By Joe Naiman
Village News Reporter 

Supervisors approve Fallbrook parking lot rights agreement


Last updated 2/7/2020 at 2:05am

Village News/Shane Gibson photo

The recent parking lot rights agreement gives Fallbrook Library a permanent parking easement for a minimum of 10 unreserved parking spaces in the larger community parking lot below the library parking lot.

The Fallbrook branch library shares a parking lot with various Downtown Fallbrook businesses, and an exchange of parking lot rights was approved by the San Diego County Board of Supervisors during their Jan. 28 meeting.

The supervisors' 5-0 vote exchanges the county's interest in the Fallbrook Parking Trust for complete ownership of the 14,175 square feet of the parking lot immediately adjacent to the library, a permanent parking easement for a minimum of 10 unreserved parking spaces located anywhere on the trust property, and the right to use the entire trust property for special events conducted by the library.

"It's a win-win for all those involved," Supervisor Jim Desmond said.

The community parking lot consists of three legal parcels and totals 54,427 square feet. The parcel containing the Fallbrook library branch is not part of that community lot but only had 20 spaces so, in 2002, the county acquired a three-ninths interest in the community parking lot consisting of a one-ninths undivided interest and a two-ninths share in the area owned by the Fallbrook Parking Trust. That three-ninths share entitles the county to approximately 18,142 square feet not including the parking spaces in the county-owned parcel.

The library branch is on South Mission Road, but the community parking lot is accessible from Alvarado Street and also provides parking for businesses located on Main Avenue.

Because of the difference in elevation, the library'' parking spaces are in two different sections. The county has 25 spaces on 14,175 feet of the trust area along with the 20 spaces on the county-owned parcel. The county's share for the lower parking lot totals 3,967 square feet and includes 10 parking spaces.

The parking trust expires in 2021, so the exchange in the parking rights allows the remaining seven owners, including two owners who split one share, to extend the trust for the remaining six shares without being burdened by county procedure requirements.

"It's helping the merchants out," Desmond said.

"Overall we're pleased to help Supervisor Desmond with this arrangement between the county and the parking trust," county library director Migell Acosta said. "We just want to be a strong community partner."

Although the county conveyed its partial ownership of the parking lot to the trust, the county gains ownership of the 14,175 square foot area which equates to three-ninths of the trust.

"Now that the transaction is done, the library will end up with the upper parking lot in their ownership," Don McDougal said, who is the trustee for the Parking Lot Trust.

The county will no longer own any interest in the common trust after the transaction is completed but will still be granted an easement for a minimum of 10 unreserved parking spaces located anywhere on the parking trust property.

"The county will have an easement to use the lower area," McDougal said. "That gives them the parking they need for their square footage."

Property owned by the federal or state government, a school district or an Indian reservation is not subject to county land use requirements including minimum parking standards, but land owned by local governments including the county as well as a special district must meet the zoning ordinance specifications including parking standards.

The minimum parking requirement for the library is 52 spaces, and the permanent easement spaces along with the spaces on the land which will be owned by the county will guarantee the county 55 spaces.

"We feel we have adequate parking," Acosta said.

The county may also use the entire parking lot for special events contingent upon advance written notice to the trust.

"When we have really large events, we do have access to the entire parking lot," Acosta said.

"Both sides win," McDougal said.

A county appraiser determined that the value of the 3,967-square-foot area in the lower lot which will be conveyed to the trust is equal to the value of the easement for the 10 spaces, so the transaction itself did not involve any monetary exchange. The county paid $982 for escrow and title insurance costs.

"I'm sure glad we got it done. It was a big project," McDougal said. "We've been working on this well over a year."


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