Parking restrictions will affect thousands of University Place homes during U.S. Open

Eight months from now, the roads leading to the Chambers Bay Golf Course will be put under tight security as the 2015 U.S. Open begins.

That means thousands of people who live around the course will face road closures and parking restrictions during the week-long event.

City of University Place staff members are working with the United States Golf Association on a transportation plan that will affect 4,600 homes near the course from June 15-21.

The city’s plan is separate from a larger transportation plan the USGA is putting together that will be released in the spring. The USGA plan will detail parking lot locations and routes that shuttles will take to get spectators and volunteers to the tournament.

The City Council learned the proposed impacts of the city’s plan Monday night.

Grandview Drive will be closed from 48th Street to 64th/Chambers Creek Road to all cars except those associated with the tournament. The majority of residents who use Grandview in this area will be redirected to Cirque Drive from Bristonwood Drive, according to the draft proposal.

The city has identified 89 homes from 58th Street Court West to 62nd Street Court West that will need a special access pass because Grandview is the only way in and out of the neighborhood.

A parking ban is also proposed in the immediate area around the course. The city estimates 1,245 residences (including the 89 previously mentioned) will be affected by the ban, which would force residents and their guests to park in driveways or on front lawns during the event. Cars found on streets will be ticketed and towed.

The street parking restriction would be in place 24 hours a day for the length of the tournament.

Another 3,366 residences will be in a proposed no-event parking zone. Residents can park on the streets in this zone, but neighbors will be asked to report violators who are parking and walking to the course.

For security reasons, U.S. Open spectators must park in designated areas and not residential streets around the course, Jeff Stoefen, security and transportation coordinator for the USGA, told the UP Council Monday.

Signs will be posted throughout the area identifying parking restrictions and penalties.

The city has proposed the restrictions to protect the surrounding neighborhoods from being overrun by the 235,000 spectators expected to attend the major golf tournament over the course of the week.

It is also part of a larger security plan aimed at keeping suspicious vehicles and possible security threats away from the course and the public.

“We’re trying to figure out a balance to keep the neighborhoods from being a parking lot for the U.S. Open and being respectful of what the citizens want,” said Gary Cooper, the city’s director of Public Works and Parks and Recreation.

After hearing about the restrictions, the City Council suggested changes. Elected leaders want to make sure neighbors face as little inconvenience as possible.

Councilman Javier Figueroa listed several concerns, including a proposed $250 ticket for parking on the street. He also worries about residents’ cars being towed.

UP Police Chief Mike Blair said license plates will be checked before any vehicles are towed. If a car is registered to the home address, the owner will be asked to move it, he said; if it’s registered out of the area, it will be towed, he said.

Figueroa also wanted to know if people who live in the 89 homes off Grandview Drive would receive extra parking passes for additional family members.

Cooper assured him passes will be available on request.

After learning the ban on street parking would extend to his neighborhood near Cirque Drive and 95th Avenue West, Councilman Kent Keel told Cooper to expect pushback from neighbors. Many people use on-street parking stalls in the area to park extra cars, he said.

Cooper plans to meet with the residents who live in the 89 homes off Grandview and those who won’t be allowed to park on the street during the tournament to explain the restrictions. He hopes to meet with them next month or by December.

Comments from those meetings will be incorporated into the plan before a final draft is presented to the City Council for approval.

Any regulations adopted in the plan would be only be in place during the U.S. Open.

“I would like to think if we give people eight months to plan, they could do this successfully,” Blair said.