Right to Park: Brea, CA

Brea's City Manager and City Council Majority claim that most residents have "embraced the program".
Click here to contact the Brea City Council to ask them to address the current street sweeping policy.

Why should this resolution be repealed?

  1. Brea had already swept at FOUR times the rate required by any federal or local agency and complied with all regulations PRIOR to the enforcement program. That means that the only reason to have a parking enforcement program is to raise revenue by taxing the residents with ticketing. There is absolutely no merit to the city's claim that any agency requires Brea to sweep both sides of every residential street every week with a parking restriction in place. Brea now sweeps and enforces parking restrictions more than any other city in all of Orange County by sweeping both sides of every street, every week, with a parking enforcement policy. Why does the city council believe that Brea is the dirtiest of all cities in Orange County?

    According to the original resolution presented to the City Council, Brea had "already swept its streets at twice the rate required by the NPDES". Therefore, by staff's own admission, Brea had already swept the streets more than was required and council voted to approve this measure based solely on its intent to raise revenue.

    From the NPDES website: "It is recommended that schedules include minimum street sweeping frequencies of at least once a year". " Institute a parking policy to restrict parking in problematic areas [not ALL residential streets] during periods of street sweeping." Click here to view NPDES website.

    From the Orange County Best Management Practices (OCBMP) website: "Best management practices indicates that street sweeping frequency should be based on factors such as traffic volume, and that parking restrictions should be considered in problem areas." "Provide minimum monthly sweeping of streets". "Consider increasing sweeping frequency based on factors such as traffic volume, land use, field observations of sediment and trash accumulation, proximity to water courses, etc." Click here to view OCBMP document.

  2. The resolution was enacted to generate revenue. The resolution was enacted to balance the budget and the original projections of revenue are off by more than 90%. The program only generated $50,000 in its first fiscal year (expenses such as salaries, benefits, vehicle maintenance, etc. are not included) instead of the reported $1.3 million and $700,000 "conservatively" projected by the City Manager. The following years' projections of $1.4 million annually are completely incorrect. This City Council majority planned to ticket 48,000 of its own residents to raise $1.4 million annually with a curb tax and hoped residents wouldn't speak up! click to view the July 2009 resolution

    UPDATE 2018: We did an initial public records request to do a study on the revenue generated by street sweeping tickets. From the data we received, ticketing brought in approximately $6,000 last year. However, we are not sure how complete this information is in regards to the appeals process, employee compensation and other costs to the city.
    We are following up with an additional request for data from when the program was first implemented, along with additional information to get a complete and accurate cost for the program. Clearly, the $1.4 million annual revenue projection was/is not correct. Considering the current costs and the potential liability issues, the program may be costing Brea residents to ticket Brea residents!

  3. The resolution is not about the NPDES. It is not about clean streets and it is not mandated by a government requirement, even though the NPDES is repeatedly cited as justification for the resolution (see the postcard here). According to the City Manager, Brea had "already swept its streets at twice the rate required by the NPDES". Actually, Brea sweeps at more than four times the rate required by the NPDES, and there is no requirement that streets should be clear of parked cars on street-sweeping day. The fact is that Brea had already complied and exceeded all local and federal requirements for street sweeping prior to the resolution.

  4. This resolution was passed based on misinformation and grossly inaccurate projections. The original recommendation provided by the City Manager to the council was filled with bad data, misleading information and egregious errors and was incorrect by over 90% in his estimates. The City Manager continues to provide the council with misinformation and calculations that are off by over 90% to 300%! click for more errors regarding the resolution (there are many!)

  5. The streets are not cleaner because of the resolution. While some residents may be looking at their own street and noticing that it appears cleaner, most of us have the same clean streets we had when the sweeper used to drive around our parked cars. The overall cleanliness of Brea streets has not been significantly impacted by the enforcement program. As a matter of fact, based on the existing debris data, there has been NO increase in debris collected since parking restrictions were enacted. click here to see the debris data

  6. Waste of resources! At the May 3, 2011 Study Session it was revealed that Brea's Public Works DIRECTOR (total annual compensation of over $212,000 paid by YOU, the taxpayer) spent time parked in front of a Brea resident's property waiting for the street sweeper to pass to determine if a resident requesting a parking exemption qualified by having multiple cars parked on their street. Once the street sweeper passed, the Public Works Director made the judgement to deny the parking exemption since there were no cars owned by this resident parked on the street. Besides the obvious "there were no cars because residents have to leave their property on street sweeping day", what a tremendous waste of resources having a high-level paid Director sitting in their car waiting for the street sweeper.

