Parking Task Force Results
The Parking Task Force (PTF) operated according to City Commission Resolution 02-23, approved on January 24, 2023. The PTF held its first meeting on April 4 and its final meeting on September 19. They have produced a report, which was summarized for the City Commission during a subsequent meeting. A copy of that report can be downloaded by Clicking Here.
The Task Force during their meetings, heard from a wide variety of persons, as well as experts in certain areas of the parking and mobility environment. These included private sector companies in the areas of parking structures, mobility options, That report made several recommendations which were broken into three phases as excerpted below:
- Hire a temporary advisor/consultant for the following purposes: evaluate and provide recommendations for the Parking and Mobility Advisory Authority and Parking and Mobility Department
- Create a centralized Parking and Mobility Department
- Create a Parking and Mobility Advisory Authority
The Alliance partially disagrees with the first three in that we see no need for both a Parking and Mobility Department as well as a Parking and Mobility Advisory Authority. Municipal parking has become both an issue and an income generator for the City. It is in essence an Enterprise activity where the City provides a service (the available parking spaces) to both residents and visitors for a fee. Based on the current unallocated fund status of $2,500,000 and revenue estimates of about $1,520,000 annually, with expenses around $895,000 (personnel and equipment), this is a business and should be run as one. It can only grow as more spaces are added. Creating a city department means more fund transferring around and the absence of a business focus. And there is no reason why a volunteer advisory board could not be added at no cost.
The Alliance recommends creation of a Parking and Mobility Authority that is staffed and responsible for all parking and mobility activities within the city, including enforcement.
- Encourage and seek partnerships with privately owned businesses (Chamber of Commerce, local merchants, etc.) and public agencies such as, FDOT, Volusia County, the New Smyrna Beach Visitors Bureau, as well as existing organizations that have existing parking lots within the parking districts
- Establish communication with Volusia County regarding beach access / parking issues.
- Reduce the time limit for on‐street parking on Flagler Ave to 2 hours until paid parking is established.
We believe the last recommendation could be implemented immediately to address problems with beachgoers using the Flagler Ave parking spaces to visit the beach. This would only require amending the parking ordinance and re-doing the signs (city has a sign shop). It would respond to business owner concerns before the Spring season.
The Alliance recommends immediate adjustment to the parking time limit on Flagler.
- Expansion of paid parking to all City‐controlled parking areas (lots, right‐of way), within the confines of Canal Street and Flagler Avenue Parking Districts, with special provisions for employees and City residents
- Expansion of payment technology, that would include data collection capabilities. Recommend implementation scaled payment schedule dependent on zone and specific location of lots
We believe this should be the first priority for the newly created Parking and Mobility Authority as data is essential for all future parking decisions. Moving quickly here can have immediate impact on parking and mobility planning, resulting in quicker decisions for future parking and mobility options.
The Alliance recommends this to be a first priority upon standup of the new Parking and Mobility Authority.
- Create a leasing structure for the purpose of leasing properties for shared parking
- Establish a free shuttle service to be operated by direct ownership of the City or through contractual agreement.
- Evaluate all parking signage, including those at loading zones on Flagler Avenue
- The preferred method of providing new spaces is through expansion of parking capacity through surface and shared lots
- Location to be provided by advisor/consultant for properties located on maps
- Construction type for new construction of parking lots, beachside: unpaved
- The Towne Center in Venetian Bay has recently lost a 36‐parking space lot and several acres of vacant land parking serving business customers; and discussions have been held regarding the potential elimination of business customer parking in the lot adjacent to the community pool. City staff needs to address the business owners’ concerns for parking by working with the business owners and the developer to prepare a study of parking options to serve the business customers in the Towne Center. Options to be studied include the elimination of the green space and the shrinking of the sidewalk on the East side of the Towne Center along Luna Bella Street and the provision of angle parking from the clock tower roundabout to the north to the southern edge of the parking lot adjacent to the community pool
The City has little control over parking issues within Venetian Bay as a result of the original development agreements. As the town grows, it will only get worse. A large number of citizens who spoke before the Task Force, were from Venetian Bay and they deserve some help from the City, even given the development restrictions. The Alliance encourages the City to open on-going discussions with the developer to address the issues presented by these citizens and they should have a seat on the Parking and Mobility Advisory Board.
The Alliance recommends that the City open on-going dialog with the Venetian Bay developer to address the parking issues raised by residents there during the Parking Task Force meetings.
- Defer parking garages on Flagler Avenue and Canal Street to such time in future, as needed.
There has been a great deal of discussion regarding parking garages. The Task Force concluded they needed more parking demand data in order to address these issues and staged it within Phase III; the Alliance agrees for large scale public development. But we also encourage the development of private sector initiatives where spaces are allocated for tenants and other spaces are allocated for public use. These are generally associated with condo development, but at the same time they can be supportive of overall city initiatives.
The Alliance encourages private development of private sector parking structures that are esthetically pleasing and supportive of public parking access.
Overall, the Alliance is pleased with the efforts and report of the Parking Task Force efforts and conclusions. We think with the adjustments as we have noted, the City can movement forward rapidly with their recommendations and we will soon see improvements to the parking issues that were raised throughout their review. We also compliment and commend the members of the Task Force for their astute comments and interest in the parking issues facing us. Thank you for your service to our city!