(Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story mistakenly said that the ordinance would receive a second reading and vote on February 15. The correct date is February 25.)
Several residents with homes near Timberland High School spoke out at last week’s board of aldermen meeting about a proposed ordinance limiting parking on their streets during school hours.
Students have been parking along those streets and causing a number of problems, the residents alleged, including littering, destruction of property, drag racing, trespassing, illegal drug use, blocking roads and driveways.
One resident said that confronting the students resulted in retaliation. She had found a homemade bomb in her mailbox and her storm door was shattered after complaining about the students’ behavior. “I’m afraid something is going to happen to me or my children,” she said.
A proposed ordinance would prohibit parking on the west side of Fuller Drive on school days only from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Susan Mueller, Director of Public Works, said that the west side was chosen for the sight distance and turning capacity for the cul-de-sacs. “Let’s step into this one piece at a time,” she said. “See how this functions before we make any additional decisions.”
Alderman Michael Rhoades echoed the homeowners’ concern that prohibiting parking on Fuller might create worse problems on Kimberly Jo Court and Lexie Court.
“All of our complaints come from Fuller,” said Chief of Police Lisa Harrison. “Tonight was the first time I heard anything about Kimberly Jo.”
Alderman Chris Gard acknowledged that the problem wouldn’t go away on its own. “These schools aren’t shrinking, they’re growing.” He mentioned that neighborhoods near Holt High School also had problems with students parking on their streets. “If you go to Kent and Cheryl Ann and stand there when school lets out, it’s a free-for-all. It’s the scariest thing you’ve seen in your life.”
Alderman Cheryl Kross moved that the parking prohibition be extended to Kimberly Jo Court and Lexie Court, and the board agreed.
Mueller said that it would take extra time to figure out where to place the no parking signs on the courts. Enforcement would not begin until 15 days after the signs were put up.
The proposed ordinance is up for second reading and final vote at the February 25 meeting.