Wednesday August 25, 2004
Two neighborhoods would have a new tool to help combat parking problems under a proposed ordinance unveiled today.
The ordinance, sponsored by Councilmen Tom Owen, D-8, and George Unseld, D-6, would create a pilot program that would allow residents of two neighborhoods to create residential parking zones to limit non-residents from parking in front of their homes or at their businesses.
“This ordinance lays out a process for neighbors to work with each other and property owners on a parking plan that makes sense for their neighborhoods and private businesses,” said Mayor Jerry Abramson.
The proposed ordinance is based on efforts in other communities, such as Bloomington, Ind.; Lexington, Ky.; Baltimore; San Francisco; and Philadelphia.
The ordinance was drafted in response to concerns of residents in the Old Louisville and Original Highlands neighborhoods. In Old Louisville, residents have had concerns for years about limited parking, due in part to the influx of students and others scrambling for parking at the University of Louisville. Neighbors in the Original Highlands have complained about patrons from area bars along Baxter Avenue tying up parking and causing property damage and vandalism.
Louisville Metro Police have beefed up neighborhood patrols in recent months and several bars in the area have added security and created additional parking options away from the neighborhood for their employees. Metro Officials also are studying the feasibility of a parking garage and other options to mitigate congestion and other problems.
The Metro Council will give initial consideration to the ordinance Thursday night.
Highlights of the proposal include:
· At least 70 percent of the property owners in a neighborhood – a designated Residential Parking Zone – would have to agree by petition to move forward with a Residential Parking Plan.
· Residents would have to show that at least 75 percent of the curb parking spaces within the Residential Parking Zone were being utilized during peak periods and that at least 60 percent of the curb parking spaces in the area were being utilized by non-resident parkers for two or more hours during that time.
· Parking Authority of River City officials would meet with an appointed neighborhood advocate to help put together a residential parking plan and seek public input. In that process, alternatives to a residential parking zone can also be considered, including parking time limits, parking meters or special meter zones.
· If a permit program is ultimately implemented, one permit can be issued per registered motor vehicle at residences or businesses. The permit would cost $20 per year.
· No more than two visitor parking permits can be issued to any one residence at a given time. A visitor permit would cost $10 per year.
· The ordinance also makes provisions for special event, replacement and temporary permits for special neighborhood meetings or other events.
· Funds from the permits will be used to pay for the enforcement and administration of the program.
· Violators will be issued parking citations.
Violations of the residential parking plan will be $15 if paid within 10 days of a citation and $25 thereafter, the same as other parking violations.