Ravenna eyes lower tree lawn parking fees

ferguson has suggestions when issue returns to council

By Diane Smith | Staff Writer Published:

The thorny issue of tree lawn parking in Ravenna will be back before council next year, with lower fees.

Councilman Jack Ferguson, chairman of council's streets, sidewalks and utilities committee, said Monday he has several suggestions on how to lower the fee and make the proposal more palatable to residents, who opposed it at a recent public hearing.

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 and over the years, many have turned those areas into makeshift parking areas, especially if they do not have driveways.

Ferguson said he favors an application fee, but thinks $100 is way too high, and suggested lowering the application fee to $25. He said residents should be required to re-apply annually, because living situations change from year to year.

He said he doesn't favor the parking passes or the $180 fee, and said gravel should be just as good to improve the tree lawns as asphalt or concrete. In fact, he said, it might be better, since a gravel improvement would absorb rainwater and not cause as much runoff.

"I think everybody was under the impression this was the way it had to be," Ferguson said. "It's just for discussion. There had to be a starting point."

City officials agreed to discuss potential changes and bring a new proposal to the committee in January.

Service Director Kelly Engelhart pointed out that part of the goal of the ordinance was to find out whether the request was being made out of "convenience or necessity."

"We understand there are situations where it is necessary," she said.

She added that Law Director Frank Cimino was not in favor of a new policy, but merely one that "legitimized" situations where people had been parking on tree lawns in the past. New cases might not be permitted under such a policy.

Some council members questioned whether residents who try to do the right thing might be penalized while those who had been violating the city's ordinance for years might be rewarded.

"We're not going to please everyone," Ferguson said. "But we have to start somewhere."

Contact this reporter at 330-298-1139 or dsmith@recordpub.com

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  • This is a bunch of bull. All the City cares about is getting money one way or the other. Why is it any better to have a car parked on the tree lawn if that area is covered with Gravel or asphalt instead of grass? Will the property owner have to pay more money for the storm water run off tax? After all if you pave the area, more water will run off instead of soaking down into the soil. If you own the property and park on your lawn do you still have to pay a fee and have it paved? This is nothing but a way for the city to get more money from it citizens after all they have to pay for the pay raises they recently gave everyone. The citizens of Ravenna need to get together and start a petition to put this deal, the storm water tax, the pay raise, and a dozen other ordinances up for vote by the people. Then fire every dam one of the Councilmen and the Mayor and every one in City Hall.

  • Commish Ferguson is correct, a light weight durable aggregate such as limestone, hadite even crushed brick or steel slag is more ecologically responsible for our water and air with a small fraction of carbon foot print, in the case of crushed brick and steel slag the products are recycled. Any one that tells you that you cannot build a superior road base more earth friendly at less cost is either uninformed or trying to sell you an asphalt driveway. Think Permeable !!

  • Commish Ferguson is correct, a light weight durable aggregate such as limestone, hadite even crushed brick or steel slag is more ecologically responsible for our water and air with a small fraction of carbon foot print, in the case of crushed brick and steel slag the products are recycled. Any one that tells you that you cannot build a superior road base more earth friendly at less cost is either uninformed or trying to sell you an asphalt driveway. Think Permeable !!

  • Time to protest 10am Thursday, city hall!!

  • Shame Ravenna can't be billed for tree lawn maintenance.

  • I bet if a couple thousands residents showed up on city hall on thursday or friday, maybe they would think this crap over. It doesn't take much to make it happen, facebook, twitter, it can be done. can't wait to get to get started.

  • Choo Choo now I know why the city of Ravenna keeps the old Erie Lackawanna line, so they can railroad its residents into a new TAX! That is all this is it a Tax... Whats next, tolite paper usage tax?

  • "We're not going to please everyone," Ferguson said. "But we have to start somewhere." Why? If this is to generate money for the city it's just a bad idea. It kind of brings to mind the old adage "you can't get blood from a turnip". You have a depressed city and decide that the way to make things better is to squeeze more money from the residents. How about maybe subsidizing leases for the empty downtown properties to generate more taxes. It's done all the time for the big box stores. Or, better yet, perhaps the old boy network Chamber of Commerce could persuade some of the property owners to reduce the ridiculous costs of opening a business on Main Street. Of course, that will never happen because it takes what's called leadership, something sorely lacking in this once vibrant town.

  • Time to vote out your council if they can't think of better ways for creating income for the city. One idea, create more jobs!!