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Wednesday, 10 November 2010 20:20

Parking concerns in Sylva never-ending

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Sheryl Rudd, just that morning, said she had fussed at her husband, Dieter Kuhn, for leaving a vehicle parked for too long outside their Sylva business. The loading of 150-pound kegs was finished, and Rudd wanted him to move the vehicle promptly so customers could make their way inside.

If, however, the couple had gotten a $50 citation for parking more than the 30 minutes allowed outside Heinzelmannchen Brewery on Mill Street, Rudd told town commissioners last week she’d have paid willingly. The new parking ordinance is working great, and should continue and, possibly, even be extended to include other streets in Sylva, Rudd said.

Rudd’s comments come a couple of weeks before commissioners will hold an official public hearing to get feedback such as this on the town’s parking ordinance. They plan to go back into the original ordinance as passed this summer and add key language inadvertently left out that rendered it unenforceable, and include East Jackson Street in the sections of town it covers.

Parking spillover from the ban has created problems for City Lights Bookstore on East Jackson Street.

The ordinance was originally designed to ban business owners on Main and Mill streets from taking up precious parking spaces in front of downtown businesses. Loading and unloading is OK.

R.O. Vance, a longtime hardware owner on Main Street, almost was included in the proposed revised ordinance by name as commissioners tried to ferret out the best method of allowing him come and go freely on appliance-repair calls.

As the clock ticked and the board continued dissecting the matter in ever-increasing detail and possible convolutions, Commissioner Christina Matheson finally burst into laughter. At least everyone would be able to tell she and her fellow board members truly care about the people in town, Matheson said, amused.

And where they park.

Vance didn’t end up named in the ordinance. Instead, Town Attorney Eric Ridenour, in a burst of legal razzle-dazzle, wrote a resolution on the spot designating a former police-car spot on a nearby side street to Main Street as the new R.O. Vance Memorial Parking Space. The resolution will be considered for vote at the next board meeting.

That should prevent Vance’s fellow business owners from calling and complaining that the hardware owner has been parking in the designated police spot, which the police have said they didn’t need anyhow, Commissioner Harold Hensley said. Vance had been parking there because he didn’t want to take up a Main Street parking space.

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