Upper Arlington City Council voted 4-3 Monday night to reject a motion to reinstall parking-by-permit-only signs to Brandon and Chester roads.

Upper Arlington City Council voted 4-3 Monday night to reject a motion to reinstall parking-by-permit-only signs to Brandon and Chester roads.

The April 25 vote came after more than two hours of testimony from residents and developers of Arlington Commons on Lane Avenue about legislation that would repeal the permit-parking restrictions on Brandon, Chester and other nearby streets.

After hearing residents' concerns that traffic has been spilling over from Arlington Commons onto surrounding streets, council member David DeCapua made a motion to temporarily reinstall parking-permit signs on Brandon and Chester. DeCapua said he supports the move so that existing parking restrictions can be enforced and to give the neighborhood a break from the congestion while the city explores long-term solutions.

DeCapua, Debbie Johnson and Erik Yassenoff voted yes on the motion, while Frank Ciotola, Mary Ann Krauss, Ed Seidel and Wade Steen voted no.

City attorney Jeanine Hummer explained that the signs were removed for maintenance in 2006 and never reinstalled as the city considered doing away with the parking restrictions. She cautioned council members that reinstalling the signs could trigger litigation from residents who live on other streets where signs have also been removed.

"If you single out Chester and Brandon, there has been an indication that there will be a taxpayer lawsuit to reinstate all of them," Hummer said.

Several residents told council that patrons of the Arlington Commons, especially the Wine Bistro at 1750 W. Lane Ave., have been parking in front of their houses and creating noise, congestion and safety hazards.

"We feel our neighborhood is collateral damage to the development," said Chester Road resident Julie McCulloch.

Developer Tim Rollins of Metropolitan Partners said his company appreciates the residents' concerns and is working to find solutions to the parking problems, including discussions with owners of the Lane Avenue Shopping Center and the nearby Sunoco station to accommodate employee and patron overflow parking.

Rollins noted that Metropolitan Partners obtained a variance from the Board of Zoning and Planning to scale down the Arlington Commons building and allow for 48 parking spaces

"We actually worked to get the density reduced," Rollins said.

He said another suggestion is to have the city paint parking stripes on Brandon and Chester Roads so that only two, instead of three, cars could park in front of a residence.

"If someone parked outside of those parking spots, they would be ticketed," Hummer said.

Council is scheduled to further discuss the parking issue again at Monday's conference session and at two subsequent readings of the legislation to repeal the permit parking. The third reading and council action are scheduled for May 23.

In other business Monday night, Matt Petersen, principal of Jones Middle School and a Windham Road resident who lives near the Amelita Mirolo Barn in Sunny 95 Park, urged council to reconsider rental rates for the barn, which is scheduled to open in May.

Current rental rates are $125 per hour for a minimum of four hours on weekend bookings for Upper Arlington residents; $185 per hour for non-residents. This cost would discourage community organizations and neighborhood groups from using the barn, Petersen said.

"The pricing structure has priced all of those groups out of the structure," Petersen said.

Parks and Recreation director Tim Moloney said the city can consider setting aside certain weekends to offer discount rates to community organizations and nonprofits.

Petersen also suggested limiting hours that alcohol can be served at the barn to evening hours, since it is located near Greensview Elementary School.

"I think that's a good recommendation, to not have (the serving of alcohol) overlap with school hours," Ciotola said.

Hummer said she will prepare an amendment to the legislation allowing alcohol to be served at the barn in time for its third reading on May 9.

In other business, council member Wade Steen, who has been named Cuyahoga County's new fiscal officer, said he plans to continue serving on council. He said he and his wife, Marty, plan to continue living in Upper Arlington until their youngest daughter, Erin, graduates from Upper Arlington High School next spring.

Steen said the opportunity to help the county function more efficiently is what drew him to the newly created position. He said he plans to continue to serve on council as long as both Upper Arlington and Cuyahoga County see no conflict of interest.

"I'll serve until I'm confirmed and my start date is determined," provided both governments agree that he can continue on city council, he said.