By November of this year, parking at the Civic Center will be limited to the parking structure as three construction projects will have completely consumed the surface lot.

Construction of the Early Childhood Lab School facility has already removed some parking from the site and the City recently broke ground on construction of a new field near the intersection of 4th and Pico. While some surface parking has remained available, a third project is expected to break ground in November that will completely close the surface lot.

The California Coastal Commission recently approved an application from City Hall to install a new water recycling project at the Civic site following Council approval of a budget for the project.

The Sustainable Water Infrastructure Project (SWIP) will create a single water recycling system that will convert stormwater, salted groundwater and municipal wastewater into about 1.5 million gallons per day of treated water to be used for irrigation, street cleaning, groundwater recharging and toilet flushing.

At their Sept. 10 meeting, Council approved a total construction budget of $92,473,490 for the project and Coastal Commission approved the project on Sept. 12.

Once complete, the project will produce about 12 percent of the City’s total water demand. Staff said the up-front costs will be recouped over time.

“While the SWIP requires a significant upfront capital expenditure, the cost would be offset by treating and producing more water locally, allowing the City to avoid costly imported water fees and wastewater fees paid to outside agencies,” said the City Hall staff report. “Staff conducted a financial analysis comparing future costs of imported water and avoided wastewater treatment fees against the projected cost of locally produced water over a 35-year period.”

Staff said water customers will see long-term savings as the cost of imported water will exceed the costs of construction.

SWIP has been implemented in phases and construction is now scheduled to begin on an underground treatment facility and storage tank in the Civic Center Lot. Construction will temporarily remove about 80 spaces from the lot but when combined with the ECLS and field construction, the cumulative impact will close the entire surface lot.

A limited amount of parking will return with construction is complete. Both the field and ECEC will have small drop off zones and about 90 spaces are projected to return to the surface lot when the water system is complete.

SWIP construction is estimated to take 2.5 years.

The 900 space parking structure at Olympic and 4th will remain open during construction and will become the default parking option for anyone using services in the area.