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Parking at Wilderness Park still hot issue

 

The City Council will vote Tuesday on a request to put further restrictions on parking near entrances of the Claremont Hills Wilderness Park.

The council will review a proposal presented by resident David Jacks of Via Santa Catarina—located near the Wilderness Park in Claraboya—calling for the street to be restricted from parking 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The request was made with a petition signed by Mr. Jacks and 4 other Via Santa Catarina residents, claiming noise and litter from those parking along their street was decreasing “quality of life” for their families.

Residents showed up in droves to the Traffic and Transportation Commission meeting in late October, urging the city to deny the request. Many noted that parking on the south side of Via Santa Catarina is already restricted 24 hours a day. Permit parking is allowed on the north side from dawn until dusk, but only with a special permit given to residents. Restrictions were first put in place last February after complaints of issues relating to crime, loss of privacy, concerns for emergency access and use of the Wilderness Park at night.

Increased parking restrictions adds yet another layer of inconvenience for residents who already have to deal with obtaining parking permits for house guests, said Shelly Schuster, another Via Santa Catarina resident. Mr. Schuster said the welcome sign at the entrance of the park nearby adds further irony to the ordeal.

“Nothing says ‘welcome’ like you can’t park here,” he said.

Mr. Jacks was not present at the meeting. The city recommends the council uphold the Traffic and Transportation’s recommendation to deny Mr. Jacks’ request.

After requests for the city to consider transferring its funds to a local credit union, council members will direct staff on guidelines for choosing an appropriate bank. The council moves forward with its decision to explore local banking options as requested by Occupy Claremont members last July.

 

Funds to go toward water acquisition

The council will also vote on adding an additional $300,000 of unassigned General Fund money to the city’s water acquisition fund, established last month. If approved, the added money will bring the reserve account to $600,000. If given additional approval, the city manager will use half of that amount to prepare and fund an environmental report needed for the water acquisition and use the other half to contract “additional consultants, experts and legal counsel for the City’s acquisition and operation of the Claremont District Water System,” according to the report.

Prior to the regular council meeting, the closed-session water negotiations will continue. Members of the public may comment on the water negotiations before the council adjourns into closed session at 5:15 p.m. Council will reconvene for open session at 6:30 p.m.

View the full agenda for Tuesday’s council meeting at www.ci.claremont. ca.us.

—Beth Hartnett

news@claremont-courier.com

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