Pacific Palisades’ CVS Updates its Parking Enforcement

By Sue Pascoe

A News reader wrote, “I just went to CVS to get some medicine for a friend who is undergoing chemotherapy. The parking lot was fairly full, so as I usually do, I went to the roof to park only to see that they are now charging to park on the roof of CVS!”

The reader asked the News to investigate.

We spoke with the store manager on duty, Sabrina, who said the change was implemented in response to the large number of parents (and other adults) who were using the parking lot as a place to park during school functions or while dropping off or picking up their kids at school, which impacted available parking spaces for CVS customers.

Village School, Seven Arrows Elementary School and Palisades Elementary School all converge near the corner of Swarthmore and La Cruz, adjacent to CVS.

New signs at CVS guide drivers to appropriate parking levels.

Store management felt that putting public parking on the roof would allow those who are not customers an opportunity to pay and park.

But what about the customers who want to park on the roof? “They can come and tell us they are parking on the roof,” Sabrina said. “Or when we try to page the owner of the car, they can come and tell us they are shopping.”

As an additional way to safeguard space for customer parking, Diamond Parking is now monitoring the lower level from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

“If they are not going to CVS, they need to be up on the roof in public parking,” said attendant Danielle, who has been on the job for about three weeks.

She said that if she sees someone park and then leave the lot without going into CVS, she will follow them and tell them they can’t use the lower level as a free parking lot.

“They aren’t happy about it,” she said, and estimated that “about 30 percent get really upset.”

If she sees a car that has been there too long, she calls a tow company. So far (through October 26), she has called the company four times. But no cars have actually yet been towed, said Diamond Parking representative Joseph Cardenas.

“We try to be proactive,” he told the News. “We will put a courtesy notice on the windshield, a friendly reminder that people can’t park there and walk off.”

The company lets CVS customers know they have 60 minutes to do their shopping. “Most customers appreciate that we’re helping to manage the lot,” Cardenas said.

Meanwhile, public paid parking on the CVS roof has expanded.

“I’ve noticed people circling the block looking for parking,” said Cardenas, who noted that CVS parking is the same price as parking at a meter. “We charge a flat rate of $10 for the whole day or $20 for 24 hours.”

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