UUSM Good Neighbor Parking Impact Reduction Plan

Approved at the Annual Meeting, 5-15-2005

The Unitarian Universalist Community Church of Santa Monica has operated at the corner of 18th and Arizona in Santa Monica since the sanctuary was built in 1930. The Social Hall on Arizona was built in 1961. Because both the church and social hall construction predated current parking requirements, current operations are considered "grandparented" uses, and are not required to provide parking on site.

The neighborhood surrounding the church has limited on-street parking because of the proximity of major hospitals and car dealerships with insufficient on-site parking for employees and visitors as well as many residential buildings lacking on site parking. On street parking is limited to two hours without a resident permit. Because the church is committed to being a good neighbor, we have prepared this Parking Impact Reduction Plan. In accordance with City of Santa Monica policies, the plan seeks both to manage parking demand and supply, and to decrease the number of auto trips generated as a result of church activities as well as impacts on the neighborhood.

This "Good Neighbor Parking Impact Reduction Plan" was adopted by the congregation at our May 15, 2005 general meeting. A plan to reduce parking impacts on the neighborhood was included by the Planning Commission as a condition of their March 3, 2004 approval of our plan to expand the sanctuary and build new religious education classrooms at 1253 17th Street. We are returning to the Planning Commission June 15, 2005 to request permission for a similar plan to build new RE classrooms at 1248 18th Street and using the old house for offices. We have now adopted and implemented this plant to reduce impacts on our neighbors.


The UUCCSM commits to take the following measures to encourage members, visitors and community members using its facilities to use alternatives to private auto use and to reduce parking demand on neighborhood streets:

1. Recognizing the need to provide parking for Sunday mornings, the period of highest use, the church has a longstanding agreement with UCLA Hospital to provide access to spaces in their garage at 16th and Arizona. The garage is less than two short blocks along Arizona from the church and social hall. Visitors and members simply pick up a blue "parking pass" from the office or Sunday morning greeters, and place it on their dashboard. Between 8:30 and 2:30 a parking attendant will admit all cars with the blue pass to the garage and open the gate for them to leave. These hours can be extended for special events on Sunday afternoons by prior arrangement with the church office.

2. Information on Big Blue Bus service to the church is posted in the lobby to the social hall near the Arizona Avenue entrance. Information on bike routes serving the church will also be provided at this location.

3. Members of church study groups and committees will be encouraged to carpool to meetings and activities. Carpool sign-up sheets for Sunday mornings and other regular activities will be provided on the bulletin board at Forbes Hall. For larger events, where feasible, carpooling or vanpooling should be encouraged.

4. Community groups renting church facilities will receive a copy of this "Good Neighbor" policy. They are requested to note in their event announcements that on-street parking is limited, to identify nearby bus lines in meeting announcements, and provide an email address or phone number for carpooling coordination. They are also requested to show consideration for neighbors by not lingering or talking loudly near residences after events, particularly after 10 pm. No noises should be heard from the street or neighbors near the church facilities after 10 pm. If the church office receives any complaints from neighbors or other church users about excessive noise, renters may be restricted in their use of church facilities.

5. Bike parking facilities will be provided for those bicycling to events at the church facilities. Currently, the bike rack is located in the rear yard of 1248 18th Street.

6. The church will conduct surveys of how people access the church at least every other year, as required in the Planning Commission’s Statement of Official Action dated May 21, 2004. Articles in the Church newsletter, announcements in the order of service and periodic raffles and other incentive programs will encourage walking, biking, taking the bus and carpooling to church events to reduce neighborhood parking impacts. Articles and announcements in April 2005 documented an average garage use level of 40-50 cars from church visitors each Sunday.


7. The church has requested the City to post signs to identify a drop off location near the entry to Forbes Hall so that children and those with mobility problems can be dropped off and the driver can continue along Arizona to the UCLA garage. It is anticipated that this will be a single drop off parking space on the curb near the alleyway, and will be restricted only on Sundays from 8 am to 3 pm to encourage use of the garage, less than 2 short blocks from the social hall entrance.

8. An announcement in each Sunday order of service will encourage use of the UCLA parking garage or alternatives to driving, including walking, biking, taking the bus and carpooling.

9. In conjunction with construction of new religious education facilities and office space at 1248 18th Street, the church has proposed to provide three parking spaces with access off the alley for staff use and deliveries to church facilities.

10. In addition to the possible use of the UCLA garage on weekends, when it is not fully used by UCLA personnel, the church encourages groups using its facilities to make arrangements with other potential providers of off-site parking, such as the 7th Day Adventist Church at 19th and Arizona and various nearby businesses located along Wilshire Boulevard. The church will provide contact information for groups to arrange for such shared parking use.

As a renter of facilities at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Santa Monica, I hereby acknowledge that I have read and will abide by the Good Neighbor policy of the church. Specifically, I will encourage participants in events at the church to carpool, take the bus, walk, bike or ,where feasible, arrange for use of nearby parking facilities, in order to decrease the impact of our events on the neighborhood’s limited on street parking supply.