Several parking spaces at the CVS/Big Lots shopping center on Mendocino Avenue in Santa Rosa are for specific cars. Photo courtesy of a Road Warrior reader.

Sorry, but this parking space is reserved for “green” cars. And more are coming.

When the CVS drugstore at Mendocino Avenue and Steele Lane in Santa Rosa was recently remodeled and its parking lot spruced up, several parking spots were reserved for low pollution and fuel efficient vehicles.

Santa Rosa city officials said CVS voluntarily set aside the parking spots to boost its green image. But as of Jan. 1, state law now requires such reserved spots as well as bicycle parking at new commercial buildings in an effort to improve energy efficiency, not only the buildings themselves but what customers and employees drive.

Such new developments will have to mark 10 percent of their parking spaces for use by low emitting, fuel efficient, car pool or van pool vehicles, said Erin Morris, a senior planner with the city.

How about enforcement?

“There is no enforcement mechanism. You can’t get a ticket for it,” said Michael Whitaker, the city’s chief building official.

As for what vehicles qualify, the city officials said none are specifically listed other than being a “clean air vehicle.”

To read the state’s green building code, CLICK HERE.

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  1. Jonathan Dan

    This is a state law? And there is no enforcement? This law is as clear as mud. Scooters like the Vespa’s are low emitting vehicles.

    June 21st, 2011 8:23 am

  2. Suzie

    Boy, our educational system is losing it, and we are making this kind of stuff our concern.


    June 21st, 2011 8:24 am

  3. kyle

    Unenforceable feel-good laws like this are precisely why California’s legislators are a laughingstock and why our business environment is seen as one of the worst in the nation.

    June 21st, 2011 8:36 am

  4. kyle

    //edit – not that I shop at such places, but if I do, I’ll be sure to park my 15mpg classic in these spots. Can’t get more green and efficient than keeping a 40+ year old car on the road and out of the landfill.

    June 21st, 2011 8:37 am

  5. R. HONSA

    Hey Jonathan , Where in this article do you see State law ? CVS voluntarily did this .

    June 21st, 2011 8:40 am

  6. gary

    sounds like a waste of time and money if there is no way to enforce the GREEN parking spaces….

    June 21st, 2011 8:47 am

  7. Bubba man

    I cant wait to find one of these spaces and park my giant bomber there.
    What a joke.

    June 21st, 2011 8:49 am

  8. cw

    Walgreens is where I will shop now. thank you CVS!

    June 21st, 2011 9:33 am

  9. Fred Mangels

    R.Honsa wrote, “Hey Jonathan , Where in this article do you see State law”.

    He’s referring to where it says starting January 1 state law will require 10% of parking at commercial buildings reserved for “green vehicles.

    Never mind there’s already discussion of doing away with carpool lanes (that hasn’t worked as planned) and the the SRPD has had several news articles as of late about lack of parking space in the city as it is.

    That’s California thinking for you.

    June 21st, 2011 9:33 am

  10. I park my SUV in the one

    at In-N-Out. Our education system is going down the toilet and this is the crap (pun intended) our elected officials are spending their time on??? We’re losing our minds.

    June 21st, 2011 9:50 am

  11. Theresa

    I would LOVE to own one of these green vehicles but since I am a classified school employee my hours have been cut to the point that I can not afford to purchase one.

    June 21st, 2011 10:33 am

  12. Oh NO!

    Once again we have govt barginging into the freedoms of the people!! Why not put spaces for SUVs and gas guzzlers near the store and the crappy death trap low emission vehicles in the far corners? Or is just playing Pavlov the intent?

    Who determines what a green vehicle is? The state? It has never been able to make wise or definitive decisions in the past!

    June 21st, 2011 10:39 am

  13. Jim

    Glad to see out state is passing useful laws. Can’t seem to stop spending, can’t seem to stop raising taxes (i.e. “fees”), can’t seem to stand up to the unions that are bankrupting the state, can’t seem to stand up against the illegal alien lobby as they bleed the schools and hospitals dry, can’t seem to not accept bribes (see Arnold and his Nunez debacle)….but hey at least they pass laws regarding “green” vehicle spaces and save the freaking salamander.

    Keep voting in the same idiots and you get the same result.

    June 21st, 2011 11:01 am

  14. Just Me

    LOL! All of us SUV driver’s are better! We get out and get the exercise walking from our vehicles to the store whereas the little green people are too lazy to park far away!

    And, as today is a spare the air day…I hope all these little green people are not plugging in their little green cars.

    June 21st, 2011 11:44 am

  15. Driver

    Vespas and motorcycles have little or no smog control. They are not “green” vehicle. They emit as much smog as a full size auto.

    June 21st, 2011 11:59 am

  16. Dr. Dad OCD, ADHD

    How embarrassing that the biggest liberal idiots in the nation are right here in Sonoma County. As a normal person, I’m embarrassed that others in my community are so duped into buying into global warming.

    June 21st, 2011 12:27 pm

  17. Kawigirl

    I would park my big fat SUV there just on GP.

    June 21st, 2011 12:28 pm

  18. ThIS IS NUTS

    Oh this is TOO MUCH!!

    Green? How green is the coal burning plant to make the electricity stored in those environmentally friendly Lithium Ion batteries? This is what happens when you let idiots govern.

