Close Panel
Click for weather info63°F

Downtown Parking FAQsPublic Works

What does it mean if I live in permit parking Area M?

Living in Area M means that you may request Resident Permit Parking restrictions be posted on your block and you are eligible to purchase Resident and Visitor Parking Permits.

Blocks that are located in a PPA are eligible to have Resident Permit Parking restrictions posted, provided at least 70% of residents support posting and a study indicates a shortage of parking due to impacts from commuter students. 

Inclusion in a PPA does NOT mean that permit parking restrictions will be posted on any particular block.  The PPA designation only means that a block is eligible to request permit parking signs.  Only blocks where residents have requested permit parking will have those restrictions posted.  

Residents of a PPA are eligible to purchase permits enabling them to park on the street where No Parking/Area M Permit Exempt signs are posted.  There is a limit of three (3) vehicle-assigned Resident Permits and one (1) transferrable Visitor Permit per legal dwelling unit, per year.  Permits cost $20 each and are valid for one year beginning August 31st.

What factors do city staff and Council consider when deciding whether to expand a permit parking area?

 When deciding whether to support or approve establishment or expansion of a PPA, City Council and staff consider the following:


  • The extent to which residents desire permit parking.  This is evaluated based on the resident petition and public comment process.

  • The cause of any parking congestion in the proposed PPA. 

    • Staff must be able to identify a non-resident source of parking impacts, such as nearby businesses, schools, industries, etc. 

    • The RPP program is not effective in alleviating parking congestion in areas where impacts are caused solely by residential uses.

  • The extent to which residents need permit parking, based on the findings of the parking study.  Generally, parking is considered impacted when:

    • Parking occupancy during peak hours exceeds 80%;

    • Occupancy exceeds 75% for periods exceeding 8 continuous hours; and

    • Parking congestion exists for a minimum of 5 contiguous blocks.

  • The feasibility of enforcing permit parking regulations in the proposed area.

    • At this time, the City is unable to enforce permit parking restrictions after 6 PM. 

  • The size and configuration of the proposed PPA.  The City evaluates and addresses parking needs on a neighborhood-wide basis.  Requests for new or expanded PPAs must be made at the neighborhood scale.  Requests will not be considered on a block-by-block basis.

  • Potential impacts on parking and traffic congestion in the proposed area and in adjacent areas.

  • Whether there are other, more effective solutions to a parking problem.

What is a Permit Parking Area?

A Permit Parking Area (PPA) is an area that has been designated by City Council as eligible to participate in the RPP Program.  The City is only authorized to post resident parking restrictions in designated PPAs, and only PPA residents are eligible to purchase Resident and Visitor Parking Permits.

What is the Resident Permit Parking Area?

The City’s Resident Permit Parking (RPP) Program is a tool that the City uses to manage the parking needs of residents in mixed-use areas.  The RPP Program preserves the availability of on-street parking for residents of older dwellings in areas where parking may be affected by nearby commercial, educational, or recreational uses.  The RPP Program establishes parking restrictions on certain blocks located in designated Permit Parking Areas (PPAs) and provides an exemption for full-time residents of eligible addresses who purchase permits.  It is governed by Chapter 10.46 of the Municipal Code, which outlines the process and requirements for establishing PPAs and posting permit parking restrictions, in addition to specifying the rules and regulations for parking permit use and eligibility.

What kinds of parking restrictions can be posted?

In Area M, the Transportation Engineer is authorized to post “RESIDENT PARKING ONLY 8 AM – 4 PM SCHOOL DAYS” signage.

Can I contest a parking bill?

To contest a violation bill, write a statement on the bill explaining why you are contesting it.  Retain a copy for your records and return the statement with any back-up documentation in the envelope provided.  

Are there any subsidized alternative transportation programs for residents?

The City currently offers a subsidized program for Downtown employees.

Where can I safely park my bicycle in the downtown area?

The City has partnered with Bikestation to offer secure, commuter bicycle facilities in the Granada Garage and City Lot 3. Please go to for more information and to sign up.

The City also offers bicycle lockers in parking lots throughout the Downtown area as well as at major bus and train locations.  Please contact the Downtown Parking Office at (805) 564-5656 for locations and fees. 

How do I request/remove a green/yellow/red or handicapped zone?

Please call Steve Sisler (805) 882-8989 and explain where the curb location is and why you would like it removed.  Often times businesses or residents no longer need these parking areas or restrictions because they have moved away or their needs have changed. 

How can I get a Residential Parking Permit?

Residential parking permits require a petition of all households on the street. Please go to Residential Programs for more information. You will need to bring in three things to the Downtown Parking Office located at 1221 Anacapa Street.

  1. Your rental or lease agreement
  2. Current CA vehicle Registration
  3. A current piece of official mail, such as a water bill or electric bill with your name and address on it.

Where can I get information about obtaining a monthly parking lot permit or a permit to park in the commuter lot ?

You will need to come into our office at 1221 Anacapa Street and fill out an application. Please bring current CA vehicle registration for the vehicle. Currently three lots offer monthly permits, the Ortega Garage ($135), the Depot Lot ($100), and Lot 2($145). (see Map) The Cota and Carrillo Commuter lots are available for $65 and $40 respectively. Please go to:  Parking Permits .

Where can I get information about an on-street parking ticket?

Please call the Police Department at (805) 897-2300.  You can now pay your ticket online at:  

Where can I get information about payment of a fee I incurred in one of the City’s paid parking lots and can I pay bills over the phone?

Please contact the Downtown Parking Office at (805) 564-5656.  The Parking Program does not accept payment of bills over the phone, and you cannot use online payment, but you can pay by cash, check, or credit card at the Parking Office located at 1221 Anacapa Street.

Last Updated: Apr 2, 2014
Top of Page