Town Council Talks Parking
FARMVILLE – Town Council has re-affirmed its resident-only parking policy, emphasizing that streets can be added or removed from the list depending on the wishes of residents.
Council added a $5 yearly fee for resident parking this summer, to pay for the cost of the permits, and reviewed the policy in August. Those already issued Resident Parking decals this year won't pay the $5 until the permit is renewed next March.
Resident parking, in fact, exists solely because residents asked for it to reserve parking spaces in front of their own homes and protect it from poaching by Longwood University students and staff wishing to avoid paying for on-campus parking.
“The residents parking is designated by the signs. And we did not put residents parking in unless the residents in that area asked us to,” Spates told council during its August meeting. “It was all citizen-initiated, even with the first four or five blocks that we did. It was done primarily (in response to encroachment from Longwood).
“Not just the students but the employees (of LU),” Spates said, referring to a specific area where the Town had to enact resident parking because “all the employees of Longwood found a place to park over there and they didn't want to pay (LU) to park on campus.”
If residents ask for resident parking to be removed, university parkers will return, he predicted.
“If you lift any of the areas you're going to find out,” the town manager said.
But resident parking can be removed if residents ask for that.
“If you have areas you want to take off (the list) that's fine,” Spates advised council members.
Council member David E. Whitus responded by half-asking, half-stating, “if a group of citizens from any particular street comes and says 'I'd like my street to have permit parking' we will and by the same token if a group comes and says 'I don't think we need resident parking on my street' we'd consider taking it off.'”
“That's up to council,” Spates responded.
Fellow council member Donald L. Hunter observed, “I think we need to leave the list like it is.”
Council member Dr. Edward I. Gordon was pleased to learn citizens can add their street or have it removed from resident permit parking, and more comfortable with the policy and the added fee.
“I like that…If you're going to let people take it off if they come in as a group and remove it because the consensus of that area is they don't want it then that, I think, is a very good idea,” Dr. Gordon said.
“But as it is, it stands as it is,” said council member Sally Thompson.
“I agree, stands as is. What I'm afraid of is,” Dr. Gordon replied, “I don't want Council to fall back into a situation where we pass something and then rescind it because all of a sudden there's an outpouring (from citizens). But I think, like Don said, on a case by case basis and like David said we can consider it to add or remove I think is a great idea.”
Town Council's August meeting packet had a list of all the streets and blocks where the resident permit parking exists.
“The list of streets was because Council wanted to see all the areas where we have resident parking,” the town manager told them, “and there would be nothing wrong with you confirming the areas that we have, subject to future revision-as of this date these are all the streets where we're going to enforce resident parking.”
The fee, though a small one, has had an impact on how some view resident parking, according to Dr. Gordon.
“People see this as a cost now…The idea of resident parking I don't think really bothers anybody. In fact, I think most people want it (where it is),” he said, “but when it comes to spending the money…there might be a little bit different story. But if we're going to consider on a case-by-case basis…I don't think we need to add to” council's previous action adding the $5 annual fee.
These are the resident parking decal areas:
Race Street from Franklin Street to end
Vine Street from Race Street to Griffin Boulevard
All of Chambers Street
Watkins Street from Chambers Street to Redford Street
School Street from Hill Street to Second Avenue
Franklin Street from Race Street to First Avenue
Edmunds Street from Griffin Boulevard to Second Avenue
Irving Street from Griffin Boulevard to Second Avenue
Hurd Street from First Avenue to Second Avenue
Barrow Street from Griffin Boulevard to First Avenue
Putney Street from South Main Street to Vernon Street
Putney Street from South Virginia Street to Catlin Street
South Virginia Street from Church Street to Allen Lane
East Second Street from Glenn Street to Bridge Street
Grove Street from Oak Street to Buffalo Street
Appomattox Street from Oak Street to Beech Street
Garden Street from Buffalo Street to West Third
St. George Street from High Street to West Third Street
Randolph Street from High Street to West Third Street
Buffalo Street from St. George Street to Grove Street
High Street from St. George Street to Second Avenue
All of Venable Street
Second Avenue from High Street to Hurd Street
First Avenue from High Street to Hurd Street
Hill Street from Redford Street to Barrow Street
Redford Street from Griffin Boulevard to Hill Street
Pine Street from Franklin Street to Wynne Drive
Grace Street from Appomattox Street to Clubhouse Drive
All of Allen Lane
Wilson Street from First Avenue to Fourth Avenue
Fayette Street from Hill Street to First Avenue
Griffin Boulevard from Redford Street to Barrow Street
contain the $5 annual fee.
The decals cost the Town $975 a year to print and furnish and “I would suggest we charge five dollars per decal,” Spates told council in July, “as a processing fee. So if somebody came in, somebody who was renting property and needed four decals, they'd pay $20 for decals per year.”
Whitus asked how many decals were issued by the Town each year and Spates told him 370. “So that would take in $1,850. But that money we're spending doesn't include the (Resident Parking) signs” placed on sections of those streets where resident parking is reserved.