Ferndale Lowers Parking Rates, Extends Free Parking
Parking rates will return to 50 cents per hour.
Ferndale City Council voted Monday night to return parking rates to 50 cents an hour, temporarily decrease enforcement hours and extend free parking through Monday, March 25.
"After talking to business owners and residents I think we need to take a step back and re-evaluate the revenues, what we're going to use the revenues for, what does the community value and what we want to invest in," Ferndale Mayor Pro Tem Melanie Piana said during the meeting.
The Ferndale Downtown Development Authority announced last week that it would recommend to council a rollback of parking rates and enforcement hours, saying they had only recommended the increased rates if a plan was in place to use the extra revenue to expand parking capacity.
Parking rates will go back to 50 cents an hour for on-street parking and all lots. Employee parking pass rates are also going back to previous rates.
From March 25 to May 1, parking enforcement hours will be 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. to give the city time to install new solar-powered lighting around the pay stations. After that, enforcement hours will be 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Council had voted Feb. 25 to order more pay stations and extend free parking through March 11 so the city could work to address problems with the system.
Piana said increasing parking capacity is currently being discussed as part of the city's goal-setting process. Even if parking rates are increased down the line, Piana said the city would have specific goals in place to increase parking and would communicate the reason for any rate increase to residents and aim to "have better community buy-in for it."
Ferndale Mayor Dave Coulter pointed out that parking does need to be increased.
"I don't want to give anyone the false impression that we can keep rates at 50 cents per hour forever and expand parking," such as build a deck, Coulter said. "We need to do something because we have a parking problem in Ferndale. We can't increase capacity at 50 cents an hour."