    I deliberately park my 16 mpg vehicle in that CVS spot precisely because I am aware that at 20 years old my vehicle still produces less toxic crap than those batteries BY A LONG SHOT.

    Oh, but I’m sure the ‘greenies’ would love to see us all crush perfectly good vehicles – producing TONS of carbon in the process – as a sacrifice to the only God they know. Shame how stupid and gullible the masses have become.

    June 21st, 2011 12:54 pm

  19. Copper98

    since they are fuel efficient, are they going to be designated towards the farthest part of the parking lot so that cars that are not energy and high emitting can have closer parking and not have to drive around wasting fuel and emitting fumes looking for a space? that seems like it would make more sense.

    June 21st, 2011 1:08 pm

  20. Lee Roy

    Scooters and even Harleys are often parked on sidewalks of stores.
    BUT Not in the way or people, or hindering wheelchairs etc.
    If the shopping centers made special bike parking slots that’d be cool.
    When I ride with a group we often fit 4+ bikes in a single car parking slot.

    June 21st, 2011 1:45 pm

  21. Dave Madigan

    I will be parking my Hummer in these green spaces.

    June 21st, 2011 2:14 pm

  22. billie

    Great, the state law required Safeway to remove the maternity parking spaces from the lot (mothers to be may not be technically handicapped but they do have a difficult time walking especially in a congested busy parking lot) but now they have (SOON) to put in special parking for a select wealthy few (these vehicles are EXPENSIVE). GOOD MOVE WELL PAID LEGISLATORS!

    June 21st, 2011 2:18 pm

  23. bzzitch

    While my car isn’t inefficient by any means (turbo 4), I still make an effort to park in these spaces. What a load of bull! This bill (with no enforcement) is an absolute waste of money/time/resources – let alone why should they get special privileges? We were on the right track by revoking carpool lane access (one of the few good moves made by CA legislature).

    June 21st, 2011 4:14 pm

  24. Gas guzzler

    Just because you have to designate parking spaces doesn’t mean they have to be closest to the store. Put them on the outskirts of the parking area and let them walk.

    June 21st, 2011 4:37 pm

  25. vbunker72

    Still not convinced a hybrid or plug in electric is any greener than an all fuel vehicle. The vast majority of our powerplants are coal and natural gas burning. The amount of strip mining and environmental damage done in China to build a hybrid far exceeds the net environmental savings. Another piece of useless, feel good legislation that does absolutely nothing for the environment. Further proof our legislators are lazy and out of touch with reality.

    June 21st, 2011 5:47 pm

  26. Jawbreaker IV

    I park my truck in one of those spots every time I go there.
    That will show those smug Prius driving hippies !!

    June 21st, 2011 6:30 pm

  27. Kim

    What?! Just because you can afford a fancy “green” car you get special parking? This is BS! I work (for the government) and I can barely afford a used bomber. This is embarrassingly STUPID and soooo California. If the CVS where I live does this I have one thing to say to them: RITE AID!

    June 21st, 2011 9:06 pm

  28. Earth Friendly

    This is so good to hear. Hopefully more states will pass these laws and enforce them. The money accrued from parking fines should go to a tree planting fund. I’m sick of arrogant rednecks driving around in Diesel trucks ruining my air. These people need to be more aware of the pollution they are causing. Thousands of pounds of carbon dioxide are released into the air by their trucks and this needs to be stopped.

    June 21st, 2011 10:03 pm

  29. Jeff T

    As others have said, I am now even more embarrassed to live in Santa Rosa. In the rare event I need to go to that CVS, I will be sure to park my ‘gas guzzlers’ in those spots.
    The fact that our idiots in Sac have made this a state law will make us more of a laughingstock, as well. Oh, well… This is what you keep voting for…

    June 22nd, 2011 1:06 pm

  30. Lance

    Parking = MONEY

    June 26th, 2011 6:35 pm

  31. Stephanie

    These parking spots are littered all over the place in D.C. It’s a joke. To top it off THEY ARE CLOSER TO THE DOOR THEN THE HANDICAPPED SPOTS! And, it’s all supported by a bunch of aging hippies, raising their childrento have the same back asswards beliefs. Suprise Dems! Al Gore admitted in 09′ that he was wrong about climate change. WAKE UP!! Obama is using the Green iniative as his own person ATM. He recieved nearly 39 billion dollars for Green subsidies, with that he promised 65,000 “Green Jobs.” And what did we get? 2 jobs, and nothing. All of our money that we worked hard for, most of it can’t even be accounted for. I hope everyone can realize that this man is no more than a con artist, and does not vote for him again.

    October 20th, 2011 4:09 pm

  32. Lalalalambie

    That comment referencing rednecks sounds like a ‘redneck’ masquerading as an enviro maniac. It’s pretty funny. This law is like the ‘no smoking downtown’ ordinance. It’s also uninforceable. Or if it is, I haven’t seen or heard of officers actually enforcing it. I hate smelling cigarette smoke, but I’m not going to get all Barney Fife on someone for smoking. A bigger concern to me is the smell if pot wafting into MY HOUSE on warm evenings. As far as vehicles are concerned, when their is a used hydrogen minivan for sale, that’s when I’ll make the greener choice. I don’t have the price ledge of being any more yuppy than that right now.

    May 9th, 2013 7:18 pm

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