Are radical, questioning civic politics finally arriving to SanTana's Artists Village? And all over a valet service? Readers will recall that earlier this month, a pilot valet parking program introduced by City Hall at the request of Downtown SanTana's restaurant association raised the hackles of artists and business owners who live and work in the Artists Village, who were furious no one warned them about it, laughed at its pretentious aspirations while also fretted about lost business incurred as a result of said aspirations toward Lohan-ville.
Now, those same artists have formed a group: Artists Village Alliance of Santa Ana (A.V.A.S.A.), and they're asking hard questions of SanTana bureaucrats in their declaration of existence. The questions are below, and they're goodies--can't wait to see the new progressive city council answer them! We applaud these artists for participating in the democratic process, and warn them of the Don Papi's shape-shifting ways...
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1. Was the City of S.A. aware that the implementation of this plan would require that 75 (18 curb side, 57 lower level parking garage) of the most vital public parking spaces for the artist village would be converted to private corporate control for $8.00 customer fees?
2. If a recent murder occurred in the evening, on the 2nd floor of the parking garage, why is the general public forced to utilize that area even more now instead of the first floor and other converted street locations?
3. When was the decision made to bring the valet parking to the Artist Village? And who was involved in the forum of decision making for this pilot?
4. Who collects fees and or profits for this program, The City of Santa Ana or P.C.I.? Was this program bid to any other private companies besides P.C.I.?
5. A big concern within our audience is that these parking spaces being taken are public parking spaces that are paid via citizen and business owner taxes.
6. The recent change in the pilot program to 8pm still does not address the question of taking FREE public parking that is paid via property taxes.
7. The 8PM time conflicts with business hours for anyone who wants to be at the village past 8PM. Some clients, artist, patrons come before this hour and now will have to leave when the valet starts or worry about moving their car before the time that the valet program starts.
8. The valet parking creates extensive traffic and parking congestion around the city especially on Art Walk evenings.
9. Public transportation in So. Cal. is already underfunded. The city is making it more difficult by taking 75 public parking spaces.
10. The valet parking doesn't allow for more people with disabilities to have a designated handicap space when there is only one space available in the whole Artist Village area. Is the only current handicap space besides American Apparel?
11. Handicap spaces have also been reassigned from the parking structure on 3rd street to the 3rd floor. Any citizen with a disability who wants to stay pass 10PM at the Artist Village will not be able to use the elevator? Why would the city take available spaces from the 1st floor? Therefore making it more inaccessible for people with disabilities. We received this complaint from a current artist in the Santora Building.
12. Where are the new loading zones? Artists have less unloading zones and availability for parking due to the new pilot program.
13. The valet parking signs seem misleading on the length of the pilot program.