After delaying a measure that would create permit only residential parking along two Eastside section streets, city council members discussed the details of the proposal.
The discussion led to changes in certain provisions of the ordinance like the temporary visitors permit. In the original ordinance a visitor could secure a 30-day temporary parking pass, but that’s been reduced to a 48 hour permit with the option to renew for additional time.
Ruby Cotton, 4th Ward councilwoman, suggested further limitations on temporary permits. She suggested a limitation on the number of times a permits that can be issued to a home to two.
The ordinance will create resident-only parking on East 38th Street between Market Street and 21st Avenue and East 39th Street between Market Street and Vreeland Avenue. Some council members also suggested changing the hours to separate them by day rather than having one long stretch which some found to be confusing.
Council members agreed to separate the hours during which parking will be available exclusively to residents with a city issued permit to Friday 5 p.m. to Saturday 8 a.m. and Saturday 5 p.m. to Monday 8 a.m.
William McKoy, 3rd Ward councilman, said this will allow residents to have exclusive parking the entire Sunday. Anyone found violating the ordinance would have been faced with a $50 fine, but that’s also been changed.
Kenneth Morris, councilman at-large, said he wanted a $250 fine and the violator’s vehicle towed.
“You’re talking about $500 for a person who made a mistake parking in the block,” said Alex Mendez, councilman at-large, opposing the stepped up fine. He calculated together the $250 fine for the violation and another $250 to re-procure the vehicle from the towing company.
“Folks only have to pay the $250 if they break the law,” said Morris. He said the first week of roll out will result in warnings being issued as opposed to fines.
Mendez appeared to want to remove the towing provision of the ordinance because it would cause the violator undue hardship to reclaim their vehicle. If the car is still there the problem is still there, said McKoy.
“Towing is necessary,” said McKoy.
Julio Tavarez, 5th Ward councilman, suggested the council keep the $50 violation and the towing. “Once you get your car towed you learn the lesson,” he said. He said the hassle of reclaiming their vehicle from Classic Towing will be enough to make potential violators think twice before parking in those two blocks.
Council members having been modifying the ordinance for the past month. Law director Dominick Stampone said the legal department has crafted a new ordinance that includes a lot of the recommendations council members made in the prior meetings.
Council members have to clarify a lot more details of the ordinance including how much fee a resident should pay to obtain the necessary permit sticker or tag. Morris said for the pilot initiative in the Eastside section will not charge residents to obtain permits.
The ordinance became necessary after residents complained patrons of the Bonfire Lounge on Market Street were taking up residential parking space.
The ordinance is set for preliminary approval tonight at the council’s regular deliberation session in city hall.