Ravenna City Council is revisiting the issue of tree lawn parking after a heated public hearing.
The recent hearing attracted 16 residents. However, only four of them spoke on the issue.
One of those residents. Goldie Shriver, has lived in Ravenna for 62 years. Her husband, a lifelong city resident, is in a nursing home. Her daughter lives at her home on Lafayette Avenue and her children and grandchildren are frequent visitors.
She said her family often parks in front of her home, and previous city officials told her that they could do so, with one service director saying, "I'm not touching that with a ten foot pole." Now, she is concerned about a proposed ordinance that would require them to pay for the privilege.
"It's not right," she said. "It's not right for any of us."
The proposed ordinance would institute fees for making the application and getting permits from the city. All told, that's almost $300 for the first year, not including the cost of improving the tree lawn with asphalt or concrete. The fees would include $100 for the application, plus $180 a year for up to three parking passes from the city's police department.
It is now illegal for residents to park on the tree lawn.
A recent move to enforce the ordinance prompted the proposal.
Councilman Jack Ferguson, chairman of Ravenna's Streets, Sidewalks and Utilities committee, noted that many residents do not even have a driveway and have no place to park other than the tree lawn. Many streets are too narrow for residents to park on the street.
He said the committee will consider the issue in the future. One possibilities, he said, would be to let people who already have improved their tree lawns be grandfathered. Other proposals would lower the fees or allow residents to use gravel to improve the parking areas rather than asphalt or concrete.
She said that if the city needs money, it should bring in jobs rather than charge residents to park in front of their homes.
"No other mayor has ever suggested such a thing."
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