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COUNCIL, BOARD AGREE NO CHANGES NEEDED IN ENFORCING CITY'S TERRACE PARKING BAN

The Common Council met with members of the Planning Board at a workshop session Wednesday night to discuss how to enforce the city's terrace parking ban, and agreed that current enforcement does not need much tweaking.

The terrace parking ordinance makes it illegal for residents to park on the space between the road and the sidewalk on their property.

Residents can, however, apply to the Planning Board for terrace parking permits if they can demonstrate a "hardship" that prevents them from parking on their own property.

Mayor David Burgio said he feels the current guidelines for issuing permits and enforcing the ordinance are satisfactory and should allow for some exceptions when residents have little choice except to park on their terrace.

"I don't want to tell you to be real loose with it, but I don't know that we can afford to be too hard with it," Burgio told the Planning Board.

Planning Board members agreed and said they were satisfied with how they issue terrace parking permits.

"You have to deal, and you have to be flexible," said Planning Board member Joseph Mineo.

The consensus reached among Burgio, the Council and the Planning Board was that enforcement of the terrace parking ban was acceptable, and would remain the same through at least the winter -- with the possible exception of an exclusion for residents of unimproved streets.

During last week's meeting, the Council voted to exclude residents on unimproved streets from the terrace parking ban. Burgio has about 10 days to exercise his veto power over the action, and said he is still considering his options.

Alderwoman Raphael Proefrock, R-2nd Ward, did express one concern about the enforcement of the terrace parking ordinance. Commercial properties are exempt from the terrace parking ban, but Proefrock said some commercial properties, mostly located within residential neighborhoods, are being ticketed because police officers do not recognize them as such.

Proefrock suggested that the city issue stickers that commercial property owners can place in their vehicles so that police officers enforcing the terrace parking ban realize the cars are legally parked on the terrace, similar to the stickers residents receive if they have a terrace parking permit.

In other matters, during an executive session, the Council discussed the issue of boathouse owners affected by the Gateway Point project. According to City Attorney Henry Wojtaszek, the city has extended boathouse leases through this season, until Nov. 1.

The Council also directed Burgio to begin negotiations with private landowners on the waterfront, according to Wojtaszek.

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