SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — The city of Sacramento is looking at limiting parking and banning overnight parking in areas as new developments continue to shape the look of the River District.
“I think we start to see the River District go from its commercial and industrial past to being a vital, thriving future,” said River District Executive Director, Jenna Abbott.
A proposed ordinance would limit parking throughout the district to two hours in some areas and prohibit overnight parking starting at 10 p.m. on streets. It would limit where and when people can park in areas that are currently home to hundreds of homeless individuals including Michelle Blaton.
“It’s hard that every time we find a place they make us move,” Blaton said. “I don’t know where we would go.”
New business and thousands of jobs are expected with Richards Boulevard state building, Township Nine residential units, and the district’s location just blocks away from the new home of the MLS stadium that is still in the making.
In an interview last month, Abbott explained the area still has its difficulties.
“Our challenge is we’re being labeled the homeless district instead of the River District,” Abbott said in September.
Abbott said the proposed ordinance is a proactive approach to address parking needs and not directed at those who camp in the area. She explained the proposal mimics similar parking regulations in different parts of the city.
“The River District is starting to see really nice investment and growth and we are trying to look at the parking as an overall plan,” she explained. “As we start to build up, having this holistic parking plan that really looks at it proactively is something that will be really helpful.”
A homeless advocacy group, Safe Ground, believes the idea would be crushing for those sleeping in their cars.
“It’s another assault on the few enclaves that homeless people can get just a little bit of respite,” said Mark Merin. “People are at their wit’s end and cannot move, there’s no alternative for them.”
In a statement, the city said they have been working with stakeholders for two years on a comprehensive parking plan that includes around 1,500 parking spaces.
“Key objectives of this initiative include helping vehicle turnover, providing convenient parking for customers of local businesses, maintaining proper roadway safety and supporting smart growth in the area,” the statement explained.
The city is encouraging residents to participate in Tuesday’s city council meeting and comment on the proposal.