Brea Old and New: The go-to source for "All things Brea"!

With lots of talk, council chooses parking structure plan

3 years ago by in ( BBON , City Guide , Hotspots , News , Old/New , Uncategorized , Welcome to Brea )
After nearly three hours at the Aug. 18 council meeting, the Brea City Council finally made some decisions on the prospects of a parking structure behind the Tower building in Brea Downtown.

    While some past councils barely spoke to one another on and off the dais, these folks discuss every issue into oblivion. I thought it might be a short meeting. I was very wrong.

      The question was simply should they vote for building a parking structure for the eastside of Brea Boulevard, and should it be for parking only or include 40 affordable housing units and offices for Jamboree Housing, the developer of such housing?

        Simple? Nope. But all five council members did agree that the mixed-use plan was too costly at nearly $19 million and would yield only eight more public parking spaces than the parking-only plan that offers 307 new parking spaces at a cost of $12.7 million or less, bringing the total available parking to 486 spaces.

          Finally, Councilmember Cecilia Hupp made a motion to approve the parking-only design option and was seconded by Councilmember Steve Vargas. But that was voted on after Councilwoman Christine Marick made a substitute motion to eliminate the mixed-use plan but not address the parking-only plan. That passed 3-2 with Mayor Marty Simonoff and Hupp dissenting. After much more discussion Hupp’s motion was passed 4-1 with Councilman Glenn Parker dissenting.

            Parker and Marick favored the mixed-use plan, but not the price tag.

              Said Marick, “Brea has a longstanding commitment to affordable housing so I am certainly open to looking at other opportunities to build affordable housing in or near the downtown.”

                At the Sept. 22 council meeting, the funding sources are suppose to be named, and the Big Five can use their great communication skills to debate such decisions as if money should come from the 560 Fund, originally intended for hillside preservation, or if the city’s unfunded pension liability will stall the project. That doesn’t seem to be the case, according to Simonoff.

                  “There is a plan already in place to reduce pension liability,” said Simonoff, “every city (including Brea) is required to pay additional funds to reduced the liability. Plus we are looking at other methods to utilize some of our funds to reduce our liability in a manner that will speed up the process for Brea.”

                    The parking structure’s Request for Proposals from qualified builders goes out in the fall.

                      In 1999, when the downtown was just emerging, then Councilman Roy Moore pushed in vain for a parking structure behind the Tower building. In his final Brea Net e-newsletter, No. 708 published July 15, 2015, he wrote that it could have been built then for $5 million with redevelopment money and Tower would not be empty for nine years.

                        Roy passed away Aug. 19. He served 16 years on the City Council and three terms as mayor. We’ll all miss him walking around the July 4 Country Fair in his Uncle Sam hat, and him stopping to chat with one and all at Brea Fest or John’s Place.

                          Rest in peace, my friend.

                            Terri Daxon is a freelance writer and the owner of Daxon Marketing Communications. Contact her at
Author :

"Thank you" for visiting Beautiful Brea Old & New (BBON). First & foremost, I am a proud mother & wife. I am also a well-rounded independent contractor. But you can call me an enthusiastic cheerleader, supporting wholeheartedly the City of Brea --a charming town with character & innovation, turning 100 years old in 2017!

  • Carolyn Campbell

Leave a Reply