City Council tables new parking ordinance

BUCKHANNON—Buckhannon City Council tabled an ordinance at the Oct. 4 meeting that would make a number of streets around West Virginia Wesleyan College’s campus residential parking zones.

City attorney Tom O’Neillwho wrote Ordinance number 430 wanted to address some of the differences from the previous drafts of this ordinance.

“With respect to this draft, we’ve gone to two hour parking unless you are a resident displaying a placard,” O’Neill said.  “Two placards per lot unless the placard is required under the zoning ordinance to have off street parking, so if it’s a multi- unit type building you’ll get two spots per unit and two for the whole lot if you need off street parking.”

If an individual does not have a residential placard, parking times would become limited on certain streets.

“It is now only sections of four streets, College Avenue, Barbour Street, Fayette Street, Pocahontas Street and between South Florida and Main,” O’Neill said. “It’s two hours between 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.”

He also said the council would be given the right to suspend these parking rules for certain occasions such as homecoming, commencement and other major events.

Councilman CJ Rylands asked how the city would mark these residential areas and how many signs would be seen in the area.

“If someone doesn’t see the sign, how are they going to know what the rules are?” he asked.

O’Neill said there are most likely standards for streets and signage.

“I’m sure there are standards in the street design world that they know how many to put up per so many feet,” O’Neil said.

Mayor David McCauley said he felt like they were “getting there,” but had another concern.

“Here’s another question,” McCauley said.  “I haven’t delivered a copy of this to the college and I would feel a little better if one of the primary players of this received this so the people at the college could weigh in and we could do a first reading on Oct. 18 and a second reading Nov. 1.”

Dr. Tim Reese raised another question about how the permits will be distributed.

“How are the permits assigned?” Reese asked.  “Is it to a house number? License?”

O’Neill responded by saying the placards are given out to lots and Reese had a follow up question about how many placards are distributed per building.

“I do have another question.,” Reese said.  “On my block there is a building that has four apartments and are required to have four off street parking spots, but some apartments have two people that have two cars so how many placards do they get?”

O’Neill said, “You don’t want to give out too many because that defeats the purpose of the project.  The way it’s written is that if it’s a single family dwelling its two permits, a multi-unit dwelling gets two permits per unit, unless they are required to have off street parking.”

McCauley said they were going to give this particular reading a chance.

“We’ve talked about this since last March or April,” McCauley said.  “Let try this and if come next May, after a semester of using this and we’re still banging our heads against the wall then we will revisit.” Councilman Robbie Skinner motioned to table the draft until Wesleyan officials could look at the ordinance and it was seconded by City Recorder Colin Reger. The motion passed. Council members Mary Albaugh and Dave Thomas were absent.


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