At the last City Council meeting, when I discussed problems with the new street-sweeping parking restrictions, it initiated some comments from the City Manager, the Police Chief and council members who all insisted that the city has "reached out" to me many times over the past five months to resolve my particular situation. They pointed out that one of my registered vehicles is, in fact, a jet-ski trailer that occupies one parking spot in my driveway. This is true. Like many Brea residents, I have a recreational vehicle in my driveway. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but it IS legal for me to own such a vehicle and it IS legal for me to have it on my property, so I don't know why it is the focus of the conversation. The only "solution" they've offered is that I should store my jet-skis somewhere else so that I can fit my other three cars in my three parking spaces. How in the world is that "reaching out" to resolve my problem?! Unless the City is going to pay for my storage or maybe if a council member offers to park my trailer in one of their long driveways and deliver it to my house whenever I want to use it, ZERO accommodations have been made. Yes, my husband and I splurged last spring and bought a pair of old jet skis, but we could only afford to do so because we wouldn't have to pay for storage. At the time we bought them, of course, Brea residents had the right to park on the street. That right has since been taken away, and we are now forced to reorganize our lives and somehow "adjust our parking patterns" to make the City's flawed ordinance work. Now we either have to pay for storage or pay $38 as a weekly tax, just for living in a Brea home with a short driveway. The message from the Brea City government to this Brea resident has been loud and clear: lose the jet skis or you will be ticketed. Maybe we WILL ultimately be forced to get rid of the jet-skis because they're not worth the sleepless nights we've had as a result of all this stress Of course, that only temporarily solves our problem until our kids are of driving age and we're back to having FOUR vehicles with only THREE parking spots. Plus, I still will never be able to have a guest at my home on a Monday for the rest of my life without paying a $38 fine for the privilege.
In many Brea neighborhoods like my own, there is a chronic lack of residential parking. Of course, these housing developments were approved by the city and we all knew when we bought our homes that our garage and driveway space was severely limited (or even nonexistent, as in the case of the Ash Street Cottages), so we acquired the necessary permits and found a place to park on the street. But tell me, how are we supposed to sell our homes now that our street parking has been revoked? I NEVER would have bought my current home if I wasn't allowed to park on the street, and I believe homeowners in many Brea neighborhoods will suffer from significantly reduced demand and lower home prices as a result of this ordinance.
Still, the hardships imposed on Brea residents continue to be routinely brushed off by the City Manager and the City Council. Their message to the stay-at-home mom is a clear one: we don't care if you have a baby who needs a nap or if you want to have your child's friends over for a playdate; these things are just not possible on street-sweeping day so you'll just have to adjust. The City Council's message to Brea's self-employed residents is also clear: we don't care that your home is your place of business, you need to come up with an alternate plan on street-sweeping day. This isn't about the Starkeys and our jet-skis as the City Manager would have you believe. And even if the Brea city government forces us to remove our jet skis from our property against our will, we will not stop fighting against this ordinance. It is so incredibly discriminatory against Brea families and unfair to all households with limited parking that I am amazed it was even passed by this Council and I wonder if it is even legal. The resolution was based on an alarming amount of false information. It is unfair. It is unjustified. It is unprecedented, and it's just plain wrong. Until this is put on the agenda and these issues are resolved, we will continue our call to action in this public forum. Thank you.
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