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Parking rule changes approved in Sylva

A quarter-acre parking lot the Town of Sylva leases on the corner of Main and Landis streets is one of three lots where downtown residents and workers are encouraged to park in a newly approved ordinance amendment. Lilly Knoepp photo A quarter-acre parking lot the Town of Sylva leases on the corner of Main and Landis streets is one of three lots where downtown residents and workers are encouraged to park in a newly approved ordinance amendment. Lilly Knoepp photo

Two new changes to Sylva’s rules for downtown parking are now in effect following a pair of unanimous votes at the Sept. 9 town board meeting. 

After a first reading Aug. 26, commissioners voted unanimously Sept. 9 to clarify rules for electric vehicle drivers and for people who live or work downtown. A public hearing was held for each of the two changes at the beginning of the Sept. 9 meeting, but nobody gave comment at that time. 

Sylva’s code of ordinances currently forbids downtown tenants and employees from parking along Main Street and Mill Street, as well as East Jackson Street between Evalina and Spring streets. However, town regulations didn’t specify any areas where residents and employees were encouraged to park. 

The newly amended ordinance fixes that issue, designating the Bridge Park Parking Lot, the Cogdill Parking Lot, and the lot at the intersection of Main and Landis Streets as free parking areas for residents and employees. 

“Both these things make sense to me,” said Commissioner Greg McPherson, who is also a downtown resident, during an initial discussion Aug. 26. “It doesn’t make sense to have Main Street restrictions and then tell everybody to park somewhere else and not give them somewhere else to park.”

The second change comes in response to two complaints the town has received regarding people parking in the town’s electric vehicle charging stations but not using them to charge a car. Commissioners voted unanimously to add a stipulation to its parking ordinance stating that no vehicle may park in a charging station space unless it is an electric vehicle and is plugged into the charging station. Violating this rule will result in a parking ticket. 

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4 comments

  • Would be nice if a certain business downtown decided to end it's unfair monopoly of parking spots, especially since it's only open for limited days/hours. Towing tourists' vehicles is NOT a way to encourage visitors. Play nice Jackson General, you are NOT special and few people shop there compared to other businesses who bring in WAY more visitors to downtown and are just generally more pleasant.

    posted by Nichole

    Friday, 09/24/2021

  • I pay a lot of money to live on main street! For over ten years! imagine telling someone they cant park in their own driveway! Not to mention when a festival or parade comes along we are not allowed to park in some of the said areas. We obey all the parking rules for the most part, but this is ridiculous you all should be more considerate of the residents of downtown rather than the visitors!!!

    posted by Anna L Duls

    Friday, 09/24/2021

  • I pay a lot of money to live on main street! For over ten years! imagine telling someone they cant park in their own driveway! Not to mention when a festival or parade comes along we are not allowed to park in some of the said areas. We obey all the parking rules for the most part, but this is ridiculous you all should be more considerate of the residents of downtown rather than the visitors!!!

    posted by Anna L Duls

    Friday, 09/24/2021

  • It doesn't solve the problem with parking in evening to access restaurants and other places. The owners of businesses that are closed after 5pm will not allow parking, even when closed. I understand stand it's their property. It would seem maybe some kind of compromise?Charge for parking. Possibly city pay for use after hours?We had family come visit but, were unable to park anywhere to go to a restaurant in downtown.

    posted by Nancy Grassley

    Wednesday, 09/22/2021

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