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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.