statement of this election, I outlined my goal of providing free downtown parking to the residents of San Juan.
The cost of parking downtown should not be subsidized by city residents. I will craft a policy similar to Laguna Beach that allows some type of windshield sticker.
I think it’s important to not only the citizens of San Juan but to our city’s businesses that are doing everything they can to survive.
However, important considerations must be taken into account. The city’s use of the funds generated by non-resident visitor parking, however, should not be ignored. That income pays for parking lot maintenance and enforcement and is an important as a revenue stream for San Juan.