City commission advises against permit parking
City Director of Public Service Mark Kelsey expected to rule on request by July 29
Residents have failed to convince the city to institute permit parking on Kossuth Street in German Village.
The Columbus Transportation and Pedestrian Commission earlier this month recommended against implementing parking restrictions on Kossuth between Mohawk and Fifth streets.
That was a relief to some area business owners, who complained the limitations would place an undue burden on businesses and customers, exacerbating an already challenging parking situation.
The proposed permit area would have two-hour parking between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., thereby eliminating 18 parking spaces in a retail hub near Schmidt's Sausage Haus und Restaurant, the Old Mohawk, Schmidt's Sausage Haus and Helen Winnemore Craft.
City Director of Public Service Mark Kelsey will make the ultimate determination on the commission's recommendation. It's rare for the director to overturn the commission on such a matter, said Rick Tilton, spokesman for the city's public service department.
Paul and Terri Carlson, who live on Kossuth, circulated a petition for permit parking because they feared for the safety of their high school daughter, who is forced to park far away from their house in the evening after extra-curricular activities.
Mr. Carlson said he wrote a letter to the public service director to make a "courageous and right" decision on the matter.
Kelsey is expected to rule on the advice of the commission by July 29, when his retirement is effective, Tilton said.
"I think it would be a courageous decision because he'd be bucking the business interests in German Village."
But business owners countered that permit parking would simply force patrons onto nearby streets, whose residents would then call for their own parking restrictions.
Geoff Schmidt, owner of Schmidt's restaurant and an outspoken critic of the plan, said the situation was better left alone.
He said the city made conditions worse when it began enforcing parking restrictions in several nearby alleys.
"My primary concern is Columbus cannot come across as being not treating their visitors right," he said. "Tourists are a big thing and we have to be tourist friendly."