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Parking request prompts discussion by Council

June 21, 2012

Photo by Amy Cherry Members of City Council discuss parking issues on local curbed streets.

Although no action was taken on a request made to St. Marys City Council to eliminate on-street parking from 2 a.m. to 6 a.m. for the summer months, the request sparked a discussion among board members.
Several members of council, including City Manager Dave Greene, received the request from a resident at 551 Charles St. He stated his children are home during the summer and there is not enough room for all the vehicles in his driveway. Because of this, they often park on the street overnight and are ticketed.
Councilman Dick Dornisch stated there is a maximum of two cars per night that travel up the street, which is located above Benedict Street on a cul-da-sac.
"This is just one of these barriers that we overlook in our haste to take care of everything under a blanket or umbrella," Dornisch said. "This was a definite, legitimate complaint about all of the vehicles of the family's not being able to park on the street, having picked up a fair amount of tickets when there is absolutely no traffic on that upper end of that street. His comments were very pertinent."
Councilman Ned Jacob disagreed with Dornisch, stating the city code book states there is no parking from 2 a.m. to 6 a.m. on any curbed streets.
"We cannot make an exception for certain people in town. If I make an exception on Charles Street, this room would be packed with people who don't want 2-6 parking on one side of the street," Jacob said.
Councilman Bob Roberts stated the resident needs to contact the police and request permission to park on the road overnight; however, this is not a request which should be done on a daily basis. He added the resident owns a two-stall garage with enough space to park four vehicles behind it.
"I think we need to look at some of this stuff and change it so people can park their cars," said Mayor Sally Geyer, adding times have changed from when families only owned one vehicle.
According to Greene, the resident has already contacted the police regarding the situation. The resident explained that his children often arrive home late at night when he is asleep and by morning the vehicles have already received tickets.
Councilman Greg Gebauer stated his family has four vehicles, and he often parks some in their yard just to get them off the street. Gebauer said he agreed with Jacob in that if they waive the rule for the Charles Street resident, then they will have to waive it for everyone.
"If the thought is so broad and this is a town-wide problem, then we should consider abolishing the whole thing and I don't think there is [a town-wide problem]," Roberts said. "If you start making exceptions with specific houses, you're going to really have a mess on your hands."

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