Avon Law Director John Gasior is preparing legislation to clarify language in existing residential on-street parking ordinances. He also told City Council's legal committee June 8 the administration may institute a permitting process to regulate home occupation, which allows certain businesses or occupations to be conducted from a home under conditions set by local law.

The immediate goal is to stop cars from parking at the edge of driveways, preventing garbage pickup, and in front of mailboxes, blocking mail delivery. While incidents are not widespread across the city, there have been complaints. Gasior said more people might continue to work from home as a result of COVID-19 shutdowns or changes to work-from-home business models.

Resident Clark Preston suggested that cars not be allowed closer than 8 feet from a driveway and 3 feet from a mailbox. Discussion among council members, administrators and the audience focused on assuring that Republic Services, the city's garbage contractor, has room to get a truck close enough to garbage containers, most often placed by residents in their drive aprons, so the truck's hydraulic arm could reach and lift the can. Similarly, sufficient space needs to be open near a mailbox so a postal worker can place mail in it. Safety Director Duane Streator reviewed Preston's suggestions and had no concerns, nor did the police department. If council makes the changes, the department would offer public education about the changes and issue warnings before issuing any tickets, Streator said.

Gasior cited several sections of existing ordinances that would, with a little tweaking, clean up language he called “vague.” Discussion also focused on increasing penalties for multiple, separate violations. As exists, police issue a traffic ticket for illegal parking that costs $10 in Mayor's Court. Some suggested violators would simply continue to pay the fine to provide parking for clients or personnel. Recommendations to substantially increase fines after a fourth or subsequent violation in a short period of time are under consideration.

Creating a permitting process for home occupation would take longer, Gasior said. He noted that existing law prohibits dividing a home into small offices or meeting rooms, hiring personnel who claim the resident address as their business address or having large numbers of vehicles parked on the street near a home. The thinking is that a permit, which would be renewed every three years, would make residents more likely to follow city ordinances. He mentioned that North Ridgeville has something on the books already.

Gasior plans to write proposed changes to parking ordinances for council to consider.

Contact freelance reporter Michele Murphy at avonlakemurphy@gmail.com.

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