Rite Aid: Parking of residents not responsibility of city, Council told

June 02, 2004
Santa Paula City Council

Rite Aid will have to deal with those nearby residents using their parking lot on their own, the City Council found at the May 27 meeting.

By Peggy KelleySanta Paula TimesRite Aid will have to deal with those nearby residents using their parking lot on their own, the City Council found at the May 27 meeting.According to the report by Assistant Planner Veronica Ortiz-De Anda, “apparently, folks park there that don’t go in and shop but use the lot,” and who could be residents of a nearby condominium complex.After researching the permit for Rite Aid, located on the corner of Harvard Boulevard and Palm Avenue, the “conditions of approval don’t indicate” that city staff has enforcement powers to go after illegal parking.Ortiz-De Anda said that Rite Aid could consider a designated employee parking area, a parking time limit for store customers or post bilingual signs noting that parking is for customers only. Private security could also he hired to police the parking lot.Rite Aid could also contact the condominiums homeowner’s association to discuss the issue, she added.“I think this highlights an area we need to be more attuned to,” said Councilman Rick Cook, who had asked for a staff report on the issue. “We have to be more strict with off-street parking. . .people are infringing,” on others’ property.
Councilman Ray Luna noted that the city can enforce parking guidelines at Vons “if someone parks in the red zone” and asked why such oversight could not be extended to Rite Aid.“The big difference is that a red zone is red for a fire lane or some other safety purpose,” noted Planning Director Tom Bartlett. “If regular parking are used as intended,” it is not up to the city to determine who is the user or to enforce.Luna asked if the Rite Aid parking lot warns of towing of illegally parked vehicles and Bartlett said he did not observe same, but parking signage is English only and should be bilingual to better communication.Police Chief Bob Gonzales said the SPPD has been in contact with Rite Aid management and that about 15 vehicles are parked in the lot at night.Cook said the parking issue on retail and commercial properties is becoming serious and warrants future attention.

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