Brentwood officials plan to crack down on parking violators
Cars line the curb on Bauman Avenue.
In some places, vehicles sit over the curb, onto the sidewalk. Commercial vehicles exceed the permissible weight to park on Brentwood roads.
Yet, driveways and garages nearby are empty.
That's the case on many streets throughout the borough, and local officials are looking to do something about it by enforcing a longstanding ordinance this summer that requires residents with driveways and garages to use them.
“We want to attack this issue,” Brentwood Mayor Dennis Troy said.
“We have the ordinance in place to do so,” Councilwoman Stephanie Fox, chairwoman of Brentwood's zoning and ordinance committee added. “We have the code and we're going to utilize it.”
A zoning ordinance more than 15 years old requires residents that have garages or driveways to use that space, instead of parking on the street. The ordinance has gone unenforced for more than a decade, Troy said.
Borough leaders plan to begin enforcement this summer, on June 1, requiring residents to use their driveways and garages or face a fine that has yet to be established, Fox said. Council members discussed the idea at their meeting Monday. Fox, who was recently appointed, said residents complaining about the lack of parking is the number one concern she hears from citizens. Others seconded that notion.
Drivers often park on the sidewalks because the roads are tight in the nearly 100-year-old town, where many streets are limited to parking on one side of the street.
That leads to safety hazards for children walking on the sidewalk, Fox said.
Parking has become so bad that officials hear the stories: the woman who couldn't get into her driveway after work because someone parked in front of it, or the woman who lost a mirror from the side of her car getting hit.
Some residents have had to replace part of their sidewalk because the weight of the vehicles has been too much for the cement pads.
Longtime Brentwood resident Herb Sill said he has had to do just that.
“Parking has always been a problem in this area,” he said.
At one point, there was an 18-wheeler parked on his street for days. Commercial vehicles are not allowed to be parked on residential streets, borough officials said. That, too, will be addressed in the future, Fox said.
Borough officials also plan to look at permit parking for residential streets, although they said on Monday that they do not have a time frame for rolling that out.
Brentwood's code already has rules to allow leaders to create a permit parking system for all, or some, streets, Fox said.
Only one permit would issued per vehicle owner, council President Marty Vickless said.
Those that have a garage or a driveway are not eligible for a parking permit. Those that do not have a garage or a driveway can have one permit per car owner.
Consideration will be made for residents who cannot use their garage or driveway because of special circumstances, Fox said.
Vickless said the best way to know what changes might be needed are to start with enforcing what is already on the books.
“Will we get comments from the audience? Yes. But it's going to be better in the long-term. It's going to cause short-term heartaches. It's going to cause people to come up here and yell at us. But as problems arise, we'll deal with it,” Vickless said.
Stephanie Hacke is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5818 or firstname.lastname@example.org.