The city of Ravenna has again amended a proposed law allowing property owners to park in their tree lawns, dramatically reducing the fees that made it such a source of contention with local residents.
Service Director Kelly Engelhart presented a revised draft of the ordinance, which reduces the application fee of $100 to $25.
Council agreed to move the ordinance through the city's legislative process, and the ordinance is expected to be on council's agenda in February.
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.
A previous draft of the ordinance would have instituted fees that included $100 for the application, plus $180 a year for up to three parking passes from the city's police department.
All told, that was almost $300 for the first year, not including the cost of improving the tree lawn with asphalt or concrete.
The new draft limits the fee to $25, but requires that it be paid annually. Engelhart said the city's zoning inspector would still visit the site to make sure residents don't have other options for parking. Residents would still be required to display parking passes, but would not pay an additional fee for them. And though residents would be required to pave their parking areas, they could do so with gravel.
She acknowledged that the $25 fee would not cover the city's costs, but said the proposal was made to make the ordinance more palatable to residents.
The fee would not transfer over to new property owners if the parcel is sold, and would not automatically renew unless a property owner files a new application.
"The hope is that there will be less of these as properties change hands," she said.
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