By Collin Breaux | Email: cbreaux@picketfencemedia.com | Twitter: @collin_breaux

People visiting downtown San Juan Capistrano on the weekend will likely find it difficult to get a parking spot—an issue that hasn’t gone unnoticed by city officials, who are taking steps to address the problem.

City staff plans to present options to the city council in the near future on what to do about the parking congestion. Possible options include valet parking, validated parking and a proposed parking lot just north of the Los Rios Park that could be called the Paseo Adelanto Parking Lot because it would be accessible from that street. That parking lot is still in the design process.

“We had approval from the council in December to go ahead and expand that lot in time for summer 2020,” Public Works Director Tom Toman said. “The goal of that is to provide dedicated employee parking for downtown employees and then overflow parking for the Los Rios Historic District patrons and the Los Rios Park folks on the weekends.”

Parking lots often are filled to capacity due to people working downtown and visiting the area on the weekends; in the words of city officials, San Juan Capistrano is a year-round destination community.

A report on parking was presented to city officials by city staff in October 2019 on a summer parking pilot program that the city had implemented last year. Two key components of the program were metered hourly parking in the Franciscan Plaza parking structure and valet parking near the entrance to the multi-modal parking lot.

Assistant City Manager Charlie View said city staff regularly engages in discussions with downtown businesses about parking.

“Their input is critical, because the whole goal here is to create a successful downtown environment,” View said. “Relatively early in the morning, mid-morning through late at night, there’s a lot of activity. We want to make sure that continues.” View said the city council will also provide direction on how to handle parking

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