Canal Winchester City Council unanimously approved an amendment to the city's commercial parking laws at its March 3 meeting.
Council has been debating changes to the laws for several months in an effort to stop vehicles from parking overnight parking in commercial lots, with a specific eye on semi-trucks idling through the night in the Waterloo Crossing Walmart parking lot, which is adjacent to a residential neighborhood.
The ordinance approved March 3 removes any language designating specific overnight parking restrictions from the city code, along with a list of actions that the city had been required to follow before en-forcing the parking regulations.
Law Director Jennifer Croghan said the new regulations leave it up to individual business owners to post signs listing the no-parking rules, along with information about a towing agent. This allows anyone to call the towing agent directly when a vehicle is violating the rules, instead of requiring the city to issue warnings and take other action before citing the vehicle owner or towing the vehicle.
"If you're dealing with out-of-town truckers, the chance of them coming back to mayor's court is minimal," Croghan said. "If there's a number up on the sign, then our sheriff's deputies can call the towing company directly."
In another parking-related issue, city resident Arthur Libert asked council March 3 to ban parking near his driveway off Kramer Street.
Libert's house also has a driveway off High Street and is located directly across High Street from the post office.
"Since the Carroll post office closed and most of the people working there now work here, I'd like to ask for two no-parking spaces east of my driveway," Libert said. "On any given day, I have a bottleneck of cars parked on the corners, and there's a school bus stop there, where we've had several issues of near-misses trying to back out."
According to Libert, the size of the vehicles parked on the street make it difficult to see oncoming traffic, and the post office is now attracting significantly more traffic than it once had.
Council members Rick Deeds, Steve Donahue and Bobbie Mershon all said they had visited the property and think that the request warrants further review.
"Mr. Abbott and I were down there this evening and see this as a topic for the safety committee so that we can see what our possible options are," Deeds said.
Mershon added that she hopes the city engineer will be able to review the issue before that meeting to provide some specific solutions.
The next safety committee meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m., Monday, March 17, at Town Hall, 10 N. High St.