Enforcement of parking rules in Historic Dublin could come soon.

Enforcement of parking rules in Historic Dublin could come soon.

Dublin City Council members heard several recommendations that could lead to improved parking in the historic district this week.

During the April 25 meeting, land-use and long-range planning director Steve Langworthy said although parking has long been a complaint, parking spaces in Historic Dublin are sufficient to meet demand.

Changes need to be made to improve the use and efficiency of parking, however, Langworthy said.

Along with improvements to draw people to the Indian Run Elementary School parking lot, Langworthy said, the city could negotiate with owners of private parking spots to utilize the spots during certain hours.

"We've already had discussions with the library and (Dublin Community Church) for some of their parking spaces," he said.

Along with freeing up more private parking spaces, Langworthy recommended increasing on-street and parking-lot time limits from two to three hours. More enforcement also was recommended.

"We have random enforcement two days a week," Langworthy said.

Two Historic Dublin business owners voiced their support of enforcement, such as tickets and towing, to council during the meeting.

"Enforcement is the key to success," Woodhouse Day Spa owner Alan Reuter said. "Enforcement by two individuals two days a week is not going to do it."

Problems with valet parking also were cited.

"The way it is right now, it's heck and the valet situation is absolutely deplorable," Reuter said. "At night, even the handicapped spots are taken, and that's just sinful."

Council members Richard Gerber and Marilee Chinnici-Zuercher also reported seeing valet parking close to businesses and employees taking close, timed-limited spots.

"I still see some (valets) using the Darby Street lot," Gerber said.

With warmer weather and Historic Dublin's busy season quickly approaching, council members asked how quickly recommendations could be implemented.

"Businesses have been waiting for this for quite a while," Gerber said. "I think there are some things we can do now."

"I encourage us to make it a priority," Chinnici-Zuercher said.

Langworthy said some could be finished soon, though some longer-term recommendations would need funding.

"The vast majority are short-term," he said, adding that many could be done within the next six weeks to six months.

Council member John Reiner also suggested creating a parking authority that could enforce limits in the historic district, with funding through the Historic Dublin Business Association.

"Would it be worth it to HDBA members?" he asked.

One recommendation suggests investigating "appropriate management methods to improve cooperation between district businesses-building owners regarding cooperative parking," Langworthy said, but "we don't know if a parking authority is the best approach to that."

It likely will be considered later, he said.

Reiner requested an update on recommendations during the next city council meeting May 9.