10/28/2013 11:08:00 AM Parking ordinance to change
By David Richards
The Byron City Council unanimously approved changes to the city's parking ordinance at its Oct. 22 meeting.
Among the biggest changes for the upcoming winter season will be lifting the no parking restriction that was in place between the hours of 2 and 6 a.m. between Nov. 1 and April 1.
In its place will be a "snow emergency" clause for the city, which prohibits parking or leaving a standing vehicle on any street or public alley, for snow removal purposes.
A "snow emergency" may last for up to 48 hours following a snowfall.
The changes are the brainchild of sheriff deputy Brandon Bornhorst, who patrols the City of Byron and its outlying areas.
Mary Blair-Hoeft, city administrator, said the proposed changes came because of complaints about tickets being issued during non snow times.
According to city staff reports, there have been six occurrences of plowing in the last three years during the no-parking time frame.
In addition, Blair-Hoeft said, there is a need for some residents to park in other locations besides the garage or driveway.
"We have people with one-car garages and bigger families," she said.
The staffing report for the Oct. 22 meeting goes into even greater detail on the background that led to the proposed changes.
"Today, families have double and triple car garages as a norm, two family vehicles, and the teenagers each have cars," the report states. "This creates problems in winter for families that live in older Byron neighborhoods where single car garages/driveways are the norm. These families will still have parking issues during snow emergencies, however these families are inconvenienced the other days when there is no snow or the streets have been cleared, yet they cannot park on the street overnight."
According to the ordinance, a "snow emergency" is defined as continuous or intermittent snowfall that has accumulated to three inches or more of snow; drifting of snow that causes problems for travel; icy conditions that seriously affect travel; and time of snowfall in relationship to heavy use of street.
"I think it's a smart idea," Mayor Ann Diercks said.
According to the ordinance, "city staff will make every effort to contact local media outlets regarding the declaration of a snow emergency and the snow removal period. The information will also be listed on the City of Byron's web site, www.byronmn.com.