  7. The carbon footprint...forget about Brea being a "green" city! The addition of two enforcement vehicles following the street sweeper for over 15,000 miles per year to issue tickets adds an additional 9+ TONS of CO2 into our air and tons of additional pollution. This is reason alone to abandon the enforcement program. click here to see the carbon footprint data

  8. Residents and visitors to Brea's neighborhoods have no place to park on street-sweeping day! First, let it be clear that we are not against clean streets and street sweeping in Brea. Afterall, the City Council could have voted to allow ALTERNATING-SIDE SWEEPING. But, they didn't allow that because it wouldn't raise as much revenue if people have a place to put their car on street sweeping day. We are against the City Council targeting Brea residents as financial prey to balance the budget by passing an unfair "curb tax" (without citizens' vote) that tickets Brea residents who require street parking on street sweeping day. Not all residents have long driveways or garages ... many residents require on-street parking and pay for on-street overnight parking passes, but their right to park on the streets is revoked each and every street-sweeping day when they are forced to evacuate their neighborhoods. Since September 2009, the City Council majority has chosen to ignore the hardships of Brea residents. click to see transcripts of Matters from the Audience

    UPDATE: Although the City Council reduced the street sweeping parking restrictions down to 2-hour windows, cars are still are given no place to park, so no visitors are allowed and residents are forced from their homes every week.

  9. Are Brea's signs valid? A review of the appeals of the tickets that were issued shows that the majority of tickets are being issued to visitors to Brea who have no idea that there is a ticketing program in effect. There are many signs posted at the entrances to neighborhoods where a motorist would have no reasonable opportunity to read the posted sign when turning into a neighborhood. While watching for crossing traffic and turning into a tract, the posted sign is only feet from the intersection, giving the motorist almost no opportunity to even see the sign and no opportunity to read the details on the small lettering. As the State of California had ruled in a prior case (Homes on Wheels), the State ruled that signs like these are a "classic trap for motorists".

    UPDATE: After months of complaining about the lack of signs and incorrect information printed on the signs, the City has updated all of the city street sweeping signs to include an ambiguous "this tract only" (although the word "tract" is obstructed by a bolt on every sign). Originally, the signs in Brea did not specify that the parking restriction applies to a "tract" or "neighborhood", so how could a visitor to Brea reasonably understand that a sign posted as simply "No Parking" applies to a street several blocks away from the posting of that sign? Even now, the reference to a "tract" is ambiguous since it's impossible to tell where one starts and another stops. We obtained a legal opinion that says that the statute (V C Section 22507.6) is being interpreted unconstitutionally by the City and that in order to comply with due process requirements the City needs to post signs at the intersection of all streets regarding the sweeping and the City should be responsible for reimbursing the people unfairly convicted. A Class Action against the City to ensure the reimbursement can be filed.

  10. This resolution was adopted with NO input from the public. This decision was made behind closed doors in a Study Session (these are never recorded or televised) and based on a seriously flawed recommendation with staff. There was no public hearing and no opportunity for the public to provide input until it was too late. Why were residents not consulted? Why were we not given the opportunity to vote on this matter? click here to read articles from the OC Register

  11. This is a one-size-fits-all, extreme parking policy that is seriously flawed. Why wasn't a smarter program, like alternating sides of the street in other cities or one that included hardship exemptions proposed? Why weren't residents who clearly have a parking problem at their residence and pay for overnight parking passes exempt? This would clean our streets just as effectively. However, it would not have generated as much revenue! Why must EVERY street in Brea in EVERY unique neighborhood be swept EVERY week, when many neighboring cities sweep twice per month? The Orange County Best Management Practices indicates that street sweeping frequency should be based on factors such as traffic volume, and that parking restrictions should be considered in problem areas, but Brea's plan ignores these recommendations.

  12. Access to Brea's schools, public parks and neighborhoods are severely restricted by this resolution. Want to host a playgroup or a have a birthday party or just invite a friend over? Can't be on street-sweeping day! Any visitor to a neighborhood must find a driveway in which to park, or they will risk being ticketed. The City Council has refused to exempt school streets from ticketing, and parents who are volunteering or attending school functions have already been ticketed. When asked when the street sweeper usually comes to the Brea Plunge (which requires almost entirely on-street parking), the parking enforcement officer replied that in comes on Tuesday some time between 8 am and 2 pm. When told about swim lessons, the parking enforcement officer suggested that parents "not take swim lessons on Tuesdays to avoid ticketing." As parents bringing kids to swim lessons know, the lessons are five days a week, Monday - Friday.

