First to speak to the council was Jim Loeffler, who lives on a
corner lot on Short 10th.
He handed out photos of the two trailers
he owns and parks in the vicinity of the garage on his property.
Loeffler said he had recently received a letter from the city
stating he was in violation of city code 11-2-1 in that he was
parking his trailers in his front yard.
Loeffler said he had always understood that the true front yard
of a home was determined by the address. He said his front door
faced Short 10th and his address was Short 10th, so he considered
that his front yard. When the trailers are parked near his garage,
they are in the side yard of the home.
He said in order to be compliant with city codes, he had to move
his trailers off his property and park them in the street.
Loeffler also noted that for the past eight years he has parked
the trailers in the same place. During the winter months he puts
them in storage, but in the summer months he uses them.
Marty Neitzel responded to Loeffler, saying the council has been
trying to work something out on this issue, and they hoped to do
something about this soon.
Mayor Keith Snyder also talked about the fact Loeffler's home is
on a corner lot, and according to city code, homes on corner lots do
have two front yards.
Neitzel also responded on that, saying to Loeffler: "It's
unfortunate that you have a corner lot." Neitzel said she, too, had
a corner lot and in her ward she has had a lot of calls about this
A second resident, who lives in the Mayfair addition, also spoke
to the council. Brendon Duvall said he, too, had received a letter
regarding his boat. He said he parked his boat in his driveway in
the summer months. According to the letter, he can't do that and has
to pull it out into the street to be legal.
Duvall said he lives on Regent in Mayfair, and the street is
narrow. He felt like putting the boat out in the street would be a
hazard to those who drive there.
He also noted there are no alleys in Mayfair, so he can't get the
boat into his backyard through an alleyway. In addition his lawn is
fenced, and he can't get the boat past the fence.
Later in the evening David Wilmert brought up that the council
needed to have another meeting on the parking problems and try to
get the issues worked out.
The council's July 17 voting agenda had included two motions
about parking. The first motion would have completely prohibited
street-side parking of trailers and boats, although there were
provisions in the motion that would allow for trailer parking during
periods of loading and unloading. At the same time there was a
second motion that would have permitted parking of boats and
trailers on private property.
The two motions were to instruct city attorney Blinn Bates to
write ordinances accordingly, which would then have come back before
the council and voted upon.
During that meeting, the first vote failed to pass. The problem
with the motion as the committee of the whole saw it was that there
needed to be some allowance for people who needed to park a trailer
on the street for a longer period of time.
The committee continued to discuss keeping a 72-hour law that is
currently in effect. Some were in favor of keeping the law, some in
favor of throwing it out altogether, and a few who saw no need in
changing what is currently in place.
When the matter finally came to a vote, the motion failed 9-1.
Only Jonie Tibbs voted in favor.
At that time Tom O'Donohue said he had attempted to get this
resolved through the ordinance committee, but that had failed, so he
would not bring it back to that committee. He said instead he would
bring it back to the committee of the whole.
This week Wilmert suggested that the committee of the whole have
a special meeting next Tuesday evening to work first on some
technology issues and then on the parking ordinances.
Wilmert hit a sore spot with O'Donohue when he said that the city
has a "hyperactive" zoning office that is pursuing a lot of these
ordinance violations. He said he was receiving numerous calls about
O'Donohue said he took offense to the term "hyperactive" when
zoning officer John Lebegue was doing his job. He also noted that if
this needed to be discussed, why not do it now instead of calling a
special meeting, which means special pay for the attending aldermen.
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Wilmert said he really didn't know where the issue had been left.
He said he understood it would not be going back to committee, so he
didn't know how it was going to go forward unless someone decided to
talk about it.
Snyder explained that when the first motion regarding banning
street-side parking was voted down, the second motion was removed
from the agenda. He told Wilmert the second motion could be put back
on the agenda for the next voting session, if that was what he
wanted to do.
Wilmert said he thought it was. By doing this, the item going
back on the agenda would be the one that defined parking on personal
However, Tibbs spoke up and said she thought the council needed
to discuss some of this. She said specifically that perhaps they
should define a trailer. She recalled that a few years ago when
truck parking was a problem, the city had to define the size of the
truck by the number of wheels it had.
She noted the photos Loeffler had provided showing his two very
small trailers. She said these were not the problem that a much
larger trailer would be.
Neitzel voiced a concern about giving residents too many options
for parking. With the first motion failed, parking on the street for
a maximum of 72 hours is permitted. If the council would now go
forward with passing a motion that would lead to allowing for
parking on private property as well, then she feared there would be
a lot of boats and trailers parked in all the allowable areas.
Wilmert said he didn't agree. He felt that passing the private
property allowance would ultimately take the trailers off the
David Armbrust also voiced an opinion, saying he agreed with
Neitzel. He feels the city still needs to do something to prohibit
O'Donohue said the idea of putting a generic motion on the agenda
was a bad one. He said Wilmert could do whatever he wanted to do,
but the motions last time were generic and they went nowhere.
Tibbs agreed with O'Donohue that the motion this time should not
Snyder weighed in with a suggestion on the street-side parking.
He said perhaps the city could ban overnight parking along the
street. This would allow for people who need to park a trailer along
the street for several hours to do so without consequence. He said
perhaps the ban could be in effect between the hours of 9 p.m. and 6
a.m. and if someone needed to keep a trailer in the street
overnight, they could apply for a permit to do so.
Neitzel wondered, though, about people who have to bring a
trailer home overnight for their work. Would they be required to get
a permit each time?
Hoinacki also commented on this, saying he has a neighbor who
sells seed corn and typically brings a load home with him at night
on a trailer, then heads out early the next morning to deliver it.
Wilmert said this was part of the problem. He noted there are a
few serial violators who ignore the law and others are being
punished because of it.
Police Chief Ken Greenslate offered a suggestion on how to get a
measure of where each alderman stood. He said he would be happy to
create a survey for the aldermen where they could answer questions
on how they felt about the various aspects of both motions that had
been on the floor on July 17.
The aldermen agreed that might be helpful to them.
In the end, Wilmert withdrew his request for an agenda item as
well as a special meeting.
However, everyone agreed that the issue has to be resolved and
something put on the books sooner rather than later.
It is expected that this will come up for discussion again at the
Aug. 28 committee of the whole meeting.
[By NILA SMITH]
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