Port and harbor board revisits parking permits proposal

A sign in the parking lot next to the harbormaster’s office informs drivers not to exceed 30 days of long-term parking. (Louis Garcia photo)

Two new amendments to a harbor parking permit proposal were passed by the Kodiak Port and Harbor Advisory Board (PHAB) Wednesday afternoon, and will be presented to the Kodiak City Council when the topic of implementing a summer trial period is revisited at its regular meeting this month.

The proposed parking permit trial period for long-term lots is for St. Paul and St. Herman harbors. Slip holders and paid-up transient vessel operators would be allowed to park vehicles in the 30-day lots. They would pay $30 for a first permit and $50 for a second vehicle.

Short-term parking in the 12- and 72-hour areas would still not require permits, and the permits would not guarantee an available parking space.

The idea of a parking permit system was discussed last year with hopes it would address the problem of people leaving their cars — some derelict or abandoned — in high-demand harbor parking spaces for unlimited periods.

The new amendments to what such a process would eventually entail are two changes to an ever-evolving proposal.

The first motion passed on Wednesday asks the city council to amend the city code to provide authority for harbormaster Marty Owen to change the parking lot designations of areas for the permit parking. This aims to ensure there aren’t unused spaces.

“If you have a parking lot this big, maybe you need two thirds of it in the summertime and then you reduce the 30-day space in the wintertime,” PHAB chairman Nick Szabo said.

A second motion for the city council to consider is making the 30-day designated parking space adjacent to the launch ramp in Dog Bay open to all Kodiak Island residents and not just limited to slip holders or long-term transients.

Both motions passed unanimously, though some issues still nag at the harbor parking permit and parking situation in general. Villager parking space was chief among them.

“When we’re talking about the village situation, we’re talking about an entirely different thing,” Szabo said. “The fishermen or the harbor users just want to have a place where they can occasionally park for a week or two, mostly during the salmon season.

“What the villagers want is 12 months out of the year vehicle storage so that when they occasionally come into town their car is handy for them to use,” he added. “We’re talking about apples and oranges here as far as the needs are.”

The city council will revisit the subject this month and make a decision at the Feb. 24 regular meeting.

Mirror writer Louis Garcia can be reached via e-mail at lgarcia@kodiakdailymirror.com.

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