As more people flock to Yountville’s hotels, restaurants and wine tasting rooms, the resort town hopes to better fit parking spaces to its street curbs – by turning them.
An ordinance passed Tuesday by the Town Council formally allows for vehicle spaces that are set at an angle to the curb, rather than parallel to them. The shift, which increases parking capacity, will allow visitors to ease their vehicles into spaces nose-first – a layout that in recent months already has begun appearing on some streets in the resort town of about 3,000 residents.
California law allows cities to decide whether to allow angled parking slots within their boundaries. Yountville’s code has never specifically permitted the design, but the town has begun allowing it at certain locations like Stewart Cellars and Jessup Cellars, two tasting rooms in the 6700 block of Washington Street, and Lincoln Avenue near Yountville Park on the town’s north side.
Planning staff has marked other locations that could benefit from slanted parking slots, but needs firm approval of the practice in order to move ahead, according to Town Attorney Gary Bell.
The ordinance allows angled parking to be considered at a development but does not require its use, and community members will be allowed to oppose the layout, according to Mayor John Dunbar.
“The public will be able to say ‘I’m OK with this’ or ‘I’m not OK with this,’ based on where the projects might be in the future,” he said before the vote. “We’re not giving staff permission to put this wherever staff thinks it’s appropriate. The (review) process will still be there.”
Town Manager Steve Rogers told residents not to expect the disappearance of parallel parking from local streets, saying not all downtown routes will have the room for nose-in parking.
“This is only going to work where there’s enough right of way because the goal is to increase parking capacity,” he said. “It’s not something we’ll overdo, but where it’s judiciously (done), it makes sense to do it.”