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Old 12-10-2015, 15:59   #1
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Marina Parking Situation

We live aboard in a beautiful 600-slip marina on Harbor Island, San Diego. The island is a destination for many tourists. Our end of the island has two large and busy restaurants and an active shore fishing community. Our marina has several dozen-charter boat operations and two sailing clubs with at least 70-boats.

The marina has about 500 parking spaces and until this week, 300 of those spaces were behind a gate operated by an access card and thus reserved for marina tenants. The marina has tried, with limited success, to make boat mechanics, divers, cleaners, guests of tenants, and charter guests use the 200 parking spaces outside the gate. They also lease those spaces to long term renters who have no business with the marina.

There are only 15 free street parking spots on this end (3/4 of a mile) of the island.

It is almost impossible to find a parking space within 50-yards of our dock gate on any spring, summer, fall afternoon, Friday thru Sunday.

Starting on Wednesday, October 14 every parking space will be open to the general public at a cost of $4 for the first hour, $6 for the 2nd, $8 for the 3rd, and $10 for the day with no limit on the parking duration.

The marina has leased the parking lot to a national parking lot management firm and their onsite manager told me that marina tenants would receive no special consideration or priority parking. When the parking lots fill up, gate is controlled by sophisticated and new installed computerized card readers and ticket generators, we TENANTS will be denied access to the lot just like any potential customer off the street.

Our 40-slip dock alone generates 80 to 100 charter guest trips a day, Thursday thru Sunday during the June to November period. Those guests will arrive in 30 to 50 cars trying to find parking near our gate, which serves 180 slips including three boat B&Bs, 18-charter boats, a sailing club, and three sailing schools.

The restaurants that are 100-yards down the road generate an enormous amount of auto traffic and charge $8 + tip for valet parking. The valet line is never shorter than 10-customers, so it will be cheaper and quicker for a restaurant patron to park in our lot and walk down to the restaurant.

Our parking lot is only a 10-minute walk from the main San Diego airport and the $10/day parking fee is only half the cost of the next cheapest parking within two miles of the airport.

And, just to make it special – tenants now have to pay $30/month for a parking pass.

Is it a common situation for the parking at a very nice private marina to be open to the general public with no spaces reserved for tenants?

I have never encountered a similar marina parking situation and wonder if it is a normal thing to make marina tenants, we pay $1,025 per month for our slip, compete with tourists, guests, charter/rental customers for their dockside parking?

How many other marinas charge a fee for a parking pass? Is that a normal thing?
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Old 12-10-2015, 16:35   #2
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Re: Marina Parking Situation

I'd talk to the city planning department - In NZ a condition for establishing a Marina would include an obligation to proved car parking to prevent Marina cars blocking access to other buinesses.
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Old 12-10-2015, 16:45   #3
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Re: Marina Parking Situation

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Originally Posted by TacomaSailor View Post
Is it a common situation for the parking at a very nice private marina to be open to the general public with no spaces reserved for tenants?

I have never encountered a similar marina parking situation and wonder if it is a normal thing to make marina tenants, we pay $1,025 per month for our slip, compete with tourists, guests, charter/rental customers for their dockside parking?
Some of the urban marinas here in the Baltimore inner harbor either have no parking lot at all and only have street parking or have some kind of paid commercial parking. It sounds like another symptom of the increasing corporatization of marinas that puts squeezing every last buck out slipholders above all else.

The $1025 per month is what really drops my jaw! We pay about a quarter of of that and a top shelf marina around here would be no more than half.
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Old 12-10-2015, 17:06   #4
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Re: Marina Parking Situation

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I'd talk to the city planning department - In NZ a condition for establishing a Marina would include an obligation to proved car parking to prevent Marina cars blocking access to other buinesses.
This is 'murica, and in 'murica, you can't fight City Hall. Ain't you know nuthin', boy?
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Old 12-10-2015, 18:42   #5
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Re: Marina Parking Situation

Time to head down to Chula!
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Old 12-10-2015, 21:31   #6
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Re: Marina Parking Situation

Between .gov and the developers/property managers our boat slips are in jeopardy as each requires 3/4 parking space. In MdR we have lost nearly 2,000 boat slips due to the parking grab by developers.
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Old 12-10-2015, 21:41   #7
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Re: Marina Parking Situation

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This is 'murica, and in 'murica, you can't fight City Hall. Ain't you know nuthin', boy?
That exactly why you go to the planners - to see if you can get them on your side.
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Old 12-10-2015, 21:45   #8
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Re: Marina Parking Situation

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That exactly why you go to the planners - to see if you can get them on your side.
The planners are on the side who are giving away the most money under the table (hint--developers).
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Old 12-10-2015, 22:45   #9
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Re: Marina Parking Situation

An additional note: there is no other public parking on this end of the island. Any person who visits Harbor Island East will have to park in our marina lot or not park anywhere on the eastern two-thirds of the island.

