Tonight, to allow electric vehicle to park for free in metered spots. The electric plug-in cars would still be accountable for time limits, posted signs, and no parking zones.
The council considered the proposal, which was , at its last meeting and voted to direct staff to bring back an ordinance.
At that meeting, Police Chief Charles Maynard said there were a couple issues the police department was concerned about. Parking fees and fines, he said, were not revenue sources, but primarily to gain compliance on time limits and encourage a flow of cars. By allowing some cars to not pay, it would be harder to keep track of if they had overstayed their time. It would also create a perception that some cars weren't ticketed for expired meters and some were.
The perception of what was being enforced would also be problematic, Maynard said, when it came to which vehicles qualified and which didn't. For example, the Chevy Volt is advertised as a fully electric, plug-in vehicle, but it actually has a gas motor that kicks in if the car goes beyond the battery life. If that qualifies, but a hybrid doesn't, then some hybrid owners might think things were unequal, said Maynard, and it would require all the police officers to have a thorough knowledge of cars.
"We are very concerned about equity," said Maynard.
The council, though, decided that those concerns could be addressed through clear guidelines on what qualifies and through signs posted around town. The council members all said they believed the officers would be able to deal with any questions that arose.
"There's not a lot of crime in San Anselmo and our police force increasingly manifests an expertise in helping people sort through problems like this," said Mayor Ford Greene.
The town is also in the process of attempting to gain grant funding for four electric vehicle charging stations in town lots.
Council member Kay Coleman said the loss of parking spaces would be problematic for business owners, but supporters of the idea said there aren't that many cars right now that would qualify for it to be a problem.
The council will vote tonight on the proposal.