Thursday, July 07, 2011

The Parking Ordinance

I took a look at what is called the Parking Ordinance this morning.

Ordinance No. 161
An Ordinance of the Mayor and Council of Delmar, Delaware to regulate parking within the town of Delmar, to authorize the issuance of citations for parking violations, establishment of requirements for handicapped parking , setting of fines, provide for impound of vehicles, regulating the use of bicycles and skateboards on sidewalks and providing for snow emergencies.

This ordinance has had a first reading at the joint council. Let me say if the copy I received at town hall is the same as what the Joint Council read at the first reading I am very disappointed in them. The Ordinance is about 14 pages long so I won’t scan it and post it here. If you are interested in it and you probably are not, go to town hall and read it. There are a number of problems I have with it and if I raise questions over these items the council should have.

First there were a couple of sections in the ordinance that were highlighted and left open. I would hope the council does not think they can have open items in this ordinance and consider them as constituting a first reading. I am under the impression the first reading is too be of a completed document, not one that can be added on to after approval.

Some highlighted items were;
Section 5 Fines; (V) Tractor trailer parking is highlighted with the fine left open and
Section (W) Refrigerator unit highlighted with no amounts in the fines space.

Section 15 Snow emergence routes Bi-State Boulevard and State street is highlighted for some unknown reason. Is there more to add or is there a change?

The definition of Disabled, inoperable, or junk vehicle- Any motor vehicle, such as automobile, truck van, trailer, motor home, motorcycle or any type of yard, farm, or road equipment remaining in one place for 10 days or more having one or more of the Following conditions: No conditions are given on the copy I received so I assume as long as you push the vehicle a couple of feet ever 10 days you are safe. However out in Section 13 Violations and Penalties relating to disabled, inoperative or junk vehicles
A. It shall be unlawful for any person or persons to have possess store maintain park or let stand any disabled inoperable or junk vehicle upon any highway road street alley or any private property within the town of Delmar for more than 72 hours.
By definition Section 13 (a) should be void as the definition for a Disabled, inoperable, or junk vehicle call for 10 days not 3 days.

Some old people out there may recall the problem the Town of Delmar Maryland had when they attempted to use their ordinances unfairly on Ford Brewington by calling his historical cars he had in his yard Junk, and trying to have then hauled away. This is a problem Delmar has always had; it applies it’s ordinance to select people and let other people get away with violating them. One look at the LeCates building and you can see an example of a violation free dump of a building. It must be violation free as i haven't heard of any fines or penalties being apply to the building owner. Like I said selective application of the ordinances.

No definition of a skateboard is given although bicycle, Bus, Moped, Motorcycle Motor Home and Motor vehicle has a definition when you get to Section 14 Operation of bicycles, skateboards and similar devices on sidewalks
It shall be unlawful for any person to ride a bicycle, moped, skateboard, or similar devices and vehicles on any of the sidewalks in the Town of Delmar, Delaware

So what is a skateboard? Something that is left up to someone’s judgement? With no definition it is a judgement call.

In Section N. Handicapped Parking
(2) Each space reserved for handicapped parking shall:
(a) Be at least 12 feet wide

The fire department handicap space is 9'4"

(3) Signs
(C) the bottom edge of the sign shall be at least seven feet above the ground.

The Library bottom edge handicap sign is 4' 8"

The "New" town hall building has handicap signs only 3' 8" to the bottom edge

SECTION 12 Exceptions
(C)Disabled, inoperable or junk vehicles being store or repaired at a licensed motor vehicle repair or towing business as long as the vehicle is in an enclosed building or behind an opaque fence that completely conceals the vehicle from passersby and/or adjoin property owners.

So is the Town going to make their fence opaque at the impoundment lot? Or will they except themselves from the ordinance?

A taste of the fines to be collected; Section 5 Fines
Fire Hydrants $45
Parking at intersection $30
Parking more than 72 hours $40
Blocking Private Driveways $35
Parking on sidewalks $30
Parking on or blocking crosswalks $30
Left-side parking $35 (Will the fire department exempt themselves from this?)
Parking on bridges $35
Red-yellow lines $35
Fire Lanes $40
Streets less than 18 feet wide $35
Double parking $35
Parking on traveled portion of highway $40
Handicapped parking $95
Blocking Firehouse $45
Parking in town park $45
No parking signs $35
No parking between signs $35
Parking at railroads $45
Curb parking $30
Overdue Parking on Meters $35
(where do we have meters? is this a future town surprise?)
Section V Tractor trailer parking is highlighted with no amounts in the fines
Section W Refrigerator unit highlighted with no amounts in the fines

And Fines will be doubled if not paid in 30 days.

There should be an exception spelled out to all of these items that if you are loading or unloading none of these items apply, otherwise you will have selective enforcement of these ordinances. Actually you will anyway.

Anyway this ordinance should have never made it thru a first reading and if the copy I got from town hall is accurate I expect them to go back to the drawing board and start the ordinance process over again. Maybe they need a "Committee" to review these ordinances as they don't seem to be doing a very good job of it themselves.

1 comment:

Howard said...
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