The only public parking available anywhere on the island is one-mile west of here and does not allow overnight parking.

There are 60-liveaboards in this marina. We pressed the new parking management about what happens if the parking lot is full and one of we liveaboards return to the lot and can not find a space. We asked what can we do because the closest alternative parking is over a mile away and absolutely does not allow overnight parking.

The parking manager did not know the term "live aboard", did not know that for 100 people the lot in question is our only possible parking place, and had no answer for what to do when we can't park within a mile of our home boats.

He said he was "pretty sure the lot will never fill up" and if it does there is a 24-hour customer service number we can call for help. But, he could not tell us what to do when we have a car load of groceries and can not get into the lot to unload them.

As a minor side note - the corporation, which owns the marina also owns 50% of the two very busy restaurants and owns the restaurant parking lot. That lot is over filled by 6 PM each day and the patrons are then directed to our parking lot. The two restaurants can seat a total of more than 500 people and have huge service staffs, all of whom also park in our lots from 10AM to midnight every day of the year.
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Old 13-10-2015, 08:58   #10
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Re: Marina Parking Situation

If you are long-term and on a lease, check the lease to see if it includes or even mentions parking. We had a similar situation when our marina started charging for parking, but the long-term folks on leases were able to make them honor the lease and were not charged.

Best of luck.
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Old 13-10-2015, 09:12   #11
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Re: Marina Parking Situation

welcome to san diego.
you speak as if this were a new issue. unfortunately this issue is chronic and long duration problem. good luck with it.
san diego is not the pair a dice folks expect, it is a trap. get out and sail south where pair a dice begins, more south than ensenada, btw.... rodl.. sad but this is soooo common in san diego.
san diego epitomizes money talks, sadly.
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Old 13-10-2015, 13:32   #12
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Re: Marina Parking Situation

The marina has quickly responded to the liveaboard concerns:

- The 100 parking spaces closest to the docks will be marked to indicate that only those actively using their boats can park in them

- The 100 parking spaces that are next closest to the docks will be marked "For use only by marina tenants"

- The parking firm will actively monitor parking and quickly tow cars which do not display a marina parking sticker if they are parked in spaces marked for marina tenants

- Overnight parking will not be permitted without a marina decal in the window

- Some spaces in the huge lot, leased by a rental car company, adjacent to the marina parking lot may be made available to marina tenants. There is a gate, currently welded shut, that allows passage from that lot directly to our dock gate.

- Marina tenants with an annual lease do not have to pay $30/month for a parking lot access card

Those actions would address most of our concerns and we do appreciate the quick and positive response by marina management.

There will be no physical barriers to prevent the general public from parking in "marina tenant only" spaces closest to the gates. It will be up to the parking management company to enforce the proposed regulations.

I guess I've been boating too long and have spent too much time in smaller communities with fewer parking issues. This is our seventh year of living aboard in San Diego (since fall 2000) and the complications just keep increasing.

But, it is a beautiful place to be on a boat!
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Old 13-10-2015, 13:35   #13
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Re: Marina Parking Situation

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Originally Posted by TacomaSailor View Post
How many other marinas charge a fee for a parking pass? Is that a normal thing?
normal only in san diego
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Old 13-10-2015, 14:45   #14
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Re: Marina Parking Situation

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But, it is a beautiful place to be on a boat!
This is how I deal with that parking situation, because I'm cheap. Dealt with jury duty the same way while in San Diego.

Park on West Maple, cul de sac, usually some empty space near there particularly during the day. Ride the folding Bicycle to the boat. Only pay for parking when bringing aboard supplies, then get out.

I'd skate, mainly because I skate all the time and its easier to store skates on a boat.
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Old 13-10-2015, 15:06   #15
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Re: Marina Parking Situation

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There will be no physical barriers to prevent the general public from parking in "marina tenant only" spaces closest to the gates. It will be up to the parking management company to enforce the proposed regulations.
I imagine the contract tow companies will keep them honest. If not, find out which ones have the service contract and put them on speed dial. Skip the middle man, drop a dime directly, and they'll be by in short order to haul them off.

I used to see the tow trucks slowly driving through the lot of our old apartment complex. We used to have to have a sticker on the back window. The tow guys were so hyper-agressive they'd tow people who backed in, because the sticker wasn't visible from the street.

JRM

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