Street parking ordinance sent to lawyer for review
Cornell City Council
It’s an issue that’s been talked about since last fall, when school buses had trouble getting past trailers/campers that are parked all summer long on Cornell city streets. The matter was discussed at a regular council meeting Aug. 6.
The proposed ordinance would state that trailers parked would not exceed 24 hours, within a 15-day period, on city streets.
The ordinance is focused for those weighing an excess of 15,000 pounds or over 22 feet in length, or having an enclosed area height of more than eight feet.
“How’s this going to work when somebody is doing construction on their home?” asked council member Ashley Carothers.
Council member Floyd Hickethier said he hopes that in that case, the homeowner would inform the police department of any updates to the property, requiring a trailer to be parked on the street for a lengthy time.
Steve Turany, council president, said he doesn’t think trailers/campers on the street are a problem in the summer, when parking restrictions are not in effect because of snow. He said he can see a problem if a camper has a cord running to it from a house and people living in it, while parked on the street.
“That’s a safety hazard,” said Turany.
Mayor Mark Larson says there are places in town where campers sit for months and drivers can’t see stop signs for the large obstacles. Council member Bill Kvapil said the police should find out who owns the campers/trailers and ask the owners to move them.
“Then they get a citation if they don’t,” said Kvapil.
Currently, there is no ordinance on the books to do so, except if someone is in violation of the required number of feet from a corner/stop sign.
“That’s why we’re discussing this,” said council member Aimee Korger. “There are areas where it is really stopping traffic.”
The council agreed to send the ordinance on to the city attorney for review, before the wording comes back to the council for approval.
“It’s not to make it tough for everyone, it’s more or less to protect the roadways where you can’t get through,” said Korger.
Members also agreed to send wording on to the attorney about angle parking in the city, similar to the wording in Stanley’s ordinance. The ordinance could read that no person shall park any vehicle in any direction, other than the proper designated parking angle; will not park backward into angle spaces; and will not park with a trailer attached or park any vehicle longer than 20 feet.
Hickethier questioned what is wrong with angle parking on Main Street.
“We don’t have any – no ordinance currently to stop people from parking backwards on Main Street,” said Korger.
In a few instances, when someone backs into an angle parking space, when they pull out to drive away, they are crossing into oncoming traffic. Turany asked if any accidents have happened because of the backing into spaces.
“I haven’t seen any accidents,” said Carothers.
The police department requested the angle parking be mentioned in the city’s ordinance, as the department has had some issues.
“Have they talked to the individuals that have done it in the past?” asked Turany.
Korger said the police asked the owner to move the vehicle, but the owner refused, so a ticket was written. Because wording is not in the ordinance, the ticket was thrown out of court.
“Parallel parking is with the flow of traffi c, so, angle parking should also be with the flow of traffic,” said Korger. “It’s an accident waiting to happen, because you are going against traffic.”
“I think it’s common sense,” said Dave DeJongh, city administrator.
Korger also reported that she is working with the Wisconsin Housing Alliance in regard to the rentals agreement for the city, to ensure state statutes are followed, in dealing with the mobile home parks and other rentals.
“We’re going back and forth,” said Korger. “As of right now, there is nothing to propose, as far as what an ordinance would look like going forward.”
A public hearing is set for Thursday, Aug. 20, at 6 p.m., in the council chambers, with the purpose to receive public comments on the facility plan amendment for the wastewater treatment plant modifications. A copy of the plan is available at the city office.
DeJongh said the city does need to start stepping up their sewer rates to account for the capital improvements that are planned. He said the raises would be gradual.
“I don’t think we want to do it (jump) all at once,” said DeJongh.