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SoFi Stadium and Upcoming Clippers Arena Leads to Inglewood’s Controversial New City-Wide Parking Permit Program

[dropcap size=big]I[/dropcap]nglewoodAs SoFi Stadium gears up to hold their first preseason game of the year in August through the Rams vs. Chargers, Inglewood residents face a new city-wide parking permit initiative. 

In the coming months, city parking enforcement will require permits for individuals looking to park their car in all 11 neighborhood streets within districts 1, 3, and 4 for more than two hours. District 2, covering areas north of Florence Avenue, will require permits and is currently under the pre-approval stage. Residents will be limited to two free permits per household, with additional permit passes costing $100 each. 

The policy toward visitors is when things get tricky as residents will be given 12 one-day or four three-day permits for free quarterly. Individuals who want to have events like birthday parties or BBQs will be given a quarterly allowance of 25 one-day permits. Residents with children in college are going to pay $50 per year for a three-month permit. Housekeepers, babysitters, and nannies are going to be $50 more expensive for their semi-annual permits. 

With the news of the new city-wide parking permit mandate making waves around the City of Champions, residents like Dobby Garden At Darby Park Garden Director Eva Peñuelas feel indifferent about the policy. “As a resident, it’s tricky because my neighbor has three families living with them, and they have a total of ten cars,” said Peñuelas, who lives in a District 2 home near Edward Vincent Park. “That’s a problem because when we want guests over, or we want to have a small BBQ, we don’t have any parking.”

However, Peñuelas is also aware of the realities many Inglewood residents face regarding multi-generational homes and housing crises brought on by rising rent. According to reports, many residents like her have alluded to the policy being more of a “poor tax” for renters that make up over 64 percent of the city.

“The cost of living in Inglewood is so high, and there isn’t any rent control,” Peñuelas said. “I will say that there is now a new low-income building being built down the street from me, but the process is rigorous in their selection. It’s like hit-or-miss. My neighbors are against it. They’re trying to make ends meet, so they’re bringing in other families to help them pay things like the mortgage, utility bills, and even groceries.”

General Manager for Homegrown Radio Sparkle Pratt, who lives nearby off Beach Avenue, looks at the new policy as something that doesn’t make sense considering how far away they are from both The Forum and SoFi.

“My address on my ID doesn’t even match where I stay,” said Pratt of the permit parking requirements alongside vehicle registration and proof of residency. “I remember a certain situation like this during my undergrad time at UCLA, and it was a problem there because of my ID.”

Though the signs are ready to be put up over the following months, there won’t be any tickets issued until the residences are notified thirty days before the first ticket is issued. According to Thompson, the city won’t go to extremes to ensure parking permits are enforced. 

In a phone call, the traffic Operations Manager for Inglewood through city contractor LAZ Parking Bill Thompson said residents without an ID just need something that attaches them to their residence. 

“ID doesn't matter,” explained Thompson. “Utility bill or proof of residence works.”

Thompson said that besides potential parking issues caused by The Forum, SoFi, and the upcoming Clippers arena, individuals parking near Imperial and Crenshaw to uber or take the METRO to LAX were a cause of concern for residents. 

Though the signs are ready to be put up over the following months, there won’t be any tickets issued until the residences are notified thirty days before the first ticket is issued. According to Thompson, the city won’t go to extremes to ensure parking permits are enforced. 

Most people, for example, will be able to get a free permit if they have a child with them who just graduated from college,” Thompson explained. “It’s not following the line of protocol and procedure, but I am told by the city that this is not to hurt residents. If you have to bend a little bit, bend. You get two residential parking permits for free, and if you live in a multi-generational household, we’ll take care of it and give them the extra permits.”

Los Angeles Department of Water and Power employee Aaron Wright lives off Manchester Boulevard and 12th Avenue, less than a mile from SoFi, was already used to permit parking in the area since the re-opening of The Forum around a decade ago. Before the new parking permit change, he could get four permits for his household for $20 a year. 

“I do have a problem because it’s limiting my household to how many permits we can get,” said Wright, who lives with his brother alongside his brother’s girlfriend and child. “Now, each car has to be registered to our address, and we may not want that.” Most importantly, Wright was worried about entertaining or having events with the new visitors’ fees. “All we had to do, and they just wouldn’t send parking enforcement to house party if we had an event or house party,” said Wright.

Thompson did say that those policies would continue despite what’s been said on the city website.

“Once we get rockin'and rollin' with the new parking program, people can just give us a call that’ll connect with the clerk about an event or house party,” Thompson explained. We just avoid the area. The only time it’ll be a problem is if said person is having a party, and they are blocking someone’s driveway. Worst-case scenario, if someone you know gets a ticket, you’ll be able to call, and we’ll take it out of the system.” 

Though Inglewood is months away from enacting the new permit parking policy, residents are watching with a careful eye. 

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