City working on parking ordinances

10/21/10 (Thu)

Local noise ordinances weren’t the only city regulations addressed at last week’s city commission meeting.
Police commissioner JD Larson has been investigating and rewriting the Velva’s parking ordinance, which had it’s first reading at last week’s meeting.
Larson explained that the reasons for the revisions are the current and the coming population influx related to energy and construction development.
One change is taking the street parking time from 72 hours down to 24 hours. The new ordinance reads, in part, “No person shall park a vehicle on any city street or avenue for a period of time in excerss of twenty-four (24) hours unless the vehicle is legally parked in the closest possible proximit to the property at which the owner or principle operator of the vehicle has established the residence.”
In other words, you can park your car in front of your house as long as you like, but other people can’t leave their vehicles parked in front of properties where they don’t reside. The only real change to the ordinance is taking the allotted time from 72 to 24 hours.
“Law enforcement people complained that they can’t enforce it because how do you do 72 hours?” Larson said. “It’s just too long.”
The other major revision entails the rules for parking boats, RVs, buses, farm equipment, and similar vehicles. Under the revised ordinance, any of these units could only be parked on a city street for 24 hours. In addition, inhabited campers/ motor homes are prohibited from overnight parking on a public street, avenue or highway.
According to Larson, the change is to prevent migratory workers – or even semi-permanent workers – from living in campers parked along city streets. As oil exploration and energy development has moved into this part of the state, a number of cities have had to deal with the housing shortage and the resulting overflow into their city streets.