The proposed actions will establish restrictions related to the usage of Government Center Parking Facilities and wheeled toys at City Parks, will deem that all parking violations be handled administratively, and will update parking violation fees to include illegal parking on school property and electric vehicle charging stations.
Government Center Parking Facilities
Staff is proposing that the City Council consider an ordinance to improve the safety and security related to parking at the Chino Hills Government Center. City staff and the Chino Hills Police Department have repeatedly observed misuse of the Government Center parking structure, including crimes against persons or property, and congregation of unsupervised minors that impedes traffic and parking flow. Crimes against persons and property that have occurred in the Government Center parking structure include lewd conduct, vandalism, littering, physical altercations, underage drinking, tobacco and marijuana usage.
Upon adoption of the ordinance, the Chino Hills Police Department will have the authority to monitor and enforce unauthorized parking and non-parking related activities within the Government Center parking facilities. The proposed ordinance will restrict usage of the parking structure and surrounding parking lots to vehicle parking activities and related pedestrian activity only, unless otherwise approved by the City. It will restrict any unnecessary pedestrian traffic above and below the ground level of the structure, where pedestrians may not be normally anticipated by vehicle drivers and create an avoidable safety hazard. This ordinance is intended to address individuals misusing the parking facilities for non-parking purposes, thereby providing a safer and more positive experience for residents and visitors of both the Government Center complex and the Shoppes at Chino Hills.
Wheeled Toy Ordinance and Regulation at City Parks
At the April 9, 2019 City Council meeting, staff brought forth the Parks and Recreation Commission-approved recommendations to Chapter 10.32 - Wheeled Toy Ordinance and Chapter 12.40 - Parks and Recreational Facilities. After some discussion, Council directed staff to revise the sections on the use of drones and wheeled toys and bring back for approval. Chapter 12.40 is scheduled to be brought back to the Council this year. However, staff is proposing amending the Wheeled Toy Ordinance (Chapter 10.32) now because of the impacts City-wide. The amended ordinance includes specific guidelines for signage designating "No Wheeled Toy" areas and expressly includes a prohibition on the use of scooters as wheeled toys on properly posted properties. Previously, scooters were not explicitly listed as a prohibited wheeled toys, but were considered prohibited as a “similar activity.”
The amendment to the Wheeled Toy Ordinance will also prohibit skateboarding at all parks except the Skate Park. The use of other Wheeled Toys (scooters, rollerskates and rollerblades) at all parks, except at Community Park, Grand Avenue Park, Veterans Park, Community Center, and McCoy Equestrian Center, will still be permitted. Skateboards are deemed more dangerous than other wheeled toys due to the greater likelihood that a rider can become separated from the skateboard, allowing the boards to travel uncontrolled and endanger pedestrians.
Clarify All Parking Violations Handled Administratively
In addition, City staff is proposing amending the Parking Violations section of the Chino Hills Municipal Code (CHMC), Section 10.04.020, to clarify that all state Vehicle Code parking violations as well as City and federal parking violations that are not misdemeanors, are to be charged civilly through a City administrative process rather than with an infraction through the Superior Court. This is because parking infraction violations can be cited civilly pursuant to California Vehicle Code §§40200-40230. CHMC Section 10.04.020 provides the authority to handle these violations administratively and thus avoid the penalty assessments that are added by the court when processing infractions. This section also clarifies that all CHMC parking violations are infractions so that these violations can be handled civilly. (Some of the parking violations are currently listed in the Municipal Code as misdemeanors and as misdemeanors have a substantial penalty and cannot be cited administratively.) Once approved, City staff will work with the Chino Hills Police Department to ensure that all parking violations are issued as civil fines.
Civil Penalty And Late Fee Added to Master Schedule Penalty Table for Illegal School Parking, Improper Usage of Electrical Vehicle Charging, and Government Center Parking Facilities.
City staff also recommends adoption of a resolution to establish a lower parking fine for parking illegally on school grounds. The reason for lowering the fine for parking on school grounds is that the City’s current infraction fine for parking on school grounds without a permit is high - a $100 infraction fee, and with the fees added by the court, results in a fine of over $200. At such a high rate, few tickets were issued in the past due to this concern that the fine was not proportional to the offense. However, there is a need to exact an affordable penalty when illegal parking occurs on school grounds to deter illegal parking. Therefore, the resolution lowers this fine to $43, consistent with many other parking fines in the City. City staff also recommends that a parking fine be added for violation of California Vehicle Code Section § 22511.1 for improper usage of electric vehicle charging locations.