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Council Eyes Moratorium On Front Yard Parking Requests

OSWEGO, NY – At its meeting this week, the Physical Services Committee councilors considered restricting certain parking within the Third Ward.

Tony Leotta, city engineer, said he received a request from Councilor Mike Todd to place a moratorium on applications for front yard parking on private properties in the Third Ward until December 31, 2014.

“People are basically paving over their whole front yard,” the councilor said. “Until we figure out exactly how we want to go about this parking thing, I think we should put a moratorium on it for a year.”

“Are you still going to give out your permits (for off-street winter parking)?” Councilor Shawn Walker asked.

“We didn’t give them out last year. I gave two to people for handicap parking,” Todd said.

None were given out in the First Ward, either, Councilor Fran Enwright added.

There are a lot of vehicles being parked all over in the ward, Todd explained.

“It’s coming right up on the front yards,” he said.

One place in particular, he noted, “wants to pave all the green space so they have enough parking for every single person that’s in there and the two apartments that are behind it.”

Another place, on Cayuga Street, is more of the same, he said.

“There is only supposed to be four kids there. There’s like seven cars there every day. And they want more parking so they don’t get ticketed,” he said. “The neighbors are getting their cars blocked in and getting boxed in. We just have too many cars down there right now. When you’re renting a house, it should be accurate as to how many cars they can have there. Neighbors who are around these houses just can’t deal with it.”

“You got a lot of nice homes that might want to put in parking,” Councilor Walker pointed out. “You going to slap them on the hand for a year so they can’t do that?”

Todd said the wait wouldn’t have a big impact on those types of homeowners.

“In two years, I think I have had one request from a private homeowner,” Todd replied. “About 95 percent have come from rentals.”

The homeowners wouldn’t mind waiting while the city comes up with a plan instead of just letting the rental owners to continue paving over everything, Todd added.

“We’re going to put an active plan in place,” Council President Ron Kaplewicz said. “That is what the intent of the moratorium is.”

“Yes, councilor. And for that reason a moratorium has to be for a specific period of time,” City Attorney Gay Williams said. “It’s not unreasonable.”

The request was unanimously sent to the full council for consideration.