Mayor goes to bat for street parking
Snow removal and its effects on parking are high on the list of inflammatory subjects in this town – especially when measures are in the works to further restrict road-side parking.
What started out as just another item on the consent agenda quickly turned into the focal point of Tuesday’s South Lake Tahoe City Council meeting – with Mayor Judy Brown adamantly fighting for the parking rights of residents not lucky enough to own private parking garages.
“I’m a person who doesn’t like breaking the law, and this ordinance would force me, and many other people, to break the law,” Brown said. “If I visit my girlfriend and she’s parked in her drive, I have to park in the street – and that means that with this amendment, I’d be breaking the law.”
The gist of what the city is trying to do, according to Public Services Director Teri Jamin, is clarify street sign wording in order to cut down on parking citations and ensure street access during snow removal periods.
The current signs read, “Vehicles parked on any street so as to interfere with snow removal equipment will be towed and/or cited.”
The proposed amended signs would read, “NO PARKING on roadways or shoulders, Nov. 1 – May 1. Violators subject to $102.00 fine and towing.”
“Parking is a terrible problem in this town,” Brown said. “I’m objecting to addressing the problem by eliminating parking during snow removal periods.”
The amended parking regulations would extend seven months, but citations and towing would only occur during obvious snowy conditions, Jamin said. In warmer, dry months illegally parked vehicles would only receive a warning.
“Apparently what’s happening now is people come here from out of town, it’s sunny, they have now idea what ‘no parking during snow removal’ means,” said City Manager Kerry Miller. “What this does, although I have a lot of trouble with the length of time it would be enforced, is let people know that for a certain period of time they cannot park on street-sides. It eliminates confusion.”
But council members could not endorse the amendment, which was only intended to come before the council for a first reading, and requested further information and solutions to the issue.
In additional city council business:
n The council approved a Community Development Block Grant application for $500,000 in housing rehabilitation funds, and a commitment of $25,000 in grant leverage funds.
n Mayor Judy Brown declared April as Child Abuse Prevention Month.
n Track and field coach and event organizer, Anthony Davis and the Tahoe Disc Gold Association were named Parks and Recreation Volunteers of the Year.
n The week of April 4 to 10 was named Building Safety Week.
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