The city of Inglewood Public Works department has successfully implemented a Citywide Permit Parking District Program to address the incoming influx of cars related to SoFi Stadium and other entertainment venues.
The Public Works department began the process in April 2020 requesting the council consider an ordinance amending Chapter 3 of the city’s municipal code to implement the program, which would exempt residents in District 2.
The city will implement the program citywide although one area will not be activated immediately.
The staff report detailed that District 2 was the “furthest from SoFi Stadium and the Los Angeles Sports Entertainment District and because of single-family type residents and lower density” those residents would experience less non-residential parking intrusion. The City will still implement parking restrictions, but would only activate them if necessary.
Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts Jr. scheduled a Public Hearing on the matter for May 5, 2020. City Clerk Yvonne Horton compiled communications received through email, which she stated she received “a lot” and separated based on “for” and “against” which Butts wanted distributed to the council, without reading out loud for the public to hear.
“This is new to me, so Mr. City Attorney do we have to read these into the record, or can we give them to the council so they are aware,” asked Butts.
“Read them into the record because that’s their public comment,” said Ken Campos, city attorney.
“We have to read them there at the meeting?” asked Butts? “Is that necessary?”
“Yes,” responded Campos.
“Mr. City Attorney, under that premise, if there were 5,000 comments, we would have to read them. Wouldn’t it be enough to get their name and if they are for or against,” asked Butts?
“Depending on how we received them mayor, we put down on our agenda two ways [to submit comments] one was by email and second by telephone, the information hasn’t been told to me how this information was provided to us,” explained Campos.
Butts continued to protest reading the public comments out loud, which were submitted by email. Campos then suggested the council take a break to review the comments that were emailed.
Deputy City Clerk Aisha Thompson read 10 comments that were emailed to the clerk’s office, with six for the program, and four against, with comments ranging from asking about fees, number of allowed guest permits, and one resident asked that the program be enforced 24/7.
No residents called in to speak on the matter.
Permits will be required for any vehicle parked beyond two hours, but from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., no permit is necessary. The initiative aims to preserve quality of life for residents and prevent increased traffic. The program will be enforced with fines and towing, and signs will be installed to warn motorists.
According to Public Works Director Luis Atwell residents will be allowed to register as many vehicles as they wish, although only two of those cars will be allowed on street during enforcement.
The city launched “IPark&Go” remote parking and shuttle program for visitors to the stadium, which has limited on-site parking. The program offers more than 4,000 parking spaces throughout Inglewood and surrounding areas for people to park before attending SoFi Stadium. Visitors can then catch shuttles to the Inglewood Intermodal Transit Facility, near the stadium. The trip will typically take 30 minutes or less.
The IPark&Go program is operated by LAZ Parking.
When some residents balked that the City is requiring excessive amounts of documentation, to determine residency, they are concerned about their address on their ID/Driver’s License not matching their home address.
Bill Thompson, the local LAZ representative who administers the Inglewood program, said that wouldn’t be an issue.
“ID doesn’t matter,” explained Thompson. “Utility bill or proof of residence works.”
The city is requiring the address on your vehicle registration MUST match the residents address.
Thompson is no stranger to the city of Inglewood, having worked in the Inglewood Police Department, and was the former partner of Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts Jr.
Mayor Butts was previously investigated for allegations of awarding contracts to companies based on their hiring of his family and friends, after a complaint was filed with the District Attorney’s office by a former member of the city council.
The issue arose when companies competing for the city’s trash hauling contract in 2012, told investigators they were alerted to the mayor’s brother needing a job. His brother was eventually hired by the company who won the contract.
Thompson previously held a position with the Forum, as the liaison to IPD, for law enforcement staffing.
Parking in the City is an ongoing issue, and some residents welcome the new permit system as it will ensure there is ample parking for the residents.
“I am glad we are finally getting something that is going to help with the parking crisis in the area,” said D. Doe, who didn’t want to be fully identified. “I’m tired of cars being left for days, people parking that don’t live in the neighborhood and people with way too many cars that aren’t even registered and I am looking forward to being able to park in front of my own home.”
Parking became a sore subject during the onset of the pandemic, with the city forced to allow residents to park in city owned lots along Arbor Vitae, and city parking structures, due to the lack of parking during the stay-home mandate.
The city caught the ire of residents in 2017, when the Inglewood Park Cemetery doubled as an overflow parking lot for events at the Forum, at the city’s request.
“It is just wrong, at the base, at the core, it is wrong,” said Karen Keyser. “At no time should a cemetery be considered for parking.”
The cemetery said they provided the parking at the City’s request.
“The city of Inglewood asked Inglewood Park Cemetery, along with some other establishments around the city, the Hollywood Park Casino and local schools,” said Rick Miller, CEO of Inglewood Park Cemetery. “The city itself is allowing their parking structures; everyone’s chipping in, Inglewood Cemetery is one of the establishments. They asked if we could, on a limited basis for a temporary time, participate in this service to the community to allow parking on our grounds after hours. We agreed to allow them to park some of their overflow on our roads.”
The city continues to face challenges as there aren’t enough parking spaces for the city’s residents, let alone, the estimated tens of thousands expected when the NFL season begins next month.
“We are becoming hostages to the City because of the stadium and we were constantly told this would be at NO cost to the residents,” said Earl Anderson, who lives in District 4. “First Metro makes us pay to drive in the carpool lanes, now I have to pay to park in front of my house, and my rent is scheduled to increase soon, this is ridiculous.”
“This program is to ensure that when the time comes, and when the arenas open, on event days we will be able to protect neighborhood parking from people who chose to disobey the signs and directions and attempt to park for free in neighborhoods,” said Butts.
The city’s Parking and Traffic Commission didn’t hold any public meetings on the matter, and a review of the city’s website shows the commission hasn’t met since mid 2019.
The City began notifying residents in April about the process but didn’t indicate the fees associated with obtaining the permits. Residents can begin applying online at https://inglewoodpermits.rmcpay.com.
Residents can view city council agendas, and city council meetings on either the city’s social media pages, and/or Channel 35 to stay abreast of city issues.