  13. The burden to certain residents to comply with this resolution is overwhelming. Residents who have small to nonexistent driveways (Ash Street Cottages, the hills, cul-de-sacs) and those with multiple drivers have no place to park on street sweeping day. These hardships disproportionately affect families, stay-at-home parents, the self-employed and retirees. The City Council majority's insistence that we should just listen for the street sweeper and rush outside to move our cars in time is NOT a real solution. Even though residents apply and pay for overnight parking passes, the City Council refused to recognize this as a parking situation that would need to be addressed on street sweeping day. Instead of providing exemptions, the City Council implemented a program with NO exemptions in order to generate more revenue. Update: although an exemption application has been established, the granting of such exemptions is subject to an arbitrary review process and costs residents an additional $20 per year for the right to park at their home (yet another curb tax added on to the $20 that resident already pays each year for an overnight parking pass). click here to learn more about hardships

  14. Why do we have to ticket at all? When Brea wanted to start a water preservation program, they simply asked the residents to help, resulting in a decrease of over 10% of water usage. The city did not first implement a program to fine residents using too much water. Simply asking the residents to comply produced positive results. Why not just ask residents to help with street sweeping by removing their cars first? Since this was a revenue-generating resolution, the first action was to enact an extreme program to ticket as many residents as possible. Is this the new "Spirit of Brea"? Voluntary parking restrictions work in Fullerton and Yorba Linda, where no cars are ticketed on street-sweeping day.

  15. Brea residents with limited parking on their property will have problems selling their homes. Many Brea neighborhoods have severely restricted parking situations. These developments were approved by the City, and residents purchased these properties knowing they had the right to park on the street. The right to park on the street has been revoked by this resolution. This serious problem will have to be disclosed when residents attempt to sell their homes, rendering many properties unacceptable to certain buyers (especially families).

  16. Residents' vehicles are put at risk when parked in public lots. Since ALL street parking is prohibited throughout several adjacent neighborhoods on street-sweeping day, residents are forced to move their cars to various public lots and parking garages (up to a mile away from their homes) to avoid ticketing. This resolution not only denies these residents access to their personal property on street-sweeping day, but it puts their vehicles at risk of vandalism and theft since they are left unattended all night every week.

  17. So, now that there's a budget gap again, what's next? Now that the street sweeping program has not generated the amount of revenue that had been wildly anticipated, what cash-grab is the City Council going to go after next in order to bridge the budget deficit? Perhaps the City Council will pass a resolution to ticket people walking their dogs on the city sidewalks because a few dog owners failed to clean up after their dog and it generated 18 complaint calls per month (this was the number of complaints received about cars parked in the street on street-sweeping day). They could argue that it's about cleaning up the city, but it would really be about raising revenue. Such an across-the-board prohibition would be unfairly punative and burdensome to all dog owners. Should only dog owners stand up to voice their disapproval of such an ordinance, or should we all stand up to fight a law that is unjust? Perhaps this parking resolution does not affect you since you have a long driveway or not many cars/drivers in your family. However, what if the City Council arbitrarily decided to issue tickets for something that was unavoidable for you?

  18. Let's put an end to business as usual: the City Council should look elsewhere to balance the budget. The amount of waste in Brea is significant due to continuously increasing salaries and programs that cost Brea citizens a lot of money. It is time for ordinary citizens to get involved and cut down on this excessive spending and waste. Also, we need to put an end to the current City Council majority's exclusive reliance on staff reports filled with faulty data. Bad advice leads to bad decisions!

Follow the links and review the documents provided and you will see how this program was implemented and how it affects the city's residents. You will see residents speaking at city council meetings regarding the hardships this resolution has imposed on them. You will see how the City Council majority has continued to dig in their heels even though the data and evidence points to serious flaws in the resolution. You will see how the City Manager has continually made error after error and the City Council majority continues to 'take his word' and rely on the staff's (faulty) research. Don't take our word for it. Look at the information we have provided.

Questions? Fee free to contact us.

Brea residents deserve to have input!