The Perry Village Council decided to allow cars to park above the sidewalks during limited time frames

A parked vehicle at a home on Honeysuckle Lane in Perry Village blocks a sidewalk in June 2021. The Perry Village Council at its March 9 meeting decided to allow parking on sidewalks in the community from midnight to 6 a.m. year-round and during emergencies with snow. Previously, the village prohibited vehicles from blocking sidewalks at any time. (News-Herald file photo)

For the second time in less than a year, the Perry Village Board has changed a section of an ordinance that regulates where vehicles can be parked.

During its March 9 meeting, Council approved a measure that would allow vehicles to park on sidewalks during certain time frames.

The ordinance amendment makes sidewalk parking legal in Perry Village from midnight to 6 a.m. year-round and during snow emergencies. During these periods, vehicles may be parked on portions of the sidewalk located between the driveway and the curb of the driveway that abuts a street.

Before the council authorized the change, this type of pavement parking for vehicles was completely prohibited. The council considered revising this ban after seeing difficulty as a result of a decision taken in September to ban parking on village streets from midnight to 8am all year round.

Perry Village previously banned overnight parking on community streets from midnight to 7 a.m. during the months of December, January, February and March. However, that ordinance was changed at a meeting on Sept. 8, when the council decided to extend night parking to year-round and adjust the hours of the ban from midnight to 8 a.m.

Council President Jean Schonauer recommended extending the cut-off time to 8 a.m. to reduce disruption to school buses as they travel through the narrow country streets in the morning.

After the year-round night parking ban went into effect, Perry Village residents were only required to park in their driveways between midnight and 8 a.m. However, the council ultimately acknowledged that the mandate would mean some residents who have more than two cars and shorter driveways may end up having to block sidewalks — and break one law to comply with another .

Legislation to potentially revise the curbside parking ban was scheduled for a third and final reading at the March 9 meeting.

Councilman Rick Walker proposed allowing vehicles to park above the sidewalks from midnight to 8 a.m. to coincide with the time when they cannot be parked on village streets.

At a previous meeting, Walker said he disagreed with the proposal to have sidewalk parking begin at 10 p.m. He noted that some village residents walk between 10 p.m. and midnight and should have unobstructed sidewalks.

But Councilman Mike Glover questioned Walker about allowing curbside parking until 8 a.m. each day.

“People are walking well before 8am, so by the same token, don’t you think 8am would be too late?” he said.

After several other Perry Village government leaders at the meeting chimed in with suggested time frames of 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. or midnight to 7 a.m., Village Councilman Phil Casella asked Police Chief Troy Hager for his input.

Hager said he recommends curbside parking be allowed between midnight and 6 a.m. year-round and during snow emergencies.

“If we’re telling people not to (park on streets) during snow emergencies, then we should allow them to park (in driveways) and block the sidewalk,” Hager said. “Because we don’t plow these sidewalks.”

Hager’s proposal also satisfied some council members’ desire to make sure cars don’t block sidewalks when children start walking to school or bus stops.

Walker, Casella and colleagues Elias Koss and Becky Shimko voted to approve the new curbside parking hours. Council member Mike Glover voted no.

“If we were going to look at the sidewalk blocking exception, then I thought we should extend the hours to more than the allowed hours that we passed,” Glover later explained his vote. “You have to remove your car from the street by midnight under the parking ban, but you can’t block the pavement before midnight. This means you have to be out at exactly midnight and at 6am to move your car or you will be in violation of one of two ordinances.

Back in September, Glover also voted against a year-round ban on overnight parking on village streets. He said the village has only received three complaints about the overnight parking rules, which does not justify the need to change those rules.

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