Kure Beach Council Adopts New Parking Regulations

Kure Beach Council Adopts New Parking Regulations

Kure Beach Council Adopts New Parking Regulations Featured

By / Local News / Wednesday, 04 July 2018 19:21

By WILLARD KILLOUGH III
Managing Editor

KURE BEACH - The Kure Beach Town Council voted to amend regulations governing parking in public right-of-ways during their June 19th, meeting.

The Council has held several discussions on the topic in recent months and held a public hearing on May 15th. The Council ultimately decided in May to research the proposed changes in more detail after hearing feedback from residents expressing concerns the new regulations would present various problems including eliminating parking in front of homes, parking during parties and presenting problems for contractors building new homes or servicing things like Heating and Air units.

On June 27th, Mayor Craig Bloszinsky explained, "Council has started an initiative on parking. Several factors are driving this action: recent issues of autos on street blocking emergency vehicles, county population growth bringing more visitors requiring changes to maintain our community atmosphere, and citizen complaints about random parking."

He explained, "Initially we  published changes and held a public meeting that many attended. Good insight was received to the original proposal and potential problems."

He explained, "The basics are set around the paved Right of Way (ROW) and the unpaved ROW throughout the  entire community. Paved ROW is the street and rules simply state that cars and golf carts can only park in marked spaces. The Police Department, at our direction, will ticket or tow vehicles that do not comply with this rule. If the neighborhood has no marked spaces, there is no street parking. This action ensures that all emergency vehicles have full access to all properties for fire or health or safety issues."

He explained, "The unpaved ROW is the space from the paved street to the end of town ROW in FRONT of your home. Only residents and their guests may park in the unpaved ROW at your home. That means enforcement comes down to the homeowner. Call the Police Department if an unidentified vehicle is parked in front of your home and they will ticket the vehicle."

Bloszinsky said the Town wants to avoid expensive permitting processes so property owners will need to prove ownership  - or that they are a renter - in order for police take action. He explained, "These rules come into effect on July 1.  For the period through July 14, our Police Department will issue warnings and not tickets. After the 14th, tickets will be written."

Bloszinsky noted the Police Department is acting on direction from the Council and, "doing their job to keep parking managed and safe for the community."

He said the intent of the changes is to manage parking on main streets and protect communities from "random parking" in order to allow residents to continue to use space in front of their homes as necessary for family, guests or service providers such as heating and air companies, plumbers and contractors.
Bloszinsky explained, "This is not perfect and is a work in progress. Come the end of season, we as a community, can determine what works and what does not and adjust accordingly."

He explained, "The final piece of work that is before us is adding spaces to the paved ROW where it is practical, remark the Beach Access parking lots for better parking use, define other places to park for public beach access areas that have no parking lot. We welcome input on improvements and ideas for the next revision."

May 15th Public Hearing:

During the May 15th, public hearing Bloszinsky explained, "The proposed amendments clarify the language in the current code on ticketing and payment of fines. Prohibit the parking of vehicles in the right-of-way. Prohibit parking in the street unless it is clearly designated parking spaces. Prohibit parking on Town utility easements. Allow towing for any parking violation. Restrict parking of unattached non-passenger vehicles such as trailers. In residential districts, owners and lessors can park in the front yard setback that they own or lease."

Bloszinsky explained, "The reason we came up with this... is there has been a lot of feedback  on parking in the Town. Parking in the neighborhoods. Parking on 421 in the street. Parking around the beach. And it is incumbent on us to management parking because if we don't manage parking people will park where they wish to."
He explained the effort to clarify the language in the ordinance was led by Councilman Joseph Whitley and said, "This is first attempt to get control of parking for our Town. We may not have it all right. If we need to make adjustments that make sense we will go ahead and make those adjustments. This is for you, us to get control of our parking."

Several people expressed concerns about how enforcing no parking in the right-of-way will reduce parking options for people with limited available parking on their properties. Other people wrote letters to the Council.

Whitley read a letter to the Council from Mario Paparozzi stating they have lived in Kure Beach for about 15 years and, "Over the years we have watched a lack of regulation and enforcement of parking ordinances resulting in potentially serious public safety hazards and negative community aesthetics. These observations are of course increased during the summer months. However, they exist - albeit to a lesser extent year round - as a result other people or individuals who put their personal needs and desires above those of everyone else. We are hoping the Township's new interest in enforcement of parking regulations is not only for the summer season. We live on a narrow cul-de-sac and often have residents vehicles parked in the middle of the street blocking our mailbox and impeding safe egress from our driveway. While it's nice to think that community members can address these type of things informally, the reality is that informal discussions - even with the best of intentions - often result in arguments, given some animosity and the like. Therefore we feel it is essential for neutral bodies with enforcement authority to serve the community by pro actively and uniformly enforcing Township regulations and ordinances."

During the May 15th, public hearing, Whitley said he felt the Town should reform a committee to look at the proposed changes. He said the goal was to have the changes made by Memorial Day weekend, but that obviously wasn't going to happen. He said, "The goal was to get something in place for the season so we could address it in October or November to see how people responded and make changes for the upcoming year."

Councilman David Heglar said, "I agree .We can't rush it and make a big mess."

Heglar asked Police Chief Mike Bowden, "Do you have what you need right now if someone parks on pavement in Kure Beach to do something about it. Do you have something on ordinance right now that if they park blocking someones personal residence in the Town's right-of-way, but not on pavement, that you could do something about it?"

Chief Bowden said yes to both questions.

Heglar said, "Those are the two things I'm worried about. From my perspective, I think for people parking on pavement, that's problem number one and problem number two is, when they park illegally blocking someone's property in the Town right-of-way." He said, "That's what the one person didn't like is well all my friends could park anywhere they wanted to in my neighborhood and they got all these warnings. Well they can't. We've got to stop that."

The Council will hold a public hearing on Tuesday July 17th, at 6pm at the Temporary Town Hall at the Fort Fisher Air Force Recreation Area to consider amendments to the zoning ordinance relating to the number of vehicles that may be parked on a property at any one time. For more info, call Town Hall at 910-458-8216.

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