Parsons city commissioners will consider a pair of parking ordinances on Tuesday in an effort to make driving downtown safer and to improve the appearance of the town.
The commission will meet on Tuesday instead of its regularly scheduled first Monday of the month because Monday is Labor Day.
One proposed ordinance would limit the length of vehicles that could park on Main Street between 16th Street and Central Avenue. The other would restrict parking in front and side yards.
The city has received numerous complaints over the last several years concerning long pickup trucks or other vehicles parking in the downtown area and sticking out into traffic. To address the problem, City Attorney Ross Albertini drafted an ordinance that requires drivers to leave at least 20 feet of open roadway unless they are loading or unloading.
Albertini said during a Thursday work session that yellow lines would be painted on each side of Main Street. If vehicles extend beyond the lines, drivers could be ticketed. The fine would be the same as for other parking violations — $30.
“We’re hoping the yellow lines call attention to it, and there will be some signage,” City Manager Debbie Lamb said.
The ordinance would go into effect Oct. 1 if approved Tuesday.
The ordinance dealing with parking in yards may be approved on Tuesday, but commissioners may just continue discussion on it. They have talked about the issue during a few meetings already, and an earlier proposed ordinance has been modified based on discussion.
Albertini said he didn’t anticipate a vote on Tuesday but included it on the agenda to keep it in front of the commissioners. He said they may want to get more public input on the ordinance.
The ordinance would make it illegal to park any vehicle in front or side yards unless on an all-weather surface such as concrete, brick, asphalt, rock or chip and seal.
The ordinance also would make it unlawful to park truck tractors and construction equipment on any streets or city rights-of-way as well as motor vehicles longer than 25 feet, recreational vehicles and boats for longer than 48 hours except during use or work involving the vehicles.
Mayor Bill Hogelin requested the ordinance because parking vehicles in yards sometimes creates an eyesore, especially when it creates ruts.
Except for Commissioner Jeff Perez, the other commissioners seem generally in favor of the ordinance. Perez said in the commission’s last regular meeting that he couldn’t support the ordinance because he is sympathetic to the collateral damage caused when regulations are put into place without thinking of all of the effects.
On Thursday Commissioner Kevin Cruse said he’s seen a lot of trailers and other vehicles parked in yards, so he thinks the commission should be cautious in restricting yard parking.
In another matter Tuesday, the commissioners expect to hear from Albertini regarding infrastructure that could lead to the expansion of the fifth generation of cellular technology into Parsons.
The commission will meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the commission room at the Parsons Municipal Building.
In other business the commissioners will consider:
— Approving an interlocal agreement with Parsons USD 503, Labette County USD 506, Labette County and Labette Community College for a 10-year extension of a neighborhood revitalization program that covers most of the city. The current program will sunset in October. The new program will allow 10-year property tax abatements for commercial development and five-year abatements for residential improvements. The commission will have a public hearing on the program at the beginning of the meeting.
— Approving the use of health care facilities revenue bonds by the Parsons Presbyterian Manor. The city of Wichita adopted a resolution declaring an intent to issue the bonds for Presbyterian Manors Inc. One of the facilities in the project is the Presbyterian Manor in Parsons. The city of Parsons will not be held liable if the bonds are not paid.
— Approving an ordinance that will allow a special use permit for commercial storage units on property owned by Hai Do just east of the city on 24000 Road.
— Approving a resolution declaring properties at 707 S. 16th St. owned by Merlin Pauler Jr. and Sarah Giersch and at 1416 Chess Ave. owned by Charlene Bode unsafe and giving the property owners a deadline of Sept. 19 to demolish the fire-damaged structures. If they fail to do so, the city will have the houses demolished and access the fees on the property taxes. The commission will have a public hearing on the structures at the beginning of the meeting.