Changes are being made to the way people can park on the streets in Creswell.
Come Thursday, Aug. 9, people will be permitted to park their vehicle on the street and on public property for 30 days, and can park their recreational vehicle (RV) for 72 hours.
The big difference between the previous and the revamped ordinances is that the old one restricted parking on the street to a period of 48 hours, City Recorder Roberta Tharp said.
The issue with that was people would technically ”comply” by hopping into their vehicle and scooting it six inches forward in the same spot, Lane County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO) Sergeant Scott Denham said.
The new ordinance nixes that issue because after 30 days, the vehicle must be moved off the street entirely – not scooched six inches, not moved to the next parking spot over; it must be moved off the street entirely.
Changing this ordinance also makes it more fair for all, Denham said.
When LCSO police and Code Enforcement Officer Shelley Humble receive calls on parking situations, Denham said some complaints have to do with disgruntled neighbors who made complaints after their neighbor’s car had been sitting there for a couple of days.
Conversely, other complaints stated issues with vehicles being parked in the same location for weeks on-end.
”It’s not fair to ticket one person for parking their car in the same spot for two or three weeks, and then having to ticket someone else for being parked for 50 hours in the same spot,” Denham said.
Simply put, the current ordinance, ”Is not conducive to the community it serves anymore,” Denham said.
Back in the day, Denham said parking on the streets was generally discouraged, so perhaps that’s why the ordinance was written as such.
But nowadays, in an era where most teenagers have cars and households often have multiple vehicles, disallowing street parking for a short amount of time – like the previous 48 hour limit – is no longer a feasible option.
Especially when you consider the three-day-weekenders, he said.
”If I, as a citizen, would go away for the weekend, already have two cars parked in the driveway and leave my son’s car in the street…that’s where the problem with the current ordinance is,” he said. ”It’s difficult for us to consciously ticket people who are away for the weekend. It’s an unreasonably low amount of time to have to move your vehicle.”
Denham also said the storage of RVs constitute a higher volume of complaints, and there was nothing in the current ordinances that referenced that issue.
But now there is.
Under the new ordinance, recreational vehicles must be moved off the streets within 72 hours.
Denham also noted that the camping ordinance is still in effect, which means someone can’t be living in an RV, park it in front of your house and live there.
As always, unless it is an egregious situation, parking complaints are all citizen-driven, meaning that Humble and police don’t go out looking for violations; reports are only generated when complaints are filed by citizens.
Failure to abide by the ordinances will constitute prima facie evidence of prohibited storage and is subject to abatement and penalties.
When a vehicle or recreational vehicle is found in violation, deputies or Humble will provide notice and issue a citation for the violation.
If the vehicle or recreational vehicle is not moved in compliance within 24 hours after the notice is posted, the City may treat the vehicle as abandoned and proceed to follow the procedures.
No citation for violation of this section will be issued unless notice to move the vehicle has been attached to the vehicle by any law enforcement officer or code enforcement officer, no less than 24 hours before the citation is issued.
Denham noted that there are three separate ordinances that involve parking – method of parking, abandoned vehicles and storage of vehicles. The first two ordinances are unchanging, while the storage of vehicles is the one that is being revised.
The method of parking ordinance is unchanging, which requires that vehicles must be parked in the same direction of the streets. A ticket for that offense is generally $50.
The abandoned vehicles ordinance is unchanging, too. That’s the ordinance that states that if a vehicle appears to be abandoned, an investigation is launched, police tag the vehicle and the owner has 24 hours to move it before it is towed away.
This revamped ordinance is mirrored closely after Veneta’s storage of vehicles ordinance.
”Veneta has had a vehicle storage ordinance in place for several years that’s worked really well,” Denham said. ”I think this is more reasonable.”