San Diego

Rancho Bernardo Residents Explain Ongoing Parking Problems

A lot of people from nearby apartments and restaurants are looking for parking and are landing on streets in front of homes

Rancho Bernardo residents say a bad parking situation has gotten worse since a popular BBQ joint moved in, with no foreseeable solution in sight. 

Parking off West Bernardo and Botero Drive has always been a struggle, resident Greg Birch told NBC 7 San Diego. He's struggled with it for 30 years. 

"Oh my Lord, it's changed radically," Birch said. 

Birch cited two recent changes that have made parking a nightmare for locals: when nearby complex Waterbridge Luxury Condos changed from apartment-style to condo-style living, and when popular BBQ restaurant Phil's BBQ moved in.

Robin Kaufman, a Rancho Bernardo resident for 40 years and president of the RB Community Council, said the complex's overflow parking is on the streets.

A spokeswoman for Waterbridge said each condo is individually owned and has deed parking spaces, which vary from one to two spaces; the deeds cannot be re-done, she said. The Board of Directors has been looking at option to provide additional spaces to homeowners. 

"However, this is not an easy task, as we do not have the space to create parking spaces. One resolution is a proposed plans, to re-do the parking lot with new asphalt," the statement read, later adding the board has not been able to get the needed approval from HOA members to do so.

In the statement, a spokeswoman said they continue to look into alternative solutions. 

"So we find it insulting with the statement that we are doing 'nothing'. I find it hard to believe that our community Waterbridge is the sole issue for the lack of parking in the street for Westwood," the statement reads. "These units were converted into condos several years ago, yet the same number of units remain, with the same number of parking slots. So deeded slots, would not create less parking, if anything it creates reserved and secured parking for homeowners."

However, Kaufman said the parking situation has deteriorated. 

"As an apartment complex, anyone could park wherever they wanted to," said Kaufman. "Once it became a condo complex, the owners and their Board of Directors decided to give designated parking spots per unit. And if you have two bathrooms, then you get two parking spots. If you have one bathroom, you get one parking spot."

City Councilmember Mark Kersey's office said the city cannot force the condo complex to add more parking. 

"The biggest frustration of all is the fact that Waterbridge has not done anything about it for over 10 years," Birch said. 

When Phil's BBQ moved in, residents say, it made a bad situation worse. 

"It's been an ongoing issue, but I think that was the straw that broke the camel's back," Kaufman said.

At the end of April, the restaurant opened a new location, and their overflow employee parking, according to Kaufman and Birch, is the neighborhood. 

"By and large the Phil's employees are polite and congenial all but they don't really have any place to park," Birch said.

In a statement, a spokesperson for Phil's BBQ said in part, "In an effort to help eliminate parking issues, Phil's BBQ has made alternate arrangements for employee and guest overflow parking on two surrounding private properties."

The city says these are public streets, but a spokesperson for councilman Kersey says residents are asking for something to be done, so they are working to find a solution.

One community group is collecting signatures for a resolution whether it be no overnight parking, timed parking, or residential permit parking only. Residents are looking for whatever will open their street parking for them and their guests.

But for local residents, the change cannot come soon enough. 

"As a resident of being here almost 30 years, I don't feel it's okay," said Birch. 

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