Saturday, September 19, 2020     Volume: 21, Issue: 29

Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on August 12th, 2020, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 21, Issue 24 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 21, Issue 24

Solvang talks parking concerns amid Copenhagen closure

By Karen Garcia

The city of Solvang revisited the Copenhagen Drive closure at its Aug. 10 meeting to hear residents’ concerns about the closure, positive feedback from tourists, and discuss recommendations for a long-term program for businesses. 

Residents and businesses stated that their main issue with the closure is that there isn’t enough available parking—or not enough disabled person parking spots—near Copenhagen. During public comment, Mary Garvey, a Los Angeles resident and Solvang tourist for more than 30 years, opposed that statement. 

“I don’t get that. I’ve been coming up here for forever, and even on the Fourth of July, and I’ve never had a problem finding a place to park,” Garvey said. 

According to the staff report, Garvey and other tourists have given the city positive feedback on the closure. 

During the meeting, City Manager Xenia Bradford said that people are happy to see a European style take over Copenhagen. The street’s closure enables businesses to expand onto the thoroughfare due to the limitations imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

To mitigate the community’s concerns, the city created an alternative temporary parking spot near the Visitor Center to make up for the one disabled parking spot that was eliminated. City staff has also set up additional disabled and limited-time parking on cross streets adjacent to Copenhagen. 

According to the staff report, the number of tourists has increased since the street was closed, and there hasn’t been an overflow of parking into residential areas. In order to increase awareness of available parking, city staff will place additional directional signage for available parking near the downtown area. 

City Council members agreed that the Copenhagen closure will likely extend into the next year, but they said that there is a lack of consistency with the type of fencing, shade structures, and furniture being used by businesses currently. 

“I do think that Copenhagen looks a little bit sloppy right now, and I wish we had some more continuity and if we had the branding and design committee together sooner, it’d be nice to have,” Mayor Pro Tem Robert Clarke said. 

The council directed staff to provide guidelines or develop a program to purchase the equipment needed to operate outside or develop a partnership program with businesses for repayment. 

Weekly Poll
Should the county Public Health Department help elementary schools apply for the state’s waiver program?

Yes, that’s what the department is there for.
Schools shouldn’t open at all right now, nevermind with the county’s help.
If the state thinks schools are ready, what’s the problem?
Schools should have to fend for themselves; it shows whether they’re ready to handle reopening.

| Poll